Much to the dismay of its fans, Ubisoft revealed that the future of its titles lies with games-as-a-service, providing players with continues strings of content in the aftermath of release. With the controversial new direction taken by Fallout 76, many feared that Bethesda was heading down the same path. Luckily, the company has heard these concerns, reassuring fans that its experimental format is not representative of the company’s direction with other titles.
Bethesda director and Fallout 76 lead Todd Howard explained in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that, like The Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76 is very much a one-off experiment. As evident by the Lynda Carter-fronted #SavePlayer1 parody during The Game Awards 2017 and subsequent reveal of Starfield during this year’s E3, Bethesda is far from giving up its traditional experiences.
“It doesn’t mark the future,” Howard explains in reference to the online-only nature of Fallout 76. “Corporately we’ve done a mix—people forget sometimes. Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends.”
With each less-than-traditional release, Bethesda has always accompanied it with expansive solo experiences that it’s known for, whether it’s first-party developed such as Skyrim, and its numerous re-releases, or simply published with ZeniMax-owned third-party developers, such as id Software’s Doom (2016) or MachineGames’ Wolfenstein reboots.
“Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”
Alongside Starfield, Bethesda showed its commitment to the traditional single-player experience by teasing The Elder Scrolls VI, presuming it will remain faithful to the series.
KitGuru Says: While I see nothing wrong with games-as-a-service done right, I do not think that it is the entire future of the gaming industry. A healthy dose of variety, experimenting with new formats as well as continuing the tried and tested is what keeps the majority of gamers happy. Are you thankful that Bethesda hasn’t given up on its traditional format?