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Opinion The Fate of Bethesda Game Studios (2002 - 2020)

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
6,693
13,242
925


  • 2002 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • 2004 - IHRA Professional Drag Racing
  • 2006 - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • 2008 - Fallout 3
  • 2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • 2015 - Fallout 4
  • 2018 - Fallout 76
  • TBA - Starfield
  • TBA - The Elder Scrolls VI
In 2002, Bethesda was at the forefront of the creation of large open world games - something that was still in its infancy. WRPGs were almost entirely unknown to console gamers, with Morrowind and KOTOR making the first major inroads with hardcore console gamers on the original Xbox. Sales were strong, but WRPGs were still comparatively niche products for console gamers, with little presence on Playstation 2 or any consoles before it. With the release of Oblivion, Bethesda took it's seat at the head of console RPG development, with a large open world sandbox that could not be replicated by virtually any other developers easily, save for Rockstar. This success continued with Fallout 3, proving once again that gamers were hungry for the freedom inherent in an open world game design. This peaked with the release of Skyrim, which eventually has become possibly the most popular RPG ever made.

As the gaming industry slowly moved on past this rude awakening and transfer of power, other game development studios quietly worked on their own open world engines in a desperate attempt to catch up to consumer demand. Open world as a genre was so impressive, that gamers routinely excused poor combat systems, glitchy and buggy games design, game crashes, poor loading times, and repetitive quest design - as long as it was open and the game world was huge.

With the Playstation 4's release, the entire balance of console gaming began to rapidly change. What was hinted at during the PS3 era, began to finally take shape. Developers that were skilled in art design, combat design, or action games began to push series that were also just as big as Bethesda Games. Gamers were still convinced that Bethesda was the king of open world game design, quietly waiting for Bethesda to show why they were still the king of the genre, while numerous other strong contenders emerged. Assassin's Creed games grew to gargantuan sizes, with not only huge continents, but fully explorable islands and sailing complimenting an action game. While all these games were releasing, Bethesda had little to show for it aside from the lackluster Fallout 4 in 2015.

  • 2012 - Dragon's Dogma
  • 2013 - Grand Theft Auto V
  • 2015 - Metal Gear Solid V
  • 2015 - Xenoblade X (4x the size of Fallout 4 with almost no loading)
  • 2015 - Batman Arkham Knight
  • 2015 - The Witcher 3
  • 2016 - No Man's Sky
  • 2016 - Final Fantasy XV
  • 2017 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2017 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • 2017 - Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • 2017 - Assassin's Creed: Origins
  • 2018 - Red Dead Redemption 2
  • 2019 - Death Stranding
  • 2020 - Ghost of Tsushima
  • 2020 - Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • 2020 - Cyberpunk
The world passed Bethesda by over the last 6 years. Now open world games are common, with near instant loading and gorgeous art design complimenting action game-tier gameplay. What does the future of Bethesda hold? Have they lost the monopoly on their one defining feature, and cannot compete now in the top tier of open world games? Is this why they were open to being purchased? Do they have what it takes to rebuild their engine from the ground up to be competitive with Fox Engine or Decima Engine?

More importantly, assuming they can remain competitive in the field of modern open world technology, can they compete against studios that have decades of experience with top tier action gameplay now being their direct competitors? Do you think Bethesda Game Studios will remain competitive as a top tier studio or will they be a mid-tier studio with a solid niche like Obsidian? Will they ever achieve the same highs of Skyrim?
 
Last edited:

Dr Bass

Gold Member
Jun 6, 2013
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I agree with what you're saying on one hand, but on the other hand this feels like trying to diminish the acquisition.

Yes, buying a publisher like Zenimax/Bethesda IS kind of "buying the past" (the exact reason Sony should go nowhere near Konami), but there is still great potential in Starfield and ES6. If Microsoft can be good stewards of their newly acquired IP, that would be great. I don't think they have done that with Rare though. Like so many products Microsoft makes, I feel like they have the potential for real greatness, but they just don't have the vision and leadership to get them there.

I don't really have faith they will reach those heights though. They just haven't demonstrated the ability to do this in so very long.

I did get my Series X reservation today though. I'm a bundle of contradictions I guess.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
6,693
13,242
925
I agree with what you're saying on one hand, but on the other hand this feels like trying to diminish the acquisition.

