Bethesda Softworks (2018-present)

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Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks Logo.svg
400px-Bethesda Game Studios logo.svg.png
"Sometimes... it doesn't just work. "
Todd Howard
Type: Subsidiary
Founded: Bethesda Softworks
June 28, 1986
Bethesda Game Studios
Founder(s): Christopher Weaver
Headquarters: Rockville, Maryland, United States
Key people: James L. Leder (chairman, CEO)
Todd Howard (VP, development)
Pete Hines (VP, PR and marketing)
Ron Seger (VP, sales)
Services: Creation Club
Owner: Microsoft
Parent: Media Technology Limited (1986-1999)
ZeniMax Media (1999-present)
Divisions: Bethesda Game Studios

"I have never lost so much respect for a company so fast, than Bethesda throughout the whole Fallout 76 debacle."

Bethesda Softworks LLC is an American game publisher based in Rockville, Maryland.

They are best known for their work on the critically acclaimed franchises Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, which have sold over 46 million and 52 million copies worldwide respectively.

Since 1999, Bethesda is operated under shell company system; while they're technically served as a "subsidiary" of ZeniMax Media Inc., they have full control over ZeniMax's business decision and used it to host several subsidiaries (such as id Software) as well as doing business under the name ZeniMax while publishing the game under the name Bethesda Softworks. In 2001, Bethesda spun off its own in-house development team into Bethesda Game Studios, and Bethesda Softworks retained only its publishing function. As such, Bethesda Softworks acts as the publisher for all games developed by ZeniMax's development studios. On September 21, 2020, Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax Media along with its subsidiaries for $7.5 billion.[1] The acquisition finalized in the second half of 2021's fiscal year.

Although they started to slowly go downhill in the past few years, Fallout 76 made this downward spiral much steeper, and caused many to realize how badly the company has fallen.

