Despite a series of well-received titles and an admirable commitment to single-player content, Bethesda is having a rough late 2018.
Just yesterday Fallout 76, a multiplayer skew on the Fallout universe, was released to a less than ideal reception. Already, a litany of bugs has been reported.
Additionally, the gameplay of Fallout 76 has not been met with a warm reception. You can read our review in progress here. Now, an interview from earlier this year between Bethesda director Todd Howard and German gaming site Gamestar may cast some doubts over the stability of the developer’s future projects.
Bethesda Creation Engine
In an effort to refute some of the inevitable blowback to the announcement of a multiplayer-centric Fallout title, Bethesda took to the stage at E3 to tease the upcoming Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI.
Both announcements garnered positive coverage, despite showing off nothing more than a logo. However, Howard’s comments to Gamestar regarding the two titles may leave some less than thrilled.
When asked about the use of game engines in the creation process, Howard confirmed that the two forthcoming games will continue to use the same engine used to create Bethesda games since 2011. The Bethesda Creation Engine, which Howard describes as an amalgamation of systems that have been updated over the years, is behind the critically acclaimed Skyrim and the two current-generation Fallout titles, 4 and 76.
During the interview, Howard insists that the engine has been under constant update since its inception but the stability issues currently being faced by 76 players does not inspire confidence. For the latest Fallout title, Howard stated that the Creation Engine had undergone “a new renderer, a new lighting system, and a new system for landscape generation” as well as the obvious changes necessary for multiplayer. “
On the topic of multiplayer, Howard maintains that the mainline Fallout and Elder Scrolls titles will not feature any explicit multiplayer.
For those games, we want to keep them as single player games. That is what our focus is going to be.
If they have some social aspect we haven’t designed yet, we’ll see. But we treat them each as their own thing.
Given the age of the system, it’s entirely possible that the continued layering of new systems has started to weigh too heavily on the engine. Small miracles happen all the time in game development though.
Time will tell but for now, 76 may be casting a bigger shadow over Bethesda’s upcoming titles than they could have predicted.
For more on Fallout 76 stay tuned to our review in progress.