Yes, buying a publisher like Zenimax/Bethesda IS kind of "buying the past" (the exact reason Sony should go nowhere near Konami), but there is still great potential in Starfield and ES6. If Microsoft can be good stewards of their newly acquired IP, that would be great. I don't think they have done that with Rare though. Like so many products Microsoft makes, I feel like they have the potential for real greatness, but they just don't have the vision and leadership to get them there.

I don't really have faith they will reach those heights though. They just haven't demonstrated the ability to do this in so very long.

I did get my Series X reservation today though. I'm a bundle of contradictions I guess.
Not trying to diminish. I was thinking this for the last 6 years. The acquisition is still huge, and might be their rebirth. I'm probably getting an Xbox and PS5 this gen (and Nintendo).

I just think the Bethesda story is an interesting one that we've been slow to collectively recognize or acknowledge.
 
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#Phonepunk#

Banned
Sep 4, 2018
18,562
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39
it could be that the glory days for Bethesday may be over and we don't even know it. all it really takes now is a couple mismanaged projects and their use (which is largely based on older games) will be no longer apparent.

people are only looking at the good side, for some weird reason. thinking of this only as a positive for Bethesda and not considering the possible negatives. as if budgets might not get cut. as if management turnover won't happen. as if some of these studios might not get shuttered or absorbed into one another. as if projects won't get cancelled or mismanaged by people will too much on their plate. who knows what will happen? honestly i'm not in favor of consolidation.
 
Last edited:

DunDunDunpachi

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Apr 18, 2018
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I think Elder Scrolls Online slowly killed them. Most companies can't handle GaaS. Happened to plenty of other Western devs like Origin Systems and Blizzard. Interestingly, when companies like SSI and Origin were purchased by EA and Mattell they were replaced by companies like Blizzard and Bioware. Now that Blizzard and Bioware (and Bethesda) are bought up and blobbed into bigger conglomerates, wonder which RPG houses will rise to take their place.

All that said, Bethesda's main problem is their bad management. Microsoft is going to clean 'em up and it will be glorious. We will get competent ports of all their old games, too. Any disgruntled Bethesda fan who has been unhappy with their output this gen should probably realize this is an upgrade.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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Jun 29, 2020
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It's the same as Square, all the people that made the old games good has already left.

With the acquisition, more people will leave. Shinji Mikami will be the next one, since his waifu has left as well.

That's why we have to value a company like Nintendo, which has managed to keep a good amount of their staff in the company since the NES days.
 
Last edited:

Andodalf

Member
Oct 20, 2013
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Making a Big open world game was tough this gen. We only got 1 major game from Beth, but we also only got 1 from Rockstar, 1 from Rocksteady, and even CDPR is having to push to the launch of next gen consoles to get a second title in. Them having taken a while is nothing to be too worked up about.

Calling Fallout 4 lackluster is silly. On Metacritic the PS4 version (the one with the most reviews) sits at 87, by no means a disappointment. At launch, people complained about it being buggy, but the general consensus was that it was actually an improvement over Skyrim in that regard. Graphically it was nice. It didn't wow like Skyrim did, but very few would call it poor at launch. It's a 5 year old game now, and people constantly compare it to games that are much newer which of course makes it look bad. This perception isn't helped by the fact that 76 came out years later looking virtually identical, but that's no criticism of Fallout 4. Calling Fallout 4 anything other than a success is revisionist history, just like attempts to say that Skyrim or Oblivion were mediocre.

No other game or game engine does what Beth's custom engine does. Until any game gets close, It's silly to say they need to change. Skyrim was balls to the wall successful, and everybody knew it. People copied it as much as possible, and every game added RPG elements. But nobody tried to replicate it. They knew a formula that was a guaranteed money maker, but didn't even try to copy it. The Outer Worlds is probably the closest attempt, but it lacks so much of what makes the Bethesda games great. It's a miracle their games exist and work at all, and nobody else can do it.

There is no reason to assume that Bethesda won't come out with absolute bangers in Starfield and TES:VI. They won't be the traditional RPGs some want. They won't be all about tight gameplay like some want. They'll be about what was always the core attraction, worlds with a level of dynamism and interactively that is completely unparalleled, in gaming or beyond.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
9,087
13,209
1,420
It's hard to compare other open world games to TES (and now Fallout) as no other developer tries for the amount of object persistence that Bethesda does. It's also part of the reason why they've remained on the same game engine for years and just iterated. And while I don't really enjoy how they've modernized their games, you really can't argue with the appeal. Elder Scrolls and Fallout are massive IPs that people flock to.
 

