The Pressures of Business on Gaming; Thoughts from Bethesda

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Bethesda VP: “Half-Baked” Games Are Just Not an Option 

Every gaming veteran(veteran veteran) will have a grasp on how the industry has evolved. We’ve come a long way since cartridges, and farther since shelf prices started hitting $59.99. But from thereon, developers have noted a struggle. Many games, memorable titles and those that retain legendary status, take a long time to make. As a matter of fact, games are taking longer and longer to make. Unfortunately, business pressures have left many devs without the time they need to make their intended product. And Bethesda Vice President Pete Hines recently chimed in about the stigma.

Bethesda

“We do believe that, ultimately, if the game isn’t good and isn’t right, then this has all been for nothing,” Hines told Gamesradar. “If it’s not ready, if it’s not what it needs to be, then we don’t feel like we have any other choice. We don’t feel like it is an option or a choice to put out something that is half-baked or not all the way there.” His words are pretty much backed by Bethesda’s history. Part of what makes Bethesda itself come under scrutiny, is that they keep trying to top themselves. Objectively, one could argue for days that all their games are rich and contain endless hours of fun. However, since the developers reach for the pinnacle of what gaming can accomplish, every endeavor is time-consuming.

So much scrutiny currently surrounds the gaming industry. Most of it points to the sense of fulfillment provided by a game. These days players finish Triple A titles and automatically ask the question, “was that worth the price?” Every experience varies; gaming is subjective but also toxic. Players weigh money spent against their experience, and some analyses are more objective than others. But when fans come together and reach a consensus on a game’s lack of content, heads roll. And so studios are ultimately accused of releasing an unfinished game – a worst case scenario for many developers.

Fallout 4 Far Harbor Bethesda

Unlike Bethesda Softworks, many producers don’t have an unadulterated line to their devs. So when the pressure is on to deliver a game on time, studios don’t have the option to scrap as with Doom 4 or Prey 2. The recent Scalebound cancellation was a bit of an exception. In some instances, scrapping might be preferable if the damage to reputation outweighs development cost. But we’re unsure what happened in this latest instance.

As for what else Hines has in store, well, he confirmed what’s been mentioned above: “Honestly, my future plans are to do what we did last time, only better. It’s not like we have to go in some completely different direction, make pinball games or whatever. We make games; let’s make the next one better. Let’s figure our new and interesting ways to market it and connect with our fans.”

fallout4

Current development for Prey and Quake Champions is underway. As for Bethesda’s mega hit names like Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Bethesda refuses to make any statement. But most likely because they won’t shoot themselves in the foot by building early anticipation. Doom, Fallout 4 and Skyrim: Remastered are out now, however. So fans, especially those with mod access, have a lot of content to tie themselves over. For more on Bethesda, games, and the industry, remember to keep updated with COGconnected. Happy gaming.

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