Speculation on Bethesda's new game


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Two people does not a pile on make.

That said, they aren't wrong about Bethesda, just maybe exaggerating a bit (which will happen when talking about video games).

Silver Crusade

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I’ve also been rampaging through Fallout 76 for the past few months, so obviously my taste is questionable.

(That’s tongue in cheek - but seriously if you haven’t checked it out this year, there’s been a ton of changes and I’m having a blast. And if you play on PS4, hit me up with a PM.)


What's the difference between Fallout 76 (which you see in stores) and Fallout 76 Wastelanders (which I see in the PlayStation Store).

I assume they are the same except Wastelanders is the update so it doesn't suck.


Fallout 76 is the base "game" while Wastelanders is the DLC.


Having said that, I have never played Fallout 76.

Silver Crusade

Yes, Wastelanders is kind of a DLC. I say “kind of” because the gameplay is the same regardless of which one you buy.

Since FO76 is online, you automatically have all of the expansion gameplay content available to you. Certain editions that you buy might come with added cosmetic perks. Nothing that you actually need. (Additional nonessential perks are monetized behind “Fallout 1st” - not required to play.)

As I recall, Captain Yesterday, you are a PS4 gamer. You will need an active PlayStation Plus subscription to play online games. If you already have this because of other games you play, then you are all set. But it’s worth mentioning to avoid any rude surprises. That is Sony’s requirement for online gaming, not Bethesda’s. Xbox has a similar requirement.

Wastelanders came out in the Spring and was a huge overhaul of the game content. They populated the game with human (and non-feral ghoul) NPCs for the first time and added a new main quest line (alongside the original) and lots of other quests. You will have all of those quests no matter what edition you buy.

It is not an MMO. Most people play solo most of the time. I check out other people’s stores in game in case they are selling cool stuff for caps, and then there are events that occur regularly - essentially public quests where several people show up to achieve a goal, like defend a building against hordes of invading super mutants, take down some massive enemy, or defend mining robots against mutated miners who are still disgruntled that the robots took their jobs.

Everybody shows up, blasts some creatures to hell, and then goes their separate ways. Almost nobody uses a mic or headset. I like the dynamic more than I thought I would.

They recently added a public teams feature - because nobody was actually teaming up before - where you can join a team for some mechanical bonuses, and they are easy to find and manage. It’s optional, but has some benefits.

Given your love of rampaging through post apocalyptic hellscapes, it seems like it would be up your alley. Story is probably not as compelling as FO4, but some of that is unavoidable since the game is intended to be open-ended and played indefinitely. If you do check it out (and are on PS4), let me know.


Yes I have both PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now.

Silver Crusade

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If you check it out, PM me. I can give you my PS name so that I can find you in-game.


Regarding being "unplayable," A couple years ago I re-installed Oblivion to relive some good times and while ES:IV has always been my favorite in terms of setting and environment, I was having a hard time enjoying it after getting used to Skyrim's game mechanics, which I prefer. I can imagine that after being used to a heavily modded Skyrim experience, it would be hard to go back to the vanilla game. But if all you've ever played is vanilla Skyrim, I can't figure how you would see it as "unplayable."

And didn't Bethesda release some ES6 footage back in... *Googles*... 2018? Whatever happened to that?

More Googles...

Oh.

First they're working on Starfield, which nobody knows anything about and isn't coming in the immediate future, and then ES6. And I just watched this clip from IGN where a Bethesda VP is saying that it is "years away."

If I were Steve Bethesda, I probably would have pushed for another major TES title well before a decade had passed since the previous one.

At any rate, I have to imagine that any studio that released a game near the beginning of the COVID 19 lockdown has been making bank. And those that aren't are kicking themselves.

Silver Crusade

Bethesda could surprise us with a 2021 Starfield release, but we know a lot of game design has slowed due to all the designers working from home (or so the companies tell us).

Assuming at least 2-3 years between major releases, that puts TES 6 out to 2023 at the earliest - probably later.

*sigh*


For Semi-unplayable, I don't think that anything can really beat an unpatched copy of Daggerfall (not a big problem any more). I think I put in about 30 hours on my first character before I decided to start on the main quest line, only to find out that the first dungeon hadn't generated.


FALLOUT 76 is certainly playable as a SP game, but only with difficulty. Myself and a few friends chipped in for a private server, and are rarely gaming at the same time, so effectively we're playing completely solo. That's quite good fun and is comparable to, say, FO4 in most respects but there are a few problems.

Even though you're the only person on the server, the game still operates as an online title, so you can't pause it. Ever. VATS is in realtime and pretty much just guarantees a hit rather than doing anything else, so most gunplay is done in real-time (which fortunately they did improve enough so it's viable). Ammo and caps are also mind-bogglingly rare compared to any of the SP Fallout games. Like you'll go through an entire factory, which in FALLOUT 4 would give you tons of junk, ammo and caps, and come out the other side with maybe 10-15 caps if you're lucky, and perhaps 10 rounds of ammo, probably for a weapon you're not using. I was forewarned of that and specced for melee, which is probably the sole reason I was able to get 40 hours out of the game without throwing my monitor through the window.

If you're much more willing to do the daily online challenges, which is where you get a lot more caps from, and visit player-owned shops (which is where most of the ammo comes from), you'll find those less of a problem, but for those looking to really solo, it's an issue.

An alternate solution is to set up the ammo factory in the north of the map and churn out tons of ammo from there, but you have to set up the factory again every time you start playing (camps and factories, the game's equivalent of settlements, do not persist between games, you have to set them up every playthrough), which is kind of tedious.

Once you overcome all of those problems, you can certainly have fun. There's a reasonable amount of SP questlines and content at the moment - nowhere near as much as FO3, NV and FO4, obviously, but not too bad, and way more than on release - and the world is easily the best Bethesda have ever created. Genuinely attractive graphically, and the size of the map is a revelation after the stiflingly small maps of SKYRIM and FALLOUT 4 (it's at least four times the size, I believe, from a rough eyeballing of it). There's also some nice lore tie-ins, like the Super Mutants basically having just woken up from their Capital Wasteland site of origin and migrated naturally into West Virginia. There's also some nice side-quests, like finding an astronaut who was on a space station when the war started and has finally returned to Earth and needs your help.

All-in-all, it's a solid game, but it puts some significant barriers in front of anyone who just wants a SP FALLOUT experience. I must admit I did find the barriers accumulated enough so that after those early problems I started replaying FALLOUT 4 instead.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Wow, I don't think I could play on a map much larger than Fallout 4 or Skyrim. They seem massive to me.


Whatever it will be, there will be nude mods that MxR reviews.

"Immersive!"


Good point, actually, Should we be talking more about STARFIELD, as that's Bethesda's actual next game?

DeathQuaker wrote:
Wow, I don't think I could play on a map much larger than Fallout 4 or Skyrim. They seem massive to me.

They're very dense with stuff going on, but they're really not huge, compared even to something like GTA5 or certainly JUST CAUSE 2 (which is literally untraversable without a vehicle, you'd take days to get anywhere). You can walk from one side of the FO4 map to the other in ~10 minutes, SKYRIM in maybe 15 (the maps are the same size, but FO4 loses a lot more with the coastline). FO76's map does space things out a little more so there are actual semi-desert plains that feel relatively substantial, and extensive hill chains in the Appalachians that make the short mountain ranges of SKYRIM look silly.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Like I said, I don't think personally I could handle a game map much larger than that... I expect I would lose interest or get frustrated with getting lost (as an aside, constantly getting lost and being frustrated with that is why I never finished Morrowind). Which just speaks to my playstyle more than anything else. But having replayed Fallout 4 several times and still finding new things on my replays, I don't personally see the value in something much bigger... seems to me something else would get lost (even if it's just me). (I have not played GTA5 -- that sort of thing definitely not my cup of tea -- or Just Cause 2, which I know little about.)

As an aside, you can always wander into the water in Fallout 4 and explore what's there as well--the area to traverse doesn't stop at the coastline. There are things to discover there as well.

Silver Crusade

Yes, I’ve heard people time a walk across FO76, and it can take 30-40 minutes (compared to 10-15 for FO4 or Skyrim, as Werthead said). I haven’t tried because that’s a lot of walking.

It’s a lot, but - as an online game that Bethesda would like you to play for a long time - they had to give a large sandbox. Fast travel costs caps, with some exceptions (you can always FT to your camp or to the door of Vault 76 for free, or travel free to certain public events or to the location of any team member).

Caps were tight at low levels, so I avoided fast travel. Now that I’m higher level, I get tons of caps by selling excess stuff to other players, and I have more than I know what to do with. So I generally fast travel without worrying about the cost.

(For those curious about the mechanism of selling to other players - I have a “vending machine” at my base that other players can see, and I can set my own prices when I stock it. I don’t actually have to interact with the players who buy my stuff. I really like the vending part of the game.)


Large maps also fall into the trap of 'Whole lotta nothing'. Sure it looks pretty but as time wears on, I find myself poking around less and less since burnout can set in. Bonus stuff for OCD types like clearing bandit camps can help somewhat.


I can see Fallout 76 isn't the game for a casual gamer like me.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Celestial Healer wrote:

Yes, I’ve heard people time a walk across FO76, and it can take 30-40 minutes (compared to 10-15 for FO4 or Skyrim, as Werthead said). I haven’t tried because that’s a lot of walking.

It’s a lot, but - as an online game that Bethesda would like you to play for a long time - they had to give a large sandbox.

That makes sense.

Quote:
Fast travel costs caps, with some exceptions (you can always FT to your camp or to the door of Vault 76 for free, or travel free to certain public events or to the location of any team member).

Yikes.


Phillip Gastone wrote:
Large maps also fall into the trap of 'Whole lotta nothing'. Sure it looks pretty but as time wears on, I find myself poking around less and less since burnout can set in. Bonus stuff for OCD types like clearing bandit camps can help somewhat.

That is a problem on the really big games with open world maps: Just Cause 2 used procedural generation to fill in large chunks of the map so it's very samey. Just Cause 3 and 4 made the map smaller but better-designed (JC2 went so super-huge because they wanted players to fly F-16s at something approaching realistic speeds across the map without it taking 3 seconds; in the later games they just gimped the aircraft speeds to make it less crazy, like San Andreas did).

I find Fallout 4's map is too dense with stuff, you're almost tripping over points of interest every three feet which starts getting very unrealistic (especially outside of central Boston), although it's sometimes amusing, like when you can set up a wall of death turrets at a settlement and equip all the settlers with high-end plasma weapons and then aggro a raider camp which is pretty much right next door and the raiders came storming in to an instantaneous sticky end. Fallout 3 and New Vegas had similarly-sized maps but less POIs on it, which made things a bit more realistic for a post-apocalyptic game.

Quote:
I can see Fallout 76 isn't the game for a casual gamer like me.

I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means and despise big online games, and found Fallout 76 quite enjoyable. For a single-player experience, it can't hold a candle to New Vegas/Fallout 4 of course, but you'll get a good 40-50 hours of entertainment out of it at the moment, which is only small compared to Bethesda's previous games. At least with 76, we'll know it's going to keep being supported for years to come with new stuff added way past the point that Bethesda usually give up with their games.

Some potentially exciting news that there's a mod in development which has successfully ported the Fallout 76 worldspace into the Fallout 4 engine, and they're working on adding the locations and creatures in. At the moment your access it using the VR simulator at the Memory Den to simulate life in West Virginia just after the bombs fell, but I believe the ultimate ambition is to have a story where you physically travel from Boston to West Virginia in 2287 and see what state the region is in at that time, with all-new SP quests. That's potentially extremely interesting.


So, the PlayStation Store put Fallout 76 on sale as part of their days of summer sale, so I got that.

I've gotten more video games this summer then ever before.