Rhazer Fusion

Member
May 2, 2006
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In my own world.
m.youtube.com
The acquisition is definitely a nice catch for Microsoft especially if their games are “exclusive” to the XBOX platform, but I just have a nagging feeling that this isn’t quite the same Bethesda we had several years ago. Not necessarily in game quality, but mentality I guess you can say. They will still put out solid to good content, but I’m concerned about that the direction their games will go in. We’ll see eventually.
 

CitizenX

Banned
Jul 15, 2020
751
742
305
I played the hell out of 76 but other than exploring the world, wow is it ancient in every way and that card system sucks. I have always said Bethesda is nothing but a glorified mod team and 76 was the nail in the coffin. Too many other solid devs out there, dont care what they do next.
 
Sep 20, 2005
18,648
646
1,800
On the technology side, I think Bethesda will see a big boost. But I think poachers will go after talent and some will start studios of their own - this always happens. It's up to Microsoft to maintain the talent level and they just don't have a good track record. We shall see.
 

devilNprada

Member
May 2, 2019
1,075
1,246
370


  • 2002 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • 2004 - IHRA Professional Drag Racing
  • 2006 - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • 2008 - Fallout 3
  • 2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • 2015 - Fallout 4
  • 2018 - Fallout 76
  • TBA - Starfield
  • TBA - The Elder Scrolls VI
In 2002, Bethesda was at the forefront of the creation of large open world games - something that was still in its infancy. WRPGs were almost entirely unknown to console gamers, with Morrowind and KOTOR making the first major inroads with hardcore console gamers on the original Xbox. Sales were strong, but WRPGs were still comparatively niche products for console gamers, with little presence on Playstation 2 or any consoles before it. With the release of Oblivion, Bethesda took it's seat at the head of console RPG development, with a large open world sandbox that could not be replicated by virtually any other developers easily, save for Rockstar. This success continued with Fallout 3, proving once again that gamers were hungry for the freedom inherent in an open world game design. This peaked with the release of Skyrim, which eventually has become possibly the most popular RPG ever made.

As the gaming industry slowly moved on past this rude awakening and transfer of power, other game development studios quietly worked on their own open world engines in a desperate attempt to catch up to consumer demand. Open world as a genre was so impressive, that gamers routinely excused poor combat systems, glitchy and buggy games design, game crashes, poor loading times, and repetitive quest design - as long as it was open and the game world was huge.

With the Playstation 4's release, the entire balance of console gaming began to rapidly change. What was hinted at during the PS3 era, began to finally take shape. Developers that were skilled in art design, combat design, or action games began to push series that were also just as big as Bethesda Games. Gamers were still convinced that Bethesda was the king of open world game design, quietly waiting for Bethesda to show why they were still the king of the genre, while numerous other strong contenders emerged. Assassin's Creed games grew to gargantuan sizes, with not only huge continents, but fully explorable islands and sailing complimenting an action game. While all these games were releasing, Bethesda had little to show for it aside from the lackluster Fallout 4 in 2015.

  • 2012 - Dragon's Dogma
  • 2013 - Grand Theft Auto V
  • 2015 - Metal Gear Solid V
  • 2015 - Xenoblade X (4x the size of Fallout 4 with almost no loading)
  • 2015 - Batman Arkham Knight
  • 2015 - The Witcher 3
  • 2016 - No Man's Sky
  • 2016 - Final Fantasy XV
  • 2017 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2017 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • 2017 - Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • 2017 - Assassin's Creed: Origins
  • 2018 - Red Dead Redemption 2
  • 2019 - Death Stranding
  • 2020 - Ghost of Tsushima
  • 2020 - Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • 2020 - Cyberpunk
The world passed Bethesda by over the last 6 years. Now open world games are common, with near instant loading and gorgeous art design complimenting action game-tier gameplay. What does the future of Bethesda hold? Have they lost the monopoly on their one defining feature, and cannot compete now in the top tier of open world games? Is this why they were open to being purchased? Do they have what it takes to rebuild their engine from the ground up to be competitive with Fox Engine or Decima Engine?

