2018 was a bad year for Bethesda, and most of that can be attributed to a single game- Fallout 76. It was bad enough that the game launched in a terrible state, but one marketing and PR snafu after another following its release led to more bad press than Bethesda were able to handle. They’ve been trying to turn things around ever since, but that’s had mixed results as well. While the upcoming Wastelanders expansion looks more like what Fallout fans want, something like the subscription service they launched definitely does not.
However, just because their Fallout 76 experiment did not yield the results they may have hoped for, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to be willing to try out new things in the future. Speaking in an interview with Kinda Funny, Bethesda’s SVP of marketing Pete Hines said that though Fallout 76 may not have worked out at launch the way the developers wanted, it doesn’t mean they should not have even tried to do something new.
“We tried something that was a pretty big change of direction for that studio, and just because it didn’t go well doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do that,” Hines said. “It just means you need to learn the lessons from what didn’t work well so the next time you try something really different, hopefully you avoid some of those problems and issues.”
Hines went on to say to re-iterate that Bethesda will still continue to make “single player epic role playing games,” which was why they announced the likes of Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 so early.
“The main reason for Fallout 76 was that the studio felt like multiplayer and shared experience was something that was brought up the most by folks who play Elder Scrolls games and Fallout games that they made,” he said. “They wanted to expand a little bit and try something different, not to the exclusion of ever making the kind of games that they’re known for- which was why they announced Starfield, because we wanted folks to understand that we’re going to make another single player epic role playing game. We’re not done with that. We just wanted to try something that was more shared and online to see what that was like, so that we have that experience, so that if down the road, we ever want to try it again, we have some experience with this kind of thing.”
However, the publisher wants to keep branching out as well. According to Hines, if developers are afraid to take risks, games such as Horizon: Zero Dawn will never emerge.
“You don’t get Horizon: Zero Dawn, if that team sticks to what they were known for and had always made,” he said. “They pivoted and tried something that I think is substantially different than what they had made before. And it’s one of my favourite games of the last five years. So what I mean is, you’re hoping that when you try something risky and different, that you end up with Horizon: Zero Dawn, and not with a lot of bumps and issues- but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it for the wrong reason.”
You can watch the full interview below. During the interview, Hines also confirmed that Tango Gameworks’ GhostWire: Tokyo and Arkane Studios’ Deathloop will both be shown off at E3 2020 later in the year. Read more on that through here.
Fallout 76 is currently available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Wastelanders update is out on April 7.