It's been a weird summer.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Personally I found New Vegas and Fallout 4 very similar in terms of running into stuff--and generally if you walked around you ran into a lot of stuff. The only difference is in Fallout 4 there are no cazadores that make you piss your pants and decide you'll just leave that section of the map alone for now. The one poorly implemented part of Fallout 4 is that respawn rates are too high, because Bethesda thinks you want to kill s@## all the time, so you are almost always running into something that attacks you. With Automatron, the robot spawn rates are particularly annoying. So it's not so much that there are more places to explore is that you get attacked more often (but by less deadly things). And of course both have lots of stuff to explore for a good in-universe reason: neither region was heavily devastated by the bombs, unlike the multi-bombed Capital Wasteland (but the tradeoff there was I got bored wandering around there). 200 years later there is going to be lots of stuff to see. The newer Fallout games, 76 excluded I guess?, are really post-post apocalyptic and I am okay with that.

Werthead wrote:
Some potentially exciting news that there's a mod in development which has successfully ported the Fallout 76 worldspace into the Fallout 4 engine, and they're working on adding the locations and creatures in. At the moment your access it using the VR simulator at the Memory Den to simulate life in West Virginia just after the bombs fell, but I believe the ultimate ambition is to have a story where you physically travel from Boston to West Virginia in 2287 and see what state the region is in at that time, with all-new SP quests. That's potentially extremely interesting.

That sounds super cool.

Grumpy Cynicism:
I hope Bethesda doesn't quash it as they sometimes have with other Fallout-in-another-Fallout-engine projects. Or just fall into development hell as with Skywind and Skyblivion or whatever it is they're called, where the designers would rather spend all their time making custom designs for each and every carrot and cabbage that appears in the game than just get the big stuff done and use the in-engine assets whenever they can like sane people.

I will try to be optimistic that they can complete it.

Silver Crusade

captain yesterday wrote:

So, the PlayStation Store put Fallout 76 on sale as part of their days of summer sale, so I got that.

I've gotten more video games this summer then ever before.

It's been a weird summer.

If you are checking it out, feel free to PM me your PSN info. Happy to help out.

Silver Crusade

Speaking of Fallout, is everyone as excited about the TV series announcement as I am?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Celestial Healer wrote:
Speaking of Fallout, is everyone as excited about the TV series announcement as I am?

There's a thread for it https://paizo.com/threads/rzs4335l?Amazon-developing-Fallout-TV-show over in the television forum. :) (Which I just posted to because I followed your link and then found a teaser trailer.) Short answer: it depends, but I hope it's good.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Personally I found New Vegas and Fallout 4 very similar in terms of running into stuff--and generally if you walked around you ran into a lot of stuff. The only difference is in Fallout 4 there are no cazadores that make you piss your pants and decide you'll just leave that section of the map alone for now. The one poorly implemented part of Fallout 4 is that respawn rates are too high, because Bethesda thinks you want to kill s!&# all the time, so you are almost always running into something that attacks you. With Automatron, the robot spawn rates are particularly annoying. So it's not so much that there are more places to explore is that you get attacked more often (but by less deadly things). And of course both have lots of stuff to explore for a good in-universe reason: neither region was heavily devastated by the bombs, unlike the multi-bombed Capital Wasteland (but the tradeoff there was I got bored wandering around there). 200 years later there is going to be lots of stuff to see. The newer Fallout games, 76 excluded I guess?, are really post-post apocalyptic and I am okay with that.

According to the FO wiki Fallout 4 has 266 named locations to New Vegas's 192 named locations, so it does appear that FO4 has a ton more locations and stuff to explore than NV (the 37 settlements for starters, which obviously NV doesn't have at all). I thought that would be the case because NV's map includes the Mojave Desert, not noted for having a lot of stuff in it, unlike FO4's fairly dense city and suburbs.

The spawn rates in FO4 are quite bananas. I remember in FO3 and NV it took a good while (many ingame hours) for locations to reset and respawn, but in FO4 it takes maybe 2 ingame days. I suspect players needing so much junk for settlement building made them require a faster respawn rate.