More importantly, assuming they can remain competitive in the field of modern open world technology, can they compete against studios that have decades of experience with top tier action gameplay now being their direct competitors? Do you think Bethesda Game Studios will remain competitive as a top tier studio or will they be a mid-tier studio with a solid niche like Obsidian? Will they ever achieve the same highs of Skyrim?
They have been doing open world since dagger fall in 1996 actually.
And yes Elderscrolls is a big franchise to many of us.
 
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Hendrick's

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Jan 7, 2014
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It was obvious that Bethesda were trying to curb their spending while they looked to be acquired over the last few years. Microsoft will be a huge money injection into all of their studios and should breathe new life into BGS. If nothing else, the IP's are huge and there is plenty enough talent now to make some great games with them.
 

Warablo

Member
May 15, 2013
2,576
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650
That's just whole lot to say their engine is jank. At least Todd said they are working on changes to the engine for Starfield and the future in his response.
 

RafterXL

Member
Oct 24, 2017
55
102
280
The next ES game will outsell everything else in the year it's released, and by a huge margin. People like to rag on Bethesda, and rightfully so in many cases, but that series prints money, jank and all. If they ever get a decently working engine, hang it up, they'll crush Skyrims numbers.
 

Balducci30

Member
Mar 11, 2020
1,292
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So the basis of this is fallout 76 basically? I don’t remember people hating on fallout 4 much - I actually love that game. Fallout 76 I never really saw as a legitimate game from them tho, I’ve never played it or had any interest in playing it - been waiting for starfield and the next elder scrolls forever it feels like
 

kingpotato

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Aug 16, 2013
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Let's wait for the games to come out or at the very least some trailers. I hope their next games are beyond amazing. Time will tell. It's not like they've been working in a vacuum. They know about every single game you listed and probably hundreds you don't even know about.
 

Havoc2049

Member
Mar 30, 2011
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I’m really looking forward to Starfield and the next Elder Scrolls game. In the meantime, I would love to see a 100% complete Elder Scrolls Anthology come to the Xbox platform and PC, as Redguard on GOG plays like crap.
 
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Bolivar687

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Jun 13, 2014
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I think a lot of developers this generation made many successful efforts and transitions into the open world format. But no one makes the kind of open world games that Bethesda makes.

The Elder Scrolls are fundamentally old school dungeon crawlers in a modern and polished form. Even when the puzzles and layouts were streamlined for Skyrim, they still leveled up on presentation, with the way these dungeons wind you through a hand-crafted setting and experience, building up to cinematic boss fights and cathartic triumphs, despite the game never taking the camera back away from you. I'm not aware of another franchise that randomly matches quest storylines to unexplored dungeons. The repetitive monster nests and bandit camps of even the best open world competitors cannot keep up with each Elder Scrolls' hundreds of unique points of interest. But it's the open world space itself that's the real heart and soul of these games and how the first person perspective immerses you into it like no other game space as you make your way from the major cities to these isolated locations.

There won't be any games like Starfield or TES6 when they release and that's part of what makes this purchase so troubling when you get beyond the butthurt and the trolling.
 

D.Final

Banned
Oct 18, 2018
5,111
2,780
620
Maybe this can help for release TES 6 in this gen.
Even if is Xbox exclusive
 

ZZZZ

Member
Jun 7, 2020
1,254
2,604
440


  • 2002 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • 2004 - IHRA Professional Drag Racing
  • 2006 - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • 2008 - Fallout 3
  • 2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • 2015 - Fallout 4
  • 2018 - Fallout 76
  • TBA - Starfield
  • TBA - The Elder Scrolls VI
In 2002, Bethesda was at the forefront of the creation of large open world games - something that was still in its infancy. WRPGs were almost entirely unknown to console gamers, with Morrowind and KOTOR making the first major inroads with hardcore console gamers on the original Xbox. Sales were strong, but WRPGs were still comparatively niche products for console gamers, with little presence on Playstation 2 or any consoles before it. With the release of Oblivion, Bethesda took it's seat at the head of console RPG development, with a large open world sandbox that could not be replicated by virtually any other developers easily, save for Rockstar. This success continued with Fallout 3, proving once again that gamers were hungry for the freedom inherent in an open world game design. This peaked with the release of Skyrim, which eventually has become possibly the most popular RPG ever made.

