This is my first reddit post, and this has been on my mind for a very long time so it’s going to be a very long post, first I need to say that I’m not an native English speaker, so please do pardon me for possible grammatical error or if part of my post feel disconnected or doesn’t make much sense.
Now I don’t know about you but It’s pretty sadden for me to see so many people throw Bethesda under the bus just because of one bad release, too many people seems to forgetting these are the people who bought us games like Oblivion, Fallout 3 ,Fallout New Vegas (yes this one too, they have their contribution too, don’t discredit it), Skyrim and Fallout 4, which to most people are great games, even some of the best we ever have, and lots of good thing they did people also seems to just forgot about it, it’s funny how similar the faction system in New Vegas and real life is, regardless of anything good you did before, as you soon as you did wrong once, the entire group of people will try to set you on fire, this is how I feel about our community now, but I don’t think it has to be this way.
Frankly I wasn’t sure if I actually want to write this but recently I starting to came across some very disgusting comments and behavior around the community, someone actually made comment about wishing physical harm toward Todd Howard and Pete Hine, I mean seriously, Todd Howard is in charge of developing the game, yet somehow some people think the customer’s information leak and the whole canvas bag debacle was his fault, EVEN if it is his decision it still doesn’t justified wanting to hurt the guy and Hine. Also there was a mod some guy made to crucify the two on Nexus, it has since been taken down, seems like there were lots of users report the file and don’t want that kind of toxic attitude in the modding community.
And there are people even made things up just to generate clickbait youtube video or negativity toward the community, like predatory lootboxes from datamine which isn’t even there yet and has been denounce by Pete Hine who said there will be no pay to win microtransaction, or some people said that Fallout 76 has severely cripple Bethesda financially, which is no way to know for sure since Zenimax being a private company and we can’t see their stock price, I know their reputation has been damage badly but I honestly don’t believe it made huge financial impact (but I do believe there might be financial problem before Fallout 76 was even announce, which I will address later), because I don’t see huge budget went into development of Fallout 76, at least not the budget of Skyrim or Fallout 4 since they recycle lots of stuff from Fallout 4, even more ridiculous some guy even said the data leak from Bethesda.net is because of “outdated code”, probably think their game engine are somehow connect to their web service, though I’m pretty sure Bethesda’s website is not power by Creation Engine. Oh and the Bethesda “leaker” also made a returns not too long ago (in case you forget there was another one self-call Bethesda leaker post a bunch of false rumor about Bethesda E3 plan in 2017), claiming Starfield is in development hell, Fallout 76 is killing the studio, Elder Scroll Blade is in trouble too, and blame most of the problem to CEO , it doesn’t take much to know this is mostly likely fake, not to mention these three game are handle by three different studios, Starfield is develop by Maryland, 76 is now in the hand of Texas’s studio, and Elder Scroll Blade is not even developing in the US, chance of someone can know much of the development progress of all three projects leak this kind of information are very unlikely,
, I personally like The Quartering’s video (well…I used to anyway), he has been pretty fair most of the time, although I have a little skepticism whether or not his source are legit (said he has source from Blizzard, Ubisoft and Bethesda), so far everything I heard from him are pretty believable, my point is there are no doubt the current situation is bad, but it got worse because some people intentionally making them which I think it should be call out for.
Thing is there was already a very loud and toxic group of people in the Fallout community before Fallout 76 happened, I’m refer to the more traditional RPG fan base who constantly loath at Bethesda for tone down the RPG element, by that I don’t mean everyone who want their game be more RPG like, but rather the people who will talk crap about their game or attack people who doesn’t share their view, which I believe everyone is very familiar with, some of them keep demanding that their next game should be more like Witcher 3 because it’s their prefer game, which I strongly disagree, these are two different type of games offer two different kind of experience and I don’t see why it should be replace just to cater to a fan base that constantly hate their game, I even saw people who keep telling what Bethesda game should be in the future then proceed to said how they hate Fallout 3/ Fallout 4 and Skyrim and some of them even don’t like New Vegas, which is pretty baffling, it’s like you keep going to a restaurant that that you never like and keep demand they make the food you want, In the recent event of Fallout 76 disaster these people been weaponized this to attack Bethesda’s fan base, there were lots of Fallout 76 players express their feeling of some people keep trying to make them feel bad for liking Fallout 76.
Let me clear this one out first, Fallout New Vegas was not only my favorite Fallout game, it was also my favorite game of ALL TIME, but it’s really hard for me to get in touch with other people who also like that game, they keep comparing Bethesda’s game to Black Isle/Obsidian and bash BGS non stop. Listen, I get it, New Vegas was a god send, it’s not only a RPG game with the best story writing in the entire game history, it’s one of few game that I can say that “This game teach me to be a better person.” Lots of people complaint about Bethesda couldn’t make that kind of story writing, but honestly just how many other people can write story that good? If I use New Vegas writing standard to judge every games, 99.99% won’t pass and I will probably hate video game, to me Fallout 4 story isn’t bad at all and is my second favorite Fallout game, so please cut Emil Pagliarulo a break, I’m sure the guy tried his best, but I digress. I’m sure most of us would love to see Obsidian make another Fallout game but I’m also tired of people keep yelling “Give Fallout back to Obsidian!” I know folks mostly say this out of wishful thinking or joke, at first it’s pretty great to see the people acknowledge Obsidian’s achievement but too many of them discredit Bethesda’s contribution for New Vegas, it was made with their engine and their asset, not to mention give the franchise back to it’s former development team is a very rare case in the industry, even after Microsoft bought Obsidian some people still yell “Obsidian should buy Fallout!”, like how is that going to work? I don’t see that ever happening, if you say “Microsoft should buy Zenimax.” That would make more much sense, or better something that is more forward thinking and likely, like ask Bethesda to get Chris Avellone back for Fallout 5, they already hire him to wrote Prey before, so how about we talk about that instead? It’s probably not going to be the New Vegas 2 we want, but getting a part of old Fallout vibe back is better than none.
Okay so I’m a big Bethesda’s fan ,but I’m not one without any problem with them either, I actually has foreseen that Bethesda will run into a major disaster, they been pushing our button and making a series of small mistakes that lead them to a great fall that is Fallout 76, now I will also recount the thing they probably did wrong before just so we can see exactly what’s the problem here, from where I see it most of the problem came from Bethesda Softworks, the management and business part of Bethesda, probably also Zeniemax, and not Bethesda Game Studio which unlikely involved the thing I’m talk about, so please at least channel your frustration at the right people.
First was the Fallout 4’s DLC price rising, according to them, they rise the $30 season pass to $60 because they were planning to add even more content, whether or not it’s true we wouldn’t know, fortunately people who pre-order season pass don’t have to pay extra $30, and they announced it one week before they raise it. But this isn’t the real problem, the problem for me and many of people was how Pete Hine respond this. “if you don’t think what we have announced, which costs more than $30 individually, is worth $30 then I guess don’t buy it, I guess.” Now I’m not a salesman, but I’m sure “don’t buy it” is not the term you should use when you in charge of selling something.
Then there was the Creation Club, to be fair I really don’t think Creation Club is a bad idea, lots of mod author couldn’t get reward for their hard working, although many people just said they can get donation from pateron, people mostly don’t donate money to mod author, I remember the author of Forgotten City (a Skyrim mod that manage to won a writer award recently) said that his mod barely get any money, plus there are mods that most modders can’t make, well voiced quest mod for example, I played a lots, A LOTS of quest mod range from Fallout 3, New Vegas, Skyrim to Fallout 4, many of them are either broken, no or poor voice acting, or just completely throw the lore out of window, when someone said modders handle the lore better than Bethesda, I just laugh, I don’t hate these mods though, it’s a creative platform, as long as people having fun making them, I don’t have any problem with it, well I digress again, anyway this was what people been asking for Bethesda to make, some mods that is very rare from the modding community, while there were some of these great content, we still mostly get paint job, armor and weapon mods from Creation Club which are already overflow on Nexus, not to mention the something they sale are stupidly overpriced, and those pipboy and power armor skin are just unnecessary. Also they said they were looking for a way to stop the update break the Script Extender, which was a promise they never deliver, and kind of stagger the modding community a bit, because of the script extender constantly broken, I been keep trying to avoid any mod that requires it.