It's not too bad (unlike, say, FAR CRY 2's insta-respawning checkpoints which were a major pain) but it is noticeably much faster than the prior games in the series.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

New Vegas's map is much smaller--it is smaller than Fallout 3's, and [url=https://gearnuke.com/fallout-4-world-map-compared-fallout-3-takes-11-minutes-traverse-game/]this article shows a comparison that Fallout 4's is a good bit bigger--so of course they are going to have more number of locations. I interpreted your talking about "points of interest" as how long it takes to walk from one interesting thing (marked or unmarked on the map) to another. My experience of the game is that in both games, I didn't take long to walk from one interesting thing to another, and botu in much less time than I would find an Interesting Place, marked or unmarked, in Fallout 3. Not trying to be a pain in the ass about this, in spite of possible appearances. Just noting my experience of both games, both of which I have replayed extensively. I should note I am massively an explorer style player so I tend to seek out every nook and cranny of interest, marked and unmarked, so this may affect my memory/experience of a game world compared to someone else.

I've read interviews where Bethesda basically thought all players wanted to do in Fallout was walk around a Wasteland and shoot things (I don't have a link to hand, but I promise I am not making this up), and they were surprised when players said they missed having NPCs to talk to in 76, hence the eventual release of Wastelanders--it took awhile to develop because they didn't think it would be desired. That was the basis of my statement that the reason for the spawn rate was that they thought players just want a lot of stuff to kill. Maybe junk obtaining is possible as well, though IMO, you can get more than enough junk just by buying shipments of necessary goods from Carla. Perhaps more likely they wanted players to get a better chance of finding cool weapon and armor mods.

I just wish I could find a mod that could help me adjust the rate so I can clear out the Commonwealth once and for all. I'm tired of killing those damn ghouls at the National Guard site.

What else is Bethesda working on right now game wise anyway?


DeathQuaker wrote:
What else is Bethesda working on right now game wise anyway?...

FO76 was (and still is) largely the work of one of Bethesda's newly-acquired B-teams. The core Bethesda team has been working since 2015 on STARFIELD, their new far-future, space opera IP.

Nothing's been confirmed, but various leaks of varying degrees of plausibility suggest the game is based around a hub of sorts (possibly a space station) and various missions and quests take you to four or five planets (maybe in the same system, maybe more widely separated), each of which is a standard Bethesda open world (some suggesting that "each" planet's open world is as large as FO4's which I find somewhat implausible, unless Bethesda are leaning heavily on procedural generation). It sort of sounds like THE OUTER WORLDS but massively super-sized.

One thing that does sound about right is that they're trying to have the entire game map - interiors and exteriors - take place in a single worldspace with zero loading screens, which was clearly the main technical problem they had in FO4 regarding Boston (the engine limitation meaning that the engine has to render buildings even if you can't see them, which is pretty absurd). If they've overcome that problem, that'd be great for making the game look a bit more contemporary.

They also have a pre-production team that's hard at work on THE ELDER SCROLLS VI, which is reported to have the internal code-name REDFALL. Some mixed reports, one suggesting that they won't start full production on ES6 until STARFIELD is done, others saying that they're using their expanded manpower to really get to grips with REDFALL early, so the gap between STARFIELD and ES6 won't be as long as between FO4 and STARFIELD.

On Twitter Peter Hines said Bethesda will start talking more about STARFIELD next year, suggesting (given Bethesda's preference for much shorter windows between a main announcement and release) that they are targeting a 2021 release date, maybe late in the year.

FALLOUT 5 is probably not even something they've seriously discussed yet, although they have said they have kept all their pre-FO4 design documents on file, including apparently a very detailed treatment for a FALLOUT game set in New York City that very nearly got the nod instead of Boston.


Well.....crap

Microsoft just gobbled up Bethesda


Yeah, I also just came to share this. Is it that Microsoft has a bad reputation when it comes to video games (because I don't know), or is it more the fact that it's a giant mega-corporatoin who won't have the same "love" that Bethesda has for TES games that bothers you?

Andostre wrote:
If I were Steve Bethesda, I probably would have pushed for another major TES title well before a decade had passed since the previous one.