As the gaming industry slowly moved on past this rude awakening and transfer of power, other game development studios quietly worked on their own open world engines in a desperate attempt to catch up to consumer demand. Open world as a genre was so impressive, that gamers routinely excused poor combat systems, glitchy and buggy games design, game crashes, poor loading times, and repetitive quest design - as long as it was open and the game world was huge.

With the Playstation 4's release, the entire balance of console gaming began to rapidly change. What was hinted at during the PS3 era, began to finally take shape. Developers that were skilled in art design, combat design, or action games began to push series that were also just as big as Bethesda Games. Gamers were still convinced that Bethesda was the king of open world game design, quietly waiting for Bethesda to show why they were still the king of the genre, while numerous other strong contenders emerged. Assassin's Creed games grew to gargantuan sizes, with not only huge continents, but fully explorable islands and sailing complimenting an action game. While all these games were releasing, Bethesda had little to show for it aside from the lackluster Fallout 4 in 2015.

  • 2012 - Dragon's Dogma
  • 2013 - Grand Theft Auto V
  • 2015 - Metal Gear Solid V
  • 2015 - Xenoblade X (4x the size of Fallout 4 with almost no loading)
  • 2015 - Batman Arkham Knight
  • 2015 - The Witcher 3
  • 2016 - No Man's Sky
  • 2016 - Final Fantasy XV
  • 2017 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2017 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • 2017 - Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • 2017 - Assassin's Creed: Origins
  • 2018 - Red Dead Redemption 2
  • 2019 - Death Stranding
  • 2020 - Ghost of Tsushima
  • 2020 - Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • 2020 - Cyberpunk
The world passed Bethesda by over the last 6 years. Now open world games are common, with near instant loading and gorgeous art design complimenting action game-tier gameplay. What does the future of Bethesda hold? Have they lost the monopoly on their one defining feature, and cannot compete now in the top tier of open world games? Is this why they were open to being purchased? Do they have what it takes to rebuild their engine from the ground up to be competitive with Fox Engine or Decima Engine?

More importantly, assuming they can remain competitive in the field of modern open world technology, can they compete against studios that have decades of experience with top tier action gameplay now being their direct competitors? Do you think Bethesda Game Studios will remain competitive as a top tier studio or will they be a mid-tier studio with a solid niche like Obsidian? Will they ever achieve the same highs of Skyrim?
Yikes, i can't believe this thread, someone actually compared Assassin's creed to The Elder Scrolls.

I'm Speechless.

Did Bethesa fuck up this gen chasing Minecraft (Fallout 4) and Battle Royale (Fallout 76)?

Yes they did, but i'm pretty sure with the abysmal sales from Fallout 76 they got the message and they are going back to what they are great at. Even Fallout 4 in my opinion as bad as it was had some great quests and the Far Harbor DLC was incredible, better than the main game by far. i expect great things from Starfield, TESVI.
 
Last edited:
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pasterpl

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Feb 8, 2020
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I never was a fan of fallout series, but The elder scrolls (Morrowind, oblivion, Skyrim) are one of my favourite games that I have spent 100s of hours in each, regardless of the ms acquisition I was expecting TES VI and Starfield to be one of the best games (and most popular) this New gen
 
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Greeno

Member
Jun 14, 2020
326
461
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Thinking of the development of Fallout 4, Todd Howard seemed bored by the traditional franchises he usually directs (Fallout and TES). He didn't seem to be fully in on the Fallout 4 development. I think with Starfield being a fresh air, we may finally get something as impactful as Skyrim.
 

Xaero Gravity

Member
May 12, 2013
15,659
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Canada Eh
I've personally always enjoyed Bethesda's output, even if I can agree that it has declined a bit in terms of quality, but I think people are looking at this purchase the wrong way. The gold isn't necessarily in the studios, but rather the IPs and ID Tech. Don't get me wrong, I think the studios themselves bring something to the table, but those are more of a side dish in my opinion.
 

Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
Apr 26, 2018
2,559
6,776
630
Bethesda needs to find a way to wrangle itself out of this contract and fast because it is clearly in danger of becoming the worst publisher with the worst lineup of developers in videogame history. It then needs to sign an exclusive agreement with SCE and make a genuine public apology to all the outraged fans who couldn't even name a Bethesda published title which will complete its redemption in their eyes and thereby become the greatest publisher with the best lineup of developers in videogame history.
 