Now for the Bethesda's so call anti-consumer review policy, this I personally doesn’t have any problem with it, but for some people it does, so I think it’s worth point it out, back in 2016 Bethesda decide to stop sending early review copy to game reviewers, lots of reviewers call it anti-consumer because now the people who pre-order the game can’t know if the game they pre-order are good or bad, but from what we know now this policy has since been ditch by Bethesda.
Most people have positive feeling when they made that #SavePlayer1 video as it seems like they were dissing EA for their statement of people don’t want single player game anymore, maybe it was just me but I really don’t like how the video portray of their fan, it seems to me Bethesda marketing team think we are just bunch of pity incels, and people praise them for that…then they announce Fallout 76 will be online only multiplayer game, which basically throw the entire narrative of #SavePlayer1 out of window.
<Random thought, don't read if you're not interest>
This is where I address the possibility of Bethesda financial problem before Fallout 76, I knew Bethesda’s other game titles didn’t made much of big success with the exception of DOOM, but I never thought those were big deal that will have any critical impact on them, until recently I watched a
that brought this up again which make me rethink about it.
Despite Bethesda’s dedication to single player games, and game like Dishonored 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Prey , The Evil Within 2 are all receive pretty well review from media and players, they didn’t make much commercial success, yet they still present this “We love single player” narrative, which make the “sweet little lies” meme feel far more irony to me, it’s not from Todd Howard, but from Bethesda, because turn out EA wasn’t entirely wrong, it’s not that people don’t want single player game anymore, it’s that it’s harder to make a single player game that sells well, good multiplayer game just seems far more valuable on the market than a good single player game, sure you might bring up how good Sony’s God of War and Spider-man been selling, but keep in mind these two are from two very senior game studios and one base on iconic comic book that has huge fanbase and the other one is Playstation’s biggest franchise, not many game can compete with that.
And enter Quake Champion and Elder Scroll Online’s Red Shell Spyware Controversy, for those who don’t know apparently Red Shell is some kind of hidden software in the game that collect user data to determine the effectiveness of advertising, which most players are probably not aware of it, after someone found out many game company immediately started removing it from their game, Bethesda claim they only used it to gathers anonymous data, some people think it’s harmless while other think it’s just right away illegal, regardless of what you feel about it I think we can all agree this is anything but positive for Bethesda’s reputation, and I’m sure hell not going to use their launcher.
Finally we have Fallout 76 controversially, everyone knows about it so I won’t talk about it except one particularly problem that I have with Bethesda for a while now, and this might be pretty subjective so ignore me if you disagree or just don’t care, the merchandise department of Bethesda, you all know about the canvas bag debacle, then there is the Nuka Dark Rum controversy, whoever is in charge of selling their merchandise really need to step up to their game, I always feel like they didn’t take the full advantage of their franchise when it comes to merchandising (or took it the wrong way), after the success of Fallout 4 Bethesda finally start selling their franchise relate merchandise, some of them are pretty great, but most of them range from meh to just bad, for example here's a video of
, when I saw it I was like “Who actually thought that was a good idea?”, there’s hardly any original artwork on the card just some artwork from the Fallout 4 ingame, and
, when I saw it I thought it was some kind of Chinese made knock off, though Bethesda’s logo is on it and the Nuka T-51 one has wrote only at GameStop on it’s box, I still not certain if it is official or not. They also sell some very well made 1/6 figure for Doom Slayer and Fallout, but my god that price tag is ridiculous, why can’t they just make some better stuff that is more affordable for average consumer like they did it with their
? Bethesda can actually make very good merchandise, many people recently complaint about how bad their Nuka Dark Rum is, while good stuff they made like the
been overlook, they could made some stuff like a new Legacy Collection figures series, two Elder Scroll figures and two Fallout Figures like the last time, Serana and Miraak would be nice, for Fallout show some love for New Vegas like NCR Veteran Ranger and X-01, New Vegas is their game too, and how about a real Piper’s press cap? It’s a perfect collectable and gift for your girlfriend or wife, I could go on about it forever there are just so many way to sell these kind of stuff.
