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Bethesda repatriate Fallout 76 theft victims through in-game clone meetups

You wouldn't steal a clone

Last month, hackers stole Fallout 76 items from player inventories while they were inside the game, literally pinching the shirts from their backs. Bethesda's solution has been to create clones of affected players with their pre-theft inventories intact. If victims want to keep the gear they've gained since the hack and not switch to a month-old backup, Bethesda are offering an unusual experience: they'll log in as your clone and meet you in-game to hand it all back, face-to-cloneface.

Fallout 76: the gift that keeps on giving.

Theft victim and Reddit user "JedediahJedi" shared his email from Bethesda, where they explained the situation. Other Reddit users say they've also been contacted.

“A clone of your character (with a modified name) will be restored on January 22, 2020,” Bethesda said. “Once restored, this character will have the entire inventory of items, gear and scrap (100% of your stuff) that it possessed on December 20, 2019."

"Additionally, Bethesda Customer Support will be offering a 'Secure Trade' service to assist you in merging your characters(s) inventories and safely trading items between you characters should you require assistance.

"If you would like to take advantage of this service, please respond to this ticket and request a 'Secure Trade' transfer service. A CS Agent will then work with you to arrange a time for you to login to Fallout 76 and join them on a private server to facilitate the 'Secure Trade'."

What a delightfully Kafkaesque solution. It's baffling that Bethesda can't just place items directly in people's inventories, and must instead resort to surreal and fiddly trades between players and employees wearing the skin of their past selves, but I am here for it. I want to live in a world where all videogame tech problems are dealt with by employees awkwardly meeting up with players and letting them rife through their pockets.

Bethesda are also handing out various amounts of the premium in-game currency, Atoms, to affected players. The original thefts were part of a wave of easy to use hacks from a cheat website, which also let players spawn items and NPCs. Bethesda brought the servers down for a bit on December 23rd while they patched in more security.

Bethesda have previously said the thefts only affected a small number of PC players.

JedediahJedi has decided he doesn't need many of the duplicated items he's wound up with, and is giving them away on Reddit.

Cheers, Kotaku.

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Matt Cox avatar

Matt Cox

Former Staff Writer

Once the leader of Rock Paper Shotgun's Youth Contingent, Matt is an expert in multiplayer games, deckbuilders and battle royales. He occasionally pops back into the Treehouse to write some news for us from time to time, but he mostly spends his days teaching small children how to speak different languages in warmer climates.