This post assumes this rumor is true, because that’s a lot more fun than waiting for boring stuff like ‘the facts’.
Assuming truth, this is a bad, bad look for Bethesda and the Fallout franchise. Consider that Bethesda has been selling various versions of Skyrim for years now (with success, otherwise they wouldn’t keep re-releasing it), and that Fallout 4 was a big hit with plenty of DLC, F76 already throwing in the towel is a steep decline. The ‘Fallout’ name alone should have carried it for a while, but I think most of that went into boosting pre-sale numbers. With that done, this move strongly suggests box sales are way down, and Bethesda sees more value now in getting people to try the game for free and hopefully spending a few bucks in the cash store. As always, no successful title goes F2P in the middle of said success; its always a move you make when things are going poorly.
Even as a free title I’m still not sure I’d bother with the game, primarily because its not on Steam. (Though I do already have the Bethesda launcher due to Elder Scrolls Legends, so maybe?)