Bethesda and 3 and a half under-performing games in a row

They're pulling advertising from most locations because they don't have faith in the products. They feel the expanded market that doesn't know what the game are or when the games are releasing wouldn't actually want the products.
But why don't they have faith when the quality of the products is quite good?

It's not like Bethesda isn't aware how to market a game. Fallout 4 shipped out 12 million copies on day one, and they spent the entirety of last generation launching surprise outperform hits.
Other than the size of the ad buys they used the same tactic for FO4 they are still using- short announcement to release window with minimal footage or info released ahead of time.

That secrecy works with a giant IP like Fallout where the audience is already sold just based on the title's name. But smaller IPs need to be nurtured and they don't seem very interested in doing that.
 
People know their games drop price really fast. In this day and age where there's insane quality everywhere you look most people are trying to save and buy on sale as much as possible. PSN having flash sales nearly every week probably helps contribute to this thinking.

Also there's the fact that their games almost always are technical disasters, but I think that matters to only us turbo nerds. Passed on TEW2 because of no Pro support and a lackluster PC port.
 
People ask for single player games that are not "open world bloat". Nobody buys them when they actually come out. People ask why developers don't make single player focus game anymore.



There's nothing else on Switch because there is no need for it. Do you buy a Nintendo Switch with the intention of playing Doom on it?
Are you sure that "people" are asking for them and not just a vocal minority. I'm assuming most people would rather Bethesda only make skyrim and Fallout games annually
 
Feels like a bit of self-fufilling prophecy. You're not going to know if a game ends up being a surprise hit or not if you don't give it a chance.

TEW2 is getting positive reviews and is a horror game being released in October. Sending it to die seems like a weird move.
The other way to look at it, is that they targeted a specific audience in theaters who showed a proclivity towards horror products/entertainment. They released the game in October which should be an easy month for a horror game or movie to perform well in. I am not sure a SP game of this magnitude warrants a massive ad campaign.
 
As someone who loves these types of single player games and supports them, it stings to know that im one of apparently not that many people and i have to face the reality that big single player games might see a rocky future. It could also be franchise fatigue. Horizon was a brand new sp game from sony and it apparently did really well.
 
The other way to look at it, is that they targeted a specific audience in theaters who showed a proclivity towards horror products/entertainment. They released the game in October which should be an easy month for a horror game or movie to perform well in. I am not sure a SP game of this magnitude warrants a massive ad campaign.
There's a pretty wide gulf between a "massive ad campaign" and the almost complete lack of marketing I've seen for the Evil Within 2.

At the end of the day, people aren't going to buy your shit if they don't know it exists.
 
But why don't they have faith when the quality of the products is quite good?



Other than the size of the ad buys they used the same tactic for FO4 they are still using- short announcement to release window with minimal footage or info released ahead of time.

That secrecy works with a giant IP like Fallout where the audience is already sold just based on the title's name. But smaller IPs need to be nurtured and they don't seem very interested in doing that.
It's not like there's zero awareness of these games.

Like let's go look at their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BethesdaSoftworks/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid

Dishonored 2 Live Action Trailer: 4.6 million views
Prey - Gameplay Trailer #2 - 4.5 million views

Looking at streamer partnerships, Markiplier has a 3.5 million view Let's Play video of Prey as well.

Way, way more people seem to be aware that these games exist than are actually buying them.
 
The other way to look at it, is that they targeted a specific audience in theaters who showed a proclivity towards horror products/entertainment. They released the game in October which should be an easy month for a horror game or movie to perform well in. I am not sure a SP game of this magnitude warrants a massive ad campaign.
I think a good comparison is the recent movie "Happy Death Day". It, too, is working that Friday the 13th mojo but Blumhouse went out of their way to market the hell out of the film and it did quite well at the box office as a result.

A Friday the 13th release date in October doesn't do any good if people don't know the game exists.

It's not like there's zero awareness of these games.

Like let's go look at their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BethesdaSoftworks/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid

Dishonored 2 Live Action Trailer: 4.6 million views
Prey - Gameplay Trailer #2 - 4.5 million views

Looking at streamer partnerships, Markiplier has a 3.5 million view Let's Play video of Prey as well.

Way, way more people seem to be aware that these games exist than are actually buying them.
Right but you said they pull marketing if they don't have faith in them. Why wouldn't they have faith if they are quality follow-ups to prior successes?
 
They are one of the few big publishers that consistently push out great and unique games. They are also one of the few big publishers that basically send their game out to die by:

1) Releasing them at a bad date with other heavy hitters around
2) Releasing them at a date where they end up competing with their own product (2 weeks between TEW2 and Wolfenstein)
3) Doing pretty much no marketing


Wolfenstein and Doom are the only Bethesda published games not called Elder Scrolls or Fallout that are capable of selling despite the publisher pretty much sending their products out to die.
 
No amount of marketing short of completely deceiving customers would`ve netted them good sales

Those games are just far to niche, most immersive sims are bombing this generation, AAA horror games are not setting the chart on fire as well. That`s why Wolfenstein is the one they`re pushing right now.

Outside of sports, co-op/multiplayer games and RPGs there's not a lot of stuff selling well this generation.
 
If they're going to announce at E3, and then release before the next one, they need to have more marketing in the months in between, and show more than just a reveal trailer at E3. Half an hour was not enough for what they've released/are releasing this year.
 
Crazy times we live in when games of this caliber flop. And then people say the industry is horrible. Yeah....

As for the topic... Well, I did my part. Bought both Prey and EW2 at launch for full price. There ain't much more I can do really. It's a real shame. Prey was one of the best games I have EVER played and EW2 improves on the first one in every possible way. I'm not that far in yet as I'm taking my sweet time (chapter 4) but I am loving the shit out of it.

Really hope there are some background online sales going on that make things worth for Bethesda in the end. Otherwise it would be a real shame.

 
These threads are wrote with alot of confidence, yet they dont know the budget, internal goals, digital sells for most platforms, physical sells for most territories...and really just pass off opinion off as facts.
This. We always hear of all these "bombas" but really just how often do they sink studios? (It happens, but not as often as bombas do.)

That said, Prey and Dishonored 2 are fantastic games. Well crafted and complex. Its a shame they get overlooked often.
 
Right but you said they pull marketing if they don't have faith in them. Why wouldn't they have faith if they are quality follow-ups to prior successes?
Generally they do a lot of market research, pre-order checks, and interest level checks after the first couple marketing events for the game, set expectations, and then set the promotional budget as a percentage of sales expectations (usually in the 5-17% range depending on how hard they want to push something).

Presumably their sales expectations were just very low based on all the numbers they were seeing going into release, so they just went for high efficiency digital ads instead of throwing lots of money out they thought they would never make back.

Usually when you see this happen, it's because something significant has changed about the market in between the time a game was greenlit and when the game is finally coