Bethesda Shows Us How To Release A Game The Right Way

Jul 29, 2015

“You’re not adding new features in May, June, July in the year you’re releasing; you’re trying to get everything fixed.”

We live in a era of games being released too early and developers over-promising and under-delivering on their games. That doesn’t seem to be the case with developer Bethesda and its upcoming title Fallout 4.

According to Bethesda’s marketing executive Pete Hines, the time for adding to and tinkering with Fallout 4 is gone.

“Let’s be honest, [right now] it doesn’t matter what anybody wants for a feature in Fallout 4.The game is basically done. It was by and large done before we announced it, in terms of the features going in. You’re not adding new features in May, June, July in the year you’re releasing; you’re trying to get everything fixed.”

However, that doesn’t mean that Bethesda hasn’t been listening to its devoted fans or taking pointers from industry professionals. According to Hines’ interview with Gamespot, Bethesda has been scouring the internet for forums and reviews in relation to Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - a game that launched with significant technical issues.

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Hines hopes that by doing so, Fallout 4 will turn out to be a better game:

“All of that stuff is important. A good developer knows how to take all that and figure out how to address is. You can do anything, you just can’t do everything. So you have to be able to prioritize and figure out what are the big wins, what are the challenges you’re going to tackle, and what are the things you just don’t have the bandwidth to take on.”

The Takeaway

There is SO much risk involved in the creation of a video game. Product awareness is a huge determining factor in whether a product lives or dies on retailers’ shelves. There are practically thousands of products competing for our attention everyday.

Because of that presented risk, developers and, more than often, publishers, cave under the pressure of that risk and release a product earlier than is necessary for it. The result is the release of a game that is fresh in the minds of consumers but unfortunately,  is a broken mess of a game.

These games held so much promise, but ultimately a good - maybe great - experience is tarnished by these bugs and glitches.

These games held so much promise, but ultimately a good - maybe great - experience was tarnished by bugs and glitches.

That is why Bethesda’s patience with Fallout 4 is such a welcoming occurrence, during this time of the gaming industry. Granted, there is already an install base for Fallout 4. Bethesda can afford to announce its existence without a year of buildup to the game’s release.

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But that doesn’t absolve other AAA developers like Ubisoft from the severe graphical scale-down of Watchdogs or the fragmenting bugs of Assassins Creed Unity. Even the much-anticipated Arkham Knight from developer Rocksteady wasn’t free from these issues.

As stated before, Bethesda is not a stranger to games releasing with massive technical issues. Fallout 3 and Skyrim (as mentioned before) had some significantly frustrating bugs and glitches. But they are hoping to change that now.

Gamers have often been referred to as “feeling entitled,” and perhaps that is true. But when you pay money for a game - whether that be $20 or $60 - you are entitled to a product that works. It might be a bad upon its own merits, but at least won’t be broken.

Let’s hope that because of Bethesda’s due-diligence, Fallout 4 is neither the former nor the latter. And let’s hope the rest of the industry takes some notes.

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