Starfield and the Disappointment Culture of Bethesda
Bethesda Softworks has been disappointing me and many others for some time now. While their titles tend to garner them a good following and can only be considered commercial successes, the company has seen more and more criticism from fans. A good example of this is the disaster that was the release of Fallout 76.
For those lucky few that don’t have the context here, Fallout 76 is an MMO title set in the early years of the post nuclear world of Fallout. In true Bethesda fashion, the game had a lot of bugs and needed some heavy work, because it was obvious that the game was rushed out, rather than polished properly. There also happened to be a stark lack of content, such as NPCs for example. However, that didn’t stop them from trying to push microtransactions onto the players struggling to get the supplies they needed. Not only that, but as they tried to fix the game, they broke it further and pushed a subscription service, all while still not fulfilling their pre-order promises. The game was nothing less than an absolute garbage fire.
So, what’s my point? You may be asking. Well, it’s simple really: I saw the teaser for Starfield and you know what? I think another space epic rpg would be a fun experience. You know what’s really a shame, though? I don’t trust this company to put out a quality game anymore. I expect it to be boring, lifeless, and a vehicle for them to get more and more money through its lifespan, much like the aforementioned Fallout 76.
As of writing this article, Bethesda has just released Skyrim for the *checks stats* fifth time since its initial release in 2011. On top of that, they’re selling it for $50 for this decade old game, which at this point is honestly insulting. I know I’m not the only one, but despite Skyrim being a smash hit for some reason, I’ve never found it to be engaging in any way. I much prefer the deeper systems of past Elder Scrolls titles like Daggerfall and Morrowind. Yet, I see people who have already put thousands of hours into Skyrim, raring to buy the slightly different Anniversary Edition for $50 at launch, instead of buying something entirely new. If you’re one of these people, I’m not harping on you or your passion for the game. I am just done with Bethesda’s awful and predatory business practices.
For me, Starfield would have to be one of the best games the studio has ever made for me to buy it. Ideally, it would have deeper role-playing options, work well at or near launch, and be entirely microtransaction-free. Do I think they’re going to give me these things? No, I don’t think they will.
Something I’m actually interested in with the title is that Todd Howard said recently: you can pick pronouns for your character (he, she, or they), and the characters in the game will refer to you with your choice in game. As much as it’s a little thing, I think it would be greatly appreciated by trans players (including myself). The only issue I have is that Todd Howard said it and I don’t exactly trust what he says. It would be a great addition and if it does happen, I’ll be happy about it, but I won’t get my hopes up until we actually see it.
I really hope with the release of Starfield next year, Bethesda can regain some of the trust they’ve lost in recent years. I want to see them return to their roots a bit and make grand adventures that are well thought out and don’t rely on post-release content, because if they fail again, they may not ever be able to recover with fans like me.
A former Fallout fan