Bethesda revealed a few more details of their upcoming Fallout 76 beta event today, for those wanting to get in on the ground floor of the multiplayer spinoff. Beginning this October (with Xbox One leading the way, and PC/PS4 starting soon after), players who pre-ordered the game from "participating retailers" will gradually be invited, although not everyone at first. The initial wave of players will "start small", and grow as the game approaches launch.
Bethesda also clarified that "everyone who pre-orders at a participating retailer will be included in the B.E.T.A.", and while I do take umbrage at the use of their tortured "Break it Early Test Application" acronym (it's a single Greek letter, dammit!), it's good to hear that everyone will be able to get an early peek at the game. Still, the 'participating retailers' bit implies that the guarantee only applies to major stores listed on their official pre-order page, plus anywhere else mentioning B.E.T.A (ew) participation. You can find a little more info in the B.E.T.A. (blurg) FAQ here.
For those who would rather just sit and wait and let others wade through the landmine that is Fallout's first online multiplayer debut, at least we've got a lot to look forward to between now and October. The expansion-sized Northern Springs mod just recently rolled out for Fallout 4, and the similarly chilly Fallout: The Frontier is due out for New Vegas by the end of the year, alongside that other mega-mod Fallout: New California, which even has an October release date nailed down.
Plus, for those who really want to get in on the Fallout Online Experience, there's always this funny (and brutally cynical) New Vegas mod, filling your game-world with wandering overpowered gank-squads and simulated PvPers, all accompanied by authentically soul-destroying voice chatter. Personally, I'm just going to be waiting until the launch-day radioactive dust has settled, a few patches have rolled out, and I can find a nice group to join.