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Kamina

Golden Boy
Jun 2, 2013
7,704
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If MS were to force Bethesda to finally abandon Gamebryo and adopt a modern engine the acquisition would have been the best thing to happen.
 
Last edited:

Bonfires Down

Member
Jul 31, 2007
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There were plenty of more polished open world games around during the PS3 era too and Skyrim outsold all (?) of them. I don't understand the popularity myself but I don't think anything has fundamentally changed.
 

Matt_Fox

Member
Jul 24, 2019
598
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415
The Gamebryo engine has been overhauled for Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI, and aren't gamers constantly calling out for 'more physics'?

Gamebryo provides a world where individual objects exist within the game space. See that banquet table laid out with goblets, bowls, and fruit? They're all actually there, and you can topple them over and roll them round the room if you want to. You can shoot an arrow off a mountain top and then head down the hillside to find it stuck in the mossy bank. No other RPG does this. The Witcher? It's all just a fake tableau and glowing generic loot bags.

I hope that what we've seen in the Teardown demo is the future for the ESVI. I want to see fire spread realistically across tapestries. I want to see giant spiders use the walls and ceilings. I want to see castle walls that can crumble and fall when hit by magical blasts.

Sorry OP. Your RIP Bethesda 2020 thread is going to age really badly when Starfield and ES VI release.
 

Phrixotrichus

Banned
Aug 3, 2020
753
1,326
370
I hope that Bethesda does a 180 and finds back to its old glory.
No matter who owns them, more good games are more good games.
 
Last edited:

thelastword

Banned
Apr 7, 2006
11,734
11,934
2,000


  • 2002 - The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • 2004 - IHRA Professional Drag Racing
  • 2006 - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • 2008 - Fallout 3
  • 2011 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • 2015 - Fallout 4
  • 2018 - Fallout 76
  • TBA - Starfield
  • TBA - The Elder Scrolls VI
In 2002, Bethesda was at the forefront of the creation of large open world games - something that was still in its infancy. WRPGs were almost entirely unknown to console gamers, with Morrowind and KOTOR making the first major inroads with hardcore console gamers on the original Xbox. Sales were strong, but WRPGs were still comparatively niche products for console gamers, with little presence on Playstation 2 or any consoles before it. With the release of Oblivion, Bethesda took it's seat at the head of console RPG development, with a large open world sandbox that could not be replicated by virtually any other developers easily, save for Rockstar. This success continued with Fallout 3, proving once again that gamers were hungry for the freedom inherent in an open world game design. This peaked with the release of Skyrim, which eventually has become possibly the most popular RPG ever made.

As the gaming industry slowly moved on past this rude awakening and transfer of power, other game development studios quietly worked on their own open world engines in a desperate attempt to catch up to consumer demand. Open world as a genre was so impressive, that gamers routinely excused poor combat systems, glitchy and buggy games design, game crashes, poor loading times, and repetitive quest design - as long as it was open and the game world was huge.

With the Playstation 4's release, the entire balance of console gaming began to rapidly change. What was hinted at during the PS3 era, began to finally take shape. Developers that were skilled in art design, combat design, or action games began to push series that were also just as big as Bethesda Games. Gamers were still convinced that Bethesda was the king of open world game design, quietly waiting for Bethesda to show why they were still the king of the genre, while numerous other strong contenders emerged. Assassin's Creed games grew to gargantuan sizes, with not only huge continents, but fully explorable islands and sailing complimenting an action game. While all these games were releasing, Bethesda had little to show for it aside from the lackluster Fallout 4 in 2015.

  • 2012 - Dragon's Dogma
  • 2013 - Grand Theft Auto V
  • 2015 - Metal Gear Solid V
  • 2015 - Xenoblade X (4x the size of Fallout 4 with almost no loading)
  • 2015 - Batman Arkham Knight
  • 2015 - The Witcher 3
  • 2016 - No Man's Sky
  • 2016 - Final Fantasy XV
  • 2017 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2017 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • 2017 - Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • 2017 - Assassin's Creed: Origins
  • 2018 - Red Dead Redemption 2
  • 2019 - Death Stranding
  • 2020 - Ghost of Tsushima
  • 2020 - Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • 2020 - Cyberpunk
The world passed Bethesda by over the last 6 years. Now open world games are common, with near instant loading and gorgeous art design complimenting action game-tier gameplay. What does the future of Bethesda hold? Have they lost the monopoly on their one defining feature, and cannot compete now in the top tier of open world games? Is this why they were open to being purchased? Do they have what it takes to rebuild their engine from the ground up to be competitive with Fox Engine or Decima Engine?

