I don't think anyone expected it to get anywhere close to a mainline Fallout game. It was a risk to try something new with the IP and I don't have a problem with that. More developers need to do that, actually. It's the reason we have games like World of Warcraft.
That being said, this might be a game without an audience. I think a lot of Fallout fans lean more toward single-player games with a lot of immersive elements. Many of the Fallout 4 forums online have a lot more older people and females than you see with a lot of other franchises.
I'm kind of halfway thinking that Bethesda is going to steer F76 more in that direction if it looks like the game isn't catching on. As more of a "service" offering, it might slowly transform into something more than it is now. I'm not interested at the moment but I am going to keep my eye on it and see if it undergoes any changes that might make me reconsider.
I'm not sure I agree with that. People said the same thing when Elder Scrolls Online released, and it ended up being a success for Bethesda, with over 10m total players and 2.5m monthly active players back in June 2017. I feel like Bethesda's Fallout and Elder Scrolls audience is mostly the same people, there are some that only like one or the other, but most, like me, like both.
I have a feeling that Bethesda will listen to the complaints and add in NPC's and proper questlines over time. The nature of online games is that they constantly change and improve, ESO improved alot after release, when it first released it only had about a 65 meta on PC as I recall, by the time it was ported to consoles it was up to about 75 on metacritic, and now is at 80 meta on PC.
The problem is its price. For 20-30 the game will do and would’ve done much better. They’ll drop the price soon anyway.