You know, I feel like gamers sometimes forget that the industry isn’t solely comprised of EA proudly flaunting devotion to “games as a live-service” model. Case in point, our guy—Todd Howard.
In an interview with gamesindustry.biz the veritable volcano of charisma that is Todd Howard took some time to address concerns some have raised, that Fallout 76 is a sign of things to come for the studio. His stance is pretty clear: “It doesn’t mark the future”.
The big issue here is perception—with Bethesda re-releasing Skyrim on a new platform every year for the past 4 years, it’s maybe hard to remember that the bread and butter of Bethesda has always come from single player games. While The Elder Scrolls online is their most successful online title, Skyrim still has it squarely beaten and it doesn’t even have coop.
Don’t also forget Bethesda is releasing Rage 2 this year, as far as we know a single player experience and they are working on Starfield and Skyrim 2 (I jest, it’s The Elder Scrolls 6, but you get the point), again both presumably mostly if not entirely single player, so they’re very far from succumbing to darkness.
Now of course there’s a caveat here, that being that, well, EA said the same thing at one point. And then FIFA happened. But while Fallout may be a famous brand, it lacks the reach of a game based on real-life sport with massive popularity.
So yeah, I’m gonna take Todd’s words on this, I think he’s smart enough to realize that Bethesda just plain doesn’t have a brand that would let them go full-wild into a live-service business model and it doesn’t really seem like they were ever interested in following in EA’s footsteps.