Remember when Disney bought Lucasfilm, and then we suddenly had more Star Wars films than we knew what to do with? It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft jumps on that fresh IP goodness in the same way. For better or worse.


it's more the "X-Box Exclusive" I think

and as for Star Wars......considering the quality of those movies. using that as a comparison makes the worry justified.

Silver Crusade

While there is reason to hope that the broad appeal (and high budget) of major Bethesda releases will discourage an Xbox (and PC) exclusive distribution model, it is certainly a possibility. I could definitely see smaller Zenimax releases going exclusive, though.

As a PlayStation player, I definitely feel a stake in this outcome.


The quality of Bethesda's own games has been debatable for some time anyway, though. FALLOUT 4 was not as well-received as SKYRIM either critically or commercially (although it still did very well), but FALLOUT 76 was an outright disaster in how it performed. They've clawed back some ground with updates, but the game has seriously dented Bethesda's reputation.

My take from looking at the announcements is that Microsoft will allow Zenimax/Bethesda to continue operating pretty much as they are in the short term. Microsoft taking over and micromanaging everything would be weird and unnecessary given Zenimax's existing system. This isn't quite the same thing as taking over inXile or Obsidian, which were single studios, but an entire family of developers all deeply interrelated.

I do think Microsoft will be asking questions about how long it's taking between games, and if following up the red-hot performance of SKYRIM by making fans wait a minimum of 13 years and possibly longer for the sequel was really a good idea, and if they think making people wait 10-15 years for FALLOUT 5 (assuming they're not interested in FO76) is wise either. On that basis I could see Microsoft leveraging their huge number of studios to get more games in more franchises underway simultaneously.

That does raise the prospect of Obsidian - a properly-funded Obsidian as well - working on FALLOUT 5 or a NEW VEGAS 2-style spinoff, with perhaps Bethesda focusing more on ELDER SCROLLS games and possible sequels to STARFIELD if that is a success.


I'm still not buying an Xbox.

The Ghost of Tsushima will be my new family.


captain yesterday wrote:
I'm still not buying an Xbox.

Why.


Andostre wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I'm still not buying an Xbox.
Why.

Because I used to have an Xbox 360.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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The other thing to note is that Bethesda already always prioritized PC and XBox releases first, and did PS and Nintendo ports last, and their PS and Nintendo ports are TERRIBLE and mainly for people who like to torture themselves *pokes Captain Yesterday*. I really don't think this is going to change the status quo noticeably.

Bethesda was being seriously mismanaged so yeah, I'm not too concerned--there was a fair chance I was going to stop getting their games anyway, and things might have improved.

Plus, as Microsoft owns Obsidian also, and Microsoft now owns the right to Fallout... a girl can dream...


Yes, I heard that there were rumors of a Fallout New Vegas 2.


captain yesterday wrote:
Andostre wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I'm still not buying an Xbox.
Why.
Because I used to have an Xbox 360.

Just curious. I haven't owned a console since the original Wii. When I get to game these days it's via laptop. I think Microsoft does stuff for laptops.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Bethesda was being seriously mismanaged

How so?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

captain yesterday wrote:
Yes, I heard that there were rumors of a Fallout New Vegas 2.

I think "rumors" is a strong word. More a giant collection of wishful thinking once various gamers realized now Obsidian and Bethesda were gathered under the same umbrella.

Andostre wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Bethesda was being seriously mismanaged
How so?

I don't have the energy to go into all the ways Fallout 76 alone went wrong, let alone Bethesda's general reputation for having bugs upon bugs upon bugs that they never fix even when a popular game gets released and rereleased and rereleased over the course of several years. If you're very curious and don't mind shouting, I suggest Jim Sterling's videos on Bethesda.

I mean, the main issue was that they were getting lazy and money grubbing. Microsoft may not fix that much but the way I see it, it's either unlikely going to get worse, or it's going to get so much worse I can at least point and laugh. ;)


Ah, I get it. I wasn't expecting an essay.

