Fallout 76 player who nuked Phil Spencer says it was nothing personal: "He was the final boss in my eyes - In an RPG I prefer to be the bad guy"

An image illustration of a power-armored individual standing before the fanmade Fallout 76 map.

The Fallout 76 player who nuked Phil Spencer's in-game camp wasn't protesting the recent closure of Bethesda studios but had instead been planning the attack for weeks.

In a shocking move earlier this week, Microsoft decided to close Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks, two acclaimed studios under the Bethesda umbrella. In the hours after the announced closures, a Twitter user noticed that someone had detonated a nuclear bomb in Phil Spencer's Fallout 76 camp, eliminating the Xbox boss' home base.

At the time, this was commonly seen as an act of protest against the Xbox head for the closures of the Bethesda studios. It's easy to see why - Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks both had legions of fans around the world, all of which have been calling out Microsoft for its decision to shutter the two beloved developers, despite critical acclaim and millions of games sold.

It turns out the Fallout 76 attack wasn't a form of protest, but rather it was the culmination of weeks of planning from one player. "It’s not much to it I’ve been planning to catch him for a while now to see if he would agree to a fight," the Fallout 76 player told Kotaku, adding that "Trying to take him down was just a personal goal for me after I finished the main quest line."

"He was the final boss in my eyes. In an RPG, I prefer to be the bad guy," the player added. The Fallout 76 player further revealed that Spencer typically "jumps around the map because he's always immediately crowded by players." Even after the player detonated a nuclear bomb in Spencer's own camp, the Xbox exec didn't attack the player like he wanted but instead just waved to him.

It's a very strange turn of events in what at first seemed a pretty straightforward scenario. You'd be absolutely forgiven for assuming this was an act of protest against the closure of several adored studios.

Revenue from game subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass has barely grown in 2 years, potentially explaining Microsoft's studio closures.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.