In videogames, it is not unusual for developers to create a locked or hidden area of the game in which the visual assets of the game can be spawned and rendered before being moved from the hidden area to the public area of the game. The most public instance of this was in a version of Grand Theft Auto which featured the visual aspects sitting in the clouds. The most recent public example of this is in already controversial Fallout 76, which contains a hidden "developer room" with every available asset in the game, including some that have not been released into the game yet. It also features an NPC named Wooby.
The room was discovered about a week ago, and since the discovery has become the focus of a lot of interest. Some of the interest has simply been curiosity, with people trying to figure out how to get into this hidden room. Some, on the other hand, have had a more nefarious intent: to bring items into the economy that technically do not exist yet. A move like this can damage the in-game economy, so Bethesda has clearly been forced to respond to the situation.
After issuing a temporary ban on players who access the "developer room," Bethesda has contacted users with an email asking,
please describe the way (the developer room) was accessed in a reply to this email. This detail should provide the information necessary for us to correct any corruption issues on this side and safely release this account and return these characters back into the world.
While it may sound as if there are innocuous ways of accessing the room, Bethesda has claimed that only through third-party hacking tools. As part of their research into how to prevent access, Bethesda said,
in an effort to ensure the integrity of these characters and accounts, these accounts are being temporarily disabled pending further investigation. Players that have accessed these areas and have had their accounts impacted are encouraged to contact our support team.
The Dev room access glitch follows another economy-damaging glitch which allowed players to duplicate an arbitrary item into an infinite number of copies. These issues have added to a growing list of reasons players are displeased with the game since it debuted in November.