I thought you meant mismanaged in terms of how it was treating employees. But you were talking about how it's managing its game production and release.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Yes, I am talking about business decisions, not employee situations.

As far as I am aware, their employees are fairly well treated, at least for a video game company.* I knew someone who worked for Zenimax Online for awhile (another studio that works for Bethesda Softworks, which in turn is owned by Zenimax Media, now owned by Microsoft) who felt pretty good about working for them and enjoyed what they did.

* Video game companies, very generally speaking (take this "generally speaking" with an appropriate lump of salt), have a bad rep for forcing programmers to work ridiculously long hours and keep to insane production schedules. This is in addition to toxic work environments sometimes reported by, in particular, employees who are women, LGBTQIA+, or persons of color. I've not heard about particular such things about Bethesda. I would expect like most companies probably the programmers have to work very long hours, but even that is an assumption.


Bethesda by all reports treat their staff very well. They only announce a release date - and sometimes the game's very existence - for their games 3-4 months out from the window, so the game is effectively already done and deep in bug-fixing. It effectively stops crunch and burnout and people leaving and taking all their skills with them.

Bethesda even have a great thing where every month at their big meeting they announce the anniversaries of everyone at the company, from those who've been there one year to those who've been there for 25+ years, and their staff retention rate is superb compared to many companies. Much of their core design team on STARFIELD and ELDER SCROLLS VI is the same as who were on OBLIVION fourteen years ago (for good or bad), and some even worked on MORROWIND eighteen years ago (Howard has been there since DAGGERFALL, twenty-three years ago).

Dark Archive

Before anybody forgets though, Zenimax had habit of bullying other corporations in order to hostile takeover them :P

Zenimax and Bethesda aren't really nice companies even if their own employees were happy.

(Bethesda was also being jerks when they were holding royalties back on metacritic score of all things :P)


CorvusMask wrote:

Before anybody forgets though, Zenimax had habit of bullying other corporations in order to hostile takeover them :P

Zenimax and Bethesda aren't really nice companies even if their own employees were happy.

(Bethesda was also being jerks when they were holding royalties back on metacritic score of all things :P)

That's true, but Obsidian agreed to the metacritic score themselves in their contractual package, possibly in lieu of a higher initial payment.

Although it is interesting that apparently Bethesda's normal "polite reminders" that not getting a good review score might mean they'd spend less with that outlet in advertising, which is a trick they pulled with several games before and after New Vegas, was suspended for that game.

Dark Archive

Werthead wrote:
Although it is interesting that apparently Bethesda's normal "polite reminders" that not getting a good review score might mean they'd spend less with that outlet in advertising, which is a trick they pulled with several games before and after New Vegas, was suspended for that game.

Indeed :p


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Rumours that Microsoft are planning an event for when the takeover of Bethesda is formally completed, which apparently is in the next three weeks or so. However, it also sounds like this will be celebratory fluff and there will be no formal new game or release date announcements.

Also rumours that Bethesda Game Studios will be doing something at E3 this year, which they usually only do when they have a release date to announce. With STARFIELD reportedly targeting 2021, that makes it possible they'll do the same thing they did previously for FALLOUT 4 and 76 and announce the game - well, re-announce it and announce a release date - and it'll then be out several months later in October/November.

That would also track with the reports and video leaks suggesting that some of the team who've completed their work on STARFIELD have already moved on to ELDER SCROLLS VI and are spooling that up from pre-production (which it's been in for many years already) to actual production.

COVID might have thrown all this off, of course, and delayed STARFIELD into 2022, which would not be surprising at all.


Bethesda have issued a copyright claim for STARFIELD dated 2021, indicating they indeed hope to launch the game this year. It's not 100% confirmation, because they can easily change the date to 2022, but it's a good sign that they currently think they can get the game before the end of the year.

My guess is that they're hoping to announce at E3 on 12-15 June for release in November, similar to the process they used for both FALLOUT 4 and FALLOUT 76.

Pretty much everyone is reporting that it will be an Xbox exclusive (on console anyway, it'll come out on PC as well), which I think we were all expecting at this point.

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