Why They Just Don't Work Anymore

  1. As with other hated gaming companies, they have become greedy (see points 4, 5, 7, 11, 15, and 16 for more info).
  2. Before Starfield, they relied too much on older game engines (Gamebryo and Creation Engine), resulting in their open-world RPGs becoming infamous for the tons of glitches and other technical problems in them due to the games' worlds being so big. This is especially a problem in Fallout 76 where they tried to force the Creation Engine to work for multiplayer which resulted in one of the most infamously broken game releases in recent memory.
    • Some patches for their games cause them to be even more buggier than before, which shows that they can't be bothered to test the game out before releasing said patches.
    • During an interview, their director and executive producer Todd Howard admitted that he was well aware of Fallout 76 (and possibly other games) being riddled with bugs and glitches, but decided to release the game anyway.
  3. Todd Howard and Pete Hines, one of their vice presidents, are both infamous for being fraudulent, compulsive liars (especially the former). As a result of how much they lie, many of their games are falsely advertised.
    • Pete Hines has shown to be unable to take criticism, as he claimed that those who criticized Fallout 76 are only wanting attention.
  4. They have been adding microtransactions, loot boxes, and other pay-to-win features in their recent games, most notably Fallout 76 and The Elder Scrolls: Blades, even though they promised they wouldn't add them.
  5. Unlike many other games, they have been very behind in motion capture resulting in many of the NPCs acting more like robots rather than actual people.
  6. The Creation Club feature in Skyrim and Fallout 4 is an unnecessary feature since you had to pay for mods, that are usually downloadable for free, with microtransactions included. This feature was unsurprisingly met with tons of criticism.
  7. They have been caught plagiarizing from a Dungeons & Dragons tabletop adventure game called The Black Road for their Elder Scrolls tabletop adventure game called Elsweyr. The game was ultimately pulled as a result.
  8. They have milked Skyrim to death by re-releasing it way too many times and almost every re-release has tons of bugs.
    • On the bright side, they acknowledged this and even made fun of themselves by announcing Skyrim on Alexa.
    • They even admitted that they're milking Skyrim for money, as Todd said that they'll stop re-releasing Skyrim when people stop buying it.
  9. While The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4 are great games, they were also both divisive among both their communities, as both their gameplay and lore got more watered-down and light-toned compared to previous installments, much to the disappointment of fans. They also retconned a lot of stuff.
  10. Fallout 76 was a massive failure, and was responsible for ruining Bethesda's reputation. Everything related to that game has been one PR disaster after another, such as their merchandise for the game.
  11. They refused to add cross-play in Fallout 76 with their excuse is because Sony doesn't allow Cross-Play with other consoles as they claimed it's either all or none; However after Sony announced they were going to do cross-play with other platforms, Bethesda outright stated that they never planned on having cross-play in Fallout 76, which seemed like they were just scapegoating.
  12. Similar to Electronic Arts and Activision, they are openly against the recent US bill to ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions.
  13. Wolfenstein: Youngblood for the Nintendo Switch is digital only, meaning that physical copies are just a box with a download code instead of a cartridge. This prevents people who bought the game on said system from selling or even sharing it.
  14. Their E3 2019 presentation was very underwhelming. Besides Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Doom Eternal, and their new IPs called Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo, most people have expressed little to no interest in the other games they showcased.
    • During the presentation, there was a small group of people sitting in the front row who cheered and clapped for everything (with one man in particular being by far the loudest), even things that would normally have been jeered or ignored such as a Battle Royale mode for Fallout 76, and a mobile "revival" (more so as a sequel reboot) of Commander Keen. It is not known if these people were Bethesda employees, shills, or just really overly enthusiastic fans.
  15. Despite then having stood up to EA's claims that "single player games are obsolete" and making a video titled SavePlayer1, they slightly succumbed to those claims by releasing The Elder Scrolls: Online (original release), but then only made it worse by the launch of Fallout 76.
  16. They are also infamous for poorly treating and not paying Obsidian Entertainment (a company formed by people from Interplay and Black Isle Studios, creators of the Fallout franchise) due to their Fallout title, Fallout: New Vegas, not even getting a score higher than 85 on Metacritic. (Note: the current score on Metacritic for FNV is a 84, which means that they were just one point off on what Bethesda wanted.)
  17. They file lawsuits against others for fairly petty reasons.
    • They tried suing Warner Bros. and Behaviour Interactive just because they believed that a mobile Westworld game that they developed and published was a rip-off of Fallout Shelter.
    • They tried suing Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, because one of their games was called Scrolls (now Caller's Bane), and that the name would make people believe that the game was a part of The Elder Scrolls franchise.
  18. They often botch their PC releases, such as when the versions of Rage 2 and DOOM Eternal released without a DRM, allowing people to pirate those games.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. They still publish great games.
  2. At least they're aware about their notoriety.
  3. They're slowly improving overtime, since they released great titles without any shady monetization such as Deathloop and GhostWire Tokyo. Not only that, but they also redeemed Fallout 76. However, they still have numerous flaws.
  4. In 2021, Todd Howard confirmed that Starfield will be single-player, with no microtransactions or any shady practices, implying that the game will massively redeem Bethesda.
    • Not only that, but they also delayed the game (along with Redfall) from 2022 to 2023 to make the games more polished.
  5. They improved Fallout 76, which became a decent game aside the egregious monetization and Fallout 1st.
  6. Unlike Blizzard, they handled the presentation of the Elder Scrolls: Blades, a mobile spinoff, (despite its notoriety) perfectly at E3 right as they announced a new Elder Scrolls game and did not make it the focal point of their event. The presentation itself was received with applause.
  7. Before Fallout 76 destroyed their reputation, they were a great company. See the Awesome Games Wiki page for more information.
  8. In April 2022, they retired their launcher and moved to Steam.

Notably average/bad games developed/published

  • Home Alone (NES) (1991)
  • Where's Waldo? (1991)
  • The Terminator (NES) (1992)
  • Delta V (1994)
  • An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire (1997)
  • IHRA Drag Racing 2004 (2003)
  • IHRA Professional Drag Racing 2005 (2004)
  • Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships (2005)
  • IHRA Drag Racing: Sportsman Edition (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow (2006)
  • Star Trek: Encounters (2006)
  • Star Trek: Tactical Assault (2006)
  • Star Trek: Legacy (Xbox 360) (2006)
  • Star Trek: Conquest (Wii) (2007)
  • AMF Bowling Pinbusters! (2007)
  • Wheelspin (2009)
  • Rogue Warrior (2009)
  • Brink (2011)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (original release) (2014)
  • Fallout 76 (2018)
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019)
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (2019)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Blades (2020)



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