As I am listening to Waypoint’s critiques of Fallout 76, my growing sense of dread about Bethesda Game Studios is only getting worse.
While I still intend to continue playing 76 and somehow haven’t been put off it yet, I did appreciate the specific structural and thematic criticisms that were being brought up by the crew. It’s possible I’ll still enjoy elements of the game, but it is also clear that I could expect a lot more from BGS and 76.
BGS has been my favorite game studio ever since I first considered myself a “gamer”. Oblivion was my first true obsession. Every game they’ve made from Morrowind up until now has always felt like “home” to me, kind of like how it feels listening to your favorite band – there’s just something in the DNA of the art that really jives with you.
However, it’s become super clear to me now that BGS may be headed in a different direction. They’re much bigger now than when they made Oblivion, and they’re experimenting a lot more with their franchises, such as with 76 and Elder Scrolls: Blades. I don’t say that in a bad way, because I think they have every right to experiment and that they should, but it is clear from 76’s reception that they may either not “know” what they’re doing, or their philosophy has shifted from what made me so attached to their previous games. I am now starting to have some sort of genuine concern over Starfield and TES VI. While I’ll always have the beloved games of their past, I would like to journey with them into the future.
Basically, I wanted to see how other people felt or what they’ve experienced when it comes to a game studio somewhat “falling” before your eyes. It’s a strange sensation I haven’t really had to deal with in any art form. Though it’s discomforting to listen to things like today’s podcast, I think it’s important to not let yourself be blinded by fondness/fanaticism, etc.