Fallout

It’s okay to be upset at Bethesda for promising one thing and delivering another with their B.E.T.A hours. But let’s get one thing clear.

fallout 3 - It's okay to be upset at Bethesda for promising one thing and delivering another with their B.E.T.A hours. But let's get one thing clear.
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This B.E.T.A debacle is entirely the fault of Bethesda, the publisher, not Bethesda Game Studios, the developer.

Now, it's totally valid for BGS to run a beta the way they have been. Short windows of availability with downtime between them for developers to fix bugs is a very efficient way of patching a game. But the B.E.T.A. was not marketed as a "2-4 hour stress test available 3 days of the week". It was marketed using phrases like "Pre-order to play the BETA now!" and "Xbox users get one week of early access!" in order to drive pre-orders, especially on Xbox. The marketing team did not communicate what the BETA would actually be like, and the PR team did a shit job of managing player expectations. Bethesda Game Studios was not responsible for PR and marketing. Bethesda the publisher was.

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This is a trend prevalent throughout the games industry, and although Bethesda is not the worst culprit, they're pretty bad. BGS will go and pour their hearts and souls into making the game they want to make, and the Bethesa will go and do their scummy publisher thing, like restricting review copies for Doom, or making Creation Club, or taking the game off Steam so they don't have to pay the 30% Valve tax. It works, obviously, and the game sells better because of it. But let's make sure that when Bethesda pulls a scummy move, that we're getting mad at the right people.

edit: It's probably wrong to say that taking the game off Steam or making Creation Club are inherently scummy. So let me retract that. But I think they're party of a trend of anti-consumer behavior that we've seen from Bethesda over the years. Do you remember the "paid mods" backlash or the "horse armor DLC" backlash? They haven't stopped doing these things. Their motivation hasn't changed. They've just gotten better at it.

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