More importantly, assuming they can remain competitive in the field of modern open world technology, can they compete against studios that have decades of experience with top tier action gameplay now being their direct competitors? Do you think Bethesda Game Studios will remain competitive as a top tier studio or will they be a mid-tier studio with a solid niche like Obsidian? Will they ever achieve the same highs of Skyrim?
Good points raised, as good as Skyrim was, one thing to point out is that Bethesda is just not ready for a bug free engine that can deliver 30fps properly farless 60fps for consoles and mid GPU specs, which forms the majority of where the players are.....Fox Engine is incredible, Decima is incredible. Tsushima engine is incredible with lightning fast loadtimes, amazing effects and foliage and high quality materials and responsive and deep gameplay..... Engine wise, they are behind, we had Witcher which did well even though it had many issues too, but there are many RPG's in the industry which go toe to toe and are even much better than what Bethesda is pushing out these days....

I guess you are right, they were bought at probably the lowest point for the company.....For 7.5B, the executives can surely retire nicely and leave.......GTA is still the king of the openworld genre, relative to demographics and sales. An acquisition there or timed exclusive there is a much bigger deal tbh...
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Sorry OP. Your RIP Bethesda 2020 thread is going to age really badly when Starfield and ES VI release.
LOL these games are both going to use the same ancient shitty engine first released in 1997
The Witcher? It's all just a fake tableau and glowing generic loot bags.
Witcher proved that people like well crafted games more than the ability to place a cup somewhere and have it stay in the same place.
 
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RokkanStoned

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I hope Bethesda look back at their older games and realize what they lost during the transitions. Fallout 4 was just a disgrace in terms of a lot of things, especially how dialogue was handled. That said the whole base building aspect was an interesting addition and which should be praised.
Would really love to see them as a TES spin-off series try a Daggerfall-like design, with a good budget and modern techniques and design. With how survival-like games have been big the last decade, I'd hope we'd get a Daggerfall-like game. Luckily with Daggerfall Unity we've gotten a lot of improvements of the game in terms of gameplay mechanics and graphics, but a modern Daggerfall-like game would be awesome.
 

martino

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I agree.
They have to improve on near everything.
At the same time they still have this feature making their world more alive/immersive to all for me : huge interactivity.
It will be not enough also because i hope/suspect this gen is the gen where this kind things will not stay limited to creation engine.

i think they will also keep an edge and a community with whatever they do thanks to creation kit (at least on pc)
 
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Bitmap Frogs

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Tes6 whenever it drops in the next century is going to be the game of the year.
 
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Raven117

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I mean...in some ways, you have a point, but it does smack of some damage control.

To see all of what has released since Skyrim is pretty amazing. Noteably, Witcher 3 and BotW (for different reasons) have far surpassed Bethesda's Skyrim. Witcher 3 is every bit as dense and lore heavy, BotW has amazing systems going on under the hood.

Bethesda has two shots left before it goes the way of Bioware (yup, I said it). Starfield, which nobody has seen anything about really, and of course....The Elder Scrolls 6. They miss on either of those two games....then they are in real trouble.

In the end, Bethesda I think got too cocky this generation and didn't bear down on the things it does best....(Elder Scrolls....or even give us a new IP which would be great). They gave us a half cooked Fallout 4, a raw Fallout 76....and....? They just assumed we (and other studios) would wait with baited breath until they released a new game. Like Rockstar...But nobody is Rockstar.

CDProjectRed and others came for them (and with Cyberpunk releasing....and all things looking like its incredible) and surpassed them this generation. Bethesda is actually coming from behind headed into next generation. Perhaps they can pull it off. With Mircosoft help, perhaps they can. (Though with 383, it looks like MS isn't as good as Sony in development management).

Looking forward to seeing what happens and to playing lots of great games.
 
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