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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Bethesda Softworks - Pete Hines Interview #2 @ Edge

Default Bethesda Softworks - Pete Hines Interview #2 @ Edge

July 21st, 2011, 22:24
There's a second part of Edge's review with Bethsoft's Pete Hines, talking general business. There's no new game information, so skip it unless this quote grabs you:
It seems like all the games you're publishing are ambitious, risky projects. Are you not tempted to make the cookie-cutter corridor shooter thatís a sure-fire multimillion dollar hit?
I certainly think that we never want to do anything derivative. We don't even want to do stuff that's derivative of stuff we've already made. We definitely don't want to do stuff that's derivative of something that somebody else has made. You look at a game like Prey 2 or you look at a game like Skyrim, and I use those two examples because they're both sequels of something that's already been done, one by us, one not by us, but in both cases there are wholesale changes. We're not afraid to change things up, we're not afraid to let the dev team try something new. They want to explore the universe. And we're the kind of publisher that says, "If that's what you think makes the best game, then go for it."
[People ask us] for a game like Skyrim or Prey 2, why doesn't it have multiplayer? Well our question is always the opposite when we talk to a developer. If you're doing mulitplayer, why are you doing multiplayer? What are you trying to accomplish by doing multiplayer? Because if you're doing it just to check a box or because every other publisher says youíve got to have multiplayer, then just drop it, don't bother, it's a waste of time, it's a giant distraction and it'll make for a worse overall game. We want the best game possible, if that's a single player game that's fifteen to twenty hours then make that! Don't waste your time on features that don't make the game better.
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July 21st, 2011, 22:24
I certainly think that we never want to do anything derivative. We don't even want to do stuff that's derivative of stuff we've already made.
Really? So Skyrim is not derivative of Oblivion or Morrowind or Daggerfall or …? Something's rotten in the state of Maryland
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July 21st, 2011, 23:00
I think Pete Hines should include the word "derivative" as one he should learn about when he approaches adulthood.

Edge should look up the word "risky" and contemplate the pattern from Morrowind to Oblivion and finally to Fallout 3 in terms of financial success. Calling Skyrim risky is like calling Tic-Tac-Toe a hardcore RPG.
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July 22nd, 2011, 01:13
I do agree with what he says about multiplayer though (although probably because I am a fervently antisocial gamer).
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Default "ambitious, risky projects"

July 22nd, 2011, 01:36
Hardly - haven't seen anything really new for a while. Fallout 4 (sorry Las Vegas)isn't exactly ambituous. Even the comment about DLC to address problems is being risk adverse.
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July 22nd, 2011, 11:50
Originally Posted by Hurls View Post
Hardly - haven't seen anything really new for a while. Fallout 4 (sorry Las Vegas)isn't exactly ambituous. Even the comment about DLC to address problems is being risk adverse.
Depends where you're coming from. For large numbers of publishers single player is risky. PC is risky. RPG is risky. Including game editors and a very open data structure is risky. Bethsoft do, and revel, in all these things.
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July 22nd, 2011, 11:58
Ohhh yeah, they're taking BIG risks
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July 22nd, 2011, 13:55
I have to give the guy a thank you card for saying what I would say. He is right why add multiplayer if it adds nothing to the game or lessens the single player portion.

FPS games should take this to heart since most can be beat in 6 hours. Ah who am I kidding they wont.

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July 22nd, 2011, 14:56
I think its pretty safe to say that Daggerfall was the last ambitious, risky project that Bethesda worked on.
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July 22nd, 2011, 15:31
Say what you will about their quality, or lack thereof, but I'm frankly glad Bethesda's at least out there making something besides CoD clones and linear narrative RPGs.

Having said that, I don't think Hines knows what derivative means, going off their past products
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July 22nd, 2011, 18:10
Predictable. Morrowind was a "safe" product? They knew oblivion would do that well? Also, they knew fallout 3 would be accepted?

The hate is pretty blinding.

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July 22nd, 2011, 18:35
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Ohhh yeah, they're taking BIG risks
That is pretty comical. I LOL'd ='.'=
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July 22nd, 2011, 18:39
Morrowind was a big step from Daggerfall, actually I would say it was a larger departure than Daggerfall was from Arena. Only after Morrowind was the franchise really established enough to be considered to produce more or less sure-fire hits.

Instead of just doing that over and over, however, Bethesda chose to pick up a beloved, but nearly dead franchise (with a fanbase of fierce reputation). I don't think that was a "safe" move, at least not the safest one open to them. Then they handed production of the sequel to Obsidian, allowing some of the original developers of Fallout, who however have a reputation of producing overambitous but buggy and unpolished games, a go at the franchise again, with apparently great results.
Sure, a sequel is a sequel, and the basic formula stayed the same, but I really have no general problem with how Bethesda operates, or the amount of innovation in each new entry to the TES series so far, although I may have problems with specific aspects of their games.
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July 22nd, 2011, 20:02
Morrowind was a big step from Daggerfall, actually I would say it was a larger departure than Daggerfall was from Arena. Only after Morrowind was the franchise really established enough to be considered to produce more or less sure-fire hits.
Morrowind is ancient history, though.

If you think Fallout 3 was a big risk - then we must have a very different idea about the word. I wouldn't call it a tasteless cash grab, but I certainly wouldn't call it a risk either.

Making a streamlined RPG like Fallout 3 with a bottomless well of money and a failsafe design paradigm slightly modified - AND marketing it to death is hardly a big risk. Unless you don't understand how things sell these days. If they'd made the same game without using that beloved franchise - then we could have talked about taking a risk. They simply bought money with less money.

Obsidian could have taken a dump in a can and labelled it Fallout: New Smell - and it would still have turned a profit. Fallout 3 made sure of that.

The next Fallout might not have, though

Sure, a sequel is a sequel, and the basic formula stayed the same, but I really have no general problem with how Bethesda operates, or the amount of innovation in each new entry to the TES series so far, although I may have problems with specific aspects of their games.
I don't have a problem with that either. I just despise bullshit PR and the media whores out there.
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July 22nd, 2011, 20:07
I lubs Bethesda I'm not a blind sycophant, as I'll bash certain aspects of the company, but overall they're my favorite publisher/developer and by a great magnitude over the rest.

I'll save my hatred for Ubisoft. The fact that they never bothered to resurrect the Might and Magic series, earns them my eternal despite.

As far as Pete Hines goes, I really like him as a person but I'm not a big fan of PR people in general and Bethesda's PR in specific. It used to be a lot more personable over there, but they lost the human element with the gigantic growth.

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July 22nd, 2011, 21:17
By risky, they do not mean good kind of risky. They are talking about bad kind of risky, the kind that pisses hardcore fans, AKA dumbing down. So, the argument is quite valid: they have taken not big, bug HUGE risks over and over again.
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July 23rd, 2011, 08:18
Bethesda is a good company. They brought Fallout back to life with good Fallout 3, then gave it to Obsidian which made much better New Vegas, now they are funding two extremely interesting projects in Dishonored and Prey 2. Good folks.
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