Bethesda: service-based games like Fallout 76 don’t mark the future

By Marshall Lemon, Thursday, 5 July 2018 13:51 GMT

Bethesda wants to develop all kinds of games, not drop single-player for the latest trends.

In recent years, the video game industry has shifted towards a “games as services” model. It’s a system where each title gains new content and features over the course of its lifetime, usually in exchange for built-in microtransactions. Even the single-player focused Bethesda is trying out the format with the multiplayer-focused Fallout 76.

But that’s not the same thing as embracing the service games model entirely. In fact, studio head Todd Howard clarified that Fallout 76 will not mark a departure from Bethesda’s traditional single-player games.

“It doesn’t mark the future,” Howard told GamesIndustry.biz. “Corporately we’ve done a mix; people forget sometimes. Elder Scrolls online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends.

“Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”

Howard’s word highlight a more diverse game line-up, where single-player games like Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield are produced alongside Fallout Shelter and Elder Scrolls: Blades. And even when Bethesda launches a free-to-play mobile game, it approaches monetisation from different angles.

“It’s definitely a lighter touch, which surprisingly worked very well for us in Fallout Shelter,” Howard continues. “I was forced to meet with a lot of ‘monetisation experts’ during Fallout Shelter that didn’t work for us. I said ‘that’s nice’ and then it came out and the first week it was above Candy Crush with a very light touch… We did learn a lot though.”

Howard adds this is light approach to monetisation will continue when Blades launches later this year.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments