The first time I played Fallout 3 I was amazed by the game. I had a lot more fun playing Fallout 3 and New Vegas than The Grand Theft Auto games. Fallout was an exciting world that demanded to be explored but with caution, as the world was filled with mutated monsters twisted by exposure to radiation and mercenaries out to make a buck. I still remember what shocked discovering John Henry Eden was a computer, or the fun I had running around in New Vegas.
I had fun with Fallout 4, but I really grew tired of being told some settlement was under attack. Fallout 4 did nothing to really improve the game, in fact with the lame new dialog tree I thought the game was a step backwards for the series. I told one of my friends that while I enjoy the series Fallout that the games didn’t have great gameplay. Look at a game like The Outer Worlds as an example of where the series could have gone in terms of gameplay. Not only was The Outer Worlds set in an interesting universe, had a great story, but also was fun to play.
Then there’s the total failure that is Fallout 76. Hopefully this game hasn’t ended a series that I loved, but we must ask ourselves if we really expect much better from Bethesda the next time around. For years we’ve given them a pass on the bugs in their games because we really enjoyed them, but obviously they had gone too far in Fallout 76. Even without most of the game breaking bugs what fun is there to be had in the game? As much as I complain about Call of Duty the core gameplay is good, that’s not the case when it comes to Fallout. We’ve seen what happens when you take Fallout 4 and make it an online game. It was a real mess.
Now we’ve learned that this is all due to bad management. Bethesda wanted to maximize profits and I suppose making a quality product doesn’t fit that equation. I’ve said on the last Top of The World podcast that this is going to continue being a huge problem in the video game industry. Huge AAA titles like Fallout 76, Cyberpunk 2077, Battlefield 2042, and more titles to come are coming out broken. I understand the industry isn’t the game as it was 2 decades ago now that games can be fixed with updates, but I think this has led to the problem with new titles today.
Management has grown lazy, instead of doing the work to see what the developers need to finish a game, they’re having them crunch so they can make as much money as possible. Without a union or the means of production the workers are just being taken advantage of, and the result has been terrible video games. And are they really making more money releasing games far too early? They still must pay the developers to work on fixing their broken games. What is the long-term strategy here?
This has ruined the reputation of Bethesda and after 76 I’m not really interested in whatever Fallout game comes out next. Is Microsoft going to clean house or is Bethesda management going to stay the same? I don’t think Bethesda has the same love from the community like they used to. Even if they can make another title as good as Skyrim are people really going to put up with bugs like they used to? I think people would have put up with it if games like Fallout 76 wasn’t released in the state it was in.
We’re going to continue to get terrible broken video games if we have management in companies like Bethesda putting pressure on their employees to crunch. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they could have tried to and done a terrible job. If management at companies like Bethesda continue to fail like that I say we need to give the workers a chance.