I know it sounds like just me ranting about some not important merchandise, but that’s my point, I think not only they’re not good at selling their games, it seems like they are not good at sell anything else either, like
, maybe it's just me but that representation feel a little to cringy for me.
Okay this part could be controversial, the “NO MORE NAZI” advertisement for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which has “Punching Nazi” and “Make America Nazi Free Again” that kind of slogan imply lots of similarity to current political climate, now I don’t care which political spectrum you’re from, I’m for one like many other prefer company keep politic out of our games, not to mention that the slogan used in this advertisement remind us of Antifa, which lots of people consider them terrorist, included Homeland Security, to be fair, Pete Hine state it very clear this has nothing to do in real world politic, it’s just a game to fight Nazi, and I believe him, but I think we can mostly agree this is clearly not a good marketing plan to sell your game, as we all know by now how Wolfenstein 2 flop. I don’t count this as Bethesda’s wrong doing because Doom Eternal did something similar with their “Demon can be an offensive term” joke that is on the other side of political spectrum which kinda cancel this one out, but that one seems less likely from Bethesda’s marketing team and more likely from ID software developers, just my speculation though.
Now we get all these negatively out of the way, let’s rewind lots of the good stuff Bethesda did, personally I think you can forget about all the stuff I post before and just remember this part, because in the end of day I think these are the thing we want to remember about Bethesda, some of them might sounds like something they are obligate to do, but I think we can still appreciate the good will they show.
1.They honor their fan who pass away in multiple games, show how much they do care about their fans, Erik the Slayer (Erik West) in Skyrim,
, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t tarnish these memory in anyway..
2.They give away original Fallout 1 for free on Steam as a gift of 20 years anniversary of Fallout
3.They also make Skyrim Special Edition free for everyone who own the Legendary Edition on Steam.
4.During the launch of Bethesda.Net, there are a few people upload mod on Nexus to Bethesda.Net without the original author’s permission, it cause lots of community outrage and Bethesda quickly respond with forcing all account that wanted to upload mod on Bethesda.Net require link to Steam account and have a copy of Fallout 4.
5.They made DOOM’s season pass free for all players in DOOM’s 6.66 update.
6.Not long ago the modding team of New California were went panic because one of Bethesda upcoming table game also happens to name New California too, afraid of they might receive cease and desist, fortunately Peter Hine respond that they will not take any action against the modding team.
7.Skyrim help made one of Guinness World Records of oldest videogames YouTuber, Shirley Curry is a 82 years old Elder Scroll fan, I don't know about you, but the fact I see even old people can enjoy Bethesda's game is something I feel truly amazing about their game.
8.They never attack their fans and mostly keep politic out of their games, I know this probably sounds very low standard, but we lost too many fandom along the way in recent years, we lost Marvel and DC comics, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Battlefield, Halo and so on, some of company though still make great stuff will also insist on pushing far left ideology and will attack their fan if they disagree, Naughty Dog for example. So far we haven’t see anything like this happen to Fallout or Elder Scroll, and I really hope we can keep it that way, I believe Bethesda is actually aware of this, this goes without saying I’m not 100% sure, I notice neither does ZeniMax nor Bethesda has any major studio or operation in California, from where I can see it is where most of people want politic in video game came from (beside Canada and Sweden), Bethesda seems to favor Texas over any other place for their game development which is something I personally endorse (Bethesda Dallas, Bethesda Austin and ID Software are all in Texas), since California clearly need an opponent if we want our future video games be political free, and Texas looks like our best shot.
Another reason I bring this up is because Fallout 76’s trouble also show how big a franchise Fallout is, lots of Youtube channel usually doesn’t cover much of Fallout or even video game in general start talk about Fallout 76 as well, since clearly it’s a trending topic and it generate view, this made me realize how little different it is between Youtube media and main stream media, some of Youtube channel I watched daily was The Quartering and YongYea, I stop watching their videos after their cover of Nuka Dark Rum, because that news were already cover by other channel before (I remember Juicehead talk about it way before any other channel), this feel like kicking Bethesda while they were down and it just feel unnecessary, most people inside of the Fallout community already knew this, I still like their content and personally I don’t think generate view at the expand of our community morale is a big deal, if Fallout 76 gets better and the next Bethesda game is great it will goes right back up, but the fact that people are more willingly make negative video about Nuka Dark Rum rather than celebrate things like the launch of mod Fallout New California which took 6 years of hard working is pretty depressing, Bethesda games is some of few last good stuff I have left, and I don’t think anyone of us want to lost it, it’s especially hard seeing some people start treating Bethesda as SJW company like EA while they never do the things they did.
Lastly, I want to conclude this post with some addressing of accusation toward Bethesda.
No Bethesda is not “lazy”.
They might have pretty poor management that get in their way when developing their game, having a rather small team of under 200 people (if we count Maryland only, since Texas studios were only recently enlisted after Fallout 4) with deadline so they couldn’t fix everything, but just check how many tiny details they have in their games, TheEpicNate315 made tons of videos about it for Skyrim and Fallout 4, just look at how much effort went into it, before anyone say it no I’m not defend Fallout 76, it shouldn’t have launch the way it is, but that’s no laziness, it’s the decision of the publisher, the developers are probably fully aware of the game’s problem, and they would have it fix if the management let them, for those that don’t know, triple A open world game usually develop by several hundred people, CDPR has around 650 during development of Witcher 3, game like GTA V were being made by more then 1000 developers, Ubisoft Montreal has around 3500 employees, if we only count half of them as developers, that is still 9 time bigger than Bethesda, it just prove how understaffed Bethesda was, good thing Bethesda will have their Texas branch help in the future of their game.
And no Bethesda don’t need a new engine (Though it’d be nice to have one)
This has been debunked many time already, people really need to stop complaint about this, especially when people don’t even bother to know how engine works.
Here's a few good information regard to this topic
Bethesda Doesn't Need a New Engine – Escapist Magazine
The Controversy Over Bethesda's 'Game Engine' Is Misguided (Before anyone say it, i don't like Kotaku either, but that doesn't meant they are always wrong, this article is mostly pretty spot on)
Bethesda’s engine is really one of it’s own kind, there are other use Gamebryo before but no one can duplicated what Bethesda has made, if Activision or EA, Ubisoft or anyone else can they would have already done it and Bethesda will have a real competitor with their game, it’s ability to be mod is something no other engine can be do, it’s not like Bethesda can just switch to ID tech engine can everything will just work magically, fundamentally there is no good or bad engine, different engine are good at doing different thing, switch engine can cause lots of problem, like what happened to Mass Effect Andromeda when they were using Frostbite, and just about every game engines is build upon the older one, like Unreal and IW engine (used from Call of Duty 2 to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and was modified version of id Tech 3).
Now I’m not saying their engine don’t have problem, but as time goes on it become more stable as each release, Fallout 4 is objectively their most stable game, it still having some old problem and it can be iron out as time goes on just like how every other engine works, just don’t expecting them to have cutting edge graphic like GTA or DOOM, I don’t recall graphic was ever a selling point in BGS’s game, and having that kind of graphic will probably cause problem with modding, as most of their game are design for us to push beyond it’s limit, beside if the management don’t even give them time to polish the current Creation Engine, what make you think they will give them time and fund to make a new one, even if they made a new one it is quite possible they will rush it out and being even more broken than Creation Engine, and every time someone complaint about the engine is less likely Bethesda will get the message to fix what the community really want from them, better story and more RPG element, I think
And please people, JUST LET PEOPLE ENJOY THEIR GAME, I didn’t buy Fallout 76 either, but I know there are lots of people actually enjoy that game, and no one like people talk crap about the thing they like, it’s fine if you don’t like the game, but it’s not a good reason to insult other people.
© Post "Remember the good Bethesda did, recount their missteps and address the negativity in the Fallout Community." for game Fallout.
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