Jul 19th 2018

Bethesda will continue to make compelling single player games

Todd Howard and Pete Hines are big names at Bethesda, which is known for making immersive single player games. At E3 this year Bethesda unveiled Fallout 76, which will be an always online massive multiplayer game. This had people worried that Bethesda was following suite with other big companies and making online multiplayer games instead of single player. They made sure to reassure their fans in an interview that that isn't the case and that their games will continue to stand the test of time.

Todd Howard explained how The Elder Scrolls would be able to stay relevant, even with high fantasy shows like Game of Thrones. "With The Elder Scrolls, you’re looking at a 25-year-running franchise. It has stood the test of the Lord of the Rings movies becoming popular." He went on to add, "People look at Skyrim and say, ‘That’s a dragon-killing power fantasy,’ but the actual underlying theme was: do you take a nationalistic view of your own country, or look at the whole world? I think that’s still pretty topical today. The thing that helps with [genre fiction], whether that’s science fiction or fantasy or post-apocalyptic, is that it lets you handle themes like racial stereotypes in ways that you don’t notice at first, and then become very obvious.”

Pete Hines directly addressed the fears that Bethesda was turning away from single player games. "Well, we keep doing it. There was a lot of hand-wringing aroundPrey, but we just announced a huge update. Rage 2 is a giant single-player game, Doom Eternal is single-player, and Wolfenstein: Young Blood is single-player. Single-player is still a thing; it might continue to grow or evolve, but it’s part of who we are, and we still think there’s room to be successful. That doesn’t mean that we should keep doing things the way we did five or 10 years ago – we’ve got to continue to change how we approach it.”

Pete Hines also insisted the focus was on bringing good games to where they fit best, not forcing developers to shoehorn them in everywhere they can. "If there’s another platform that it is a good fit for ideas that our developers have, great. It’s not like we’re asking the developers of Rage 2, what is your mobile experience? What are you doing for VR?”

Bethesda is a gaming giant. Their games get released with bugs, and are still loved by the community. Does this reassurance from them help make it clear they plan to keep making good single player games? It may be a few decades before The Elder Scrolls VI releases, but when it does do you think it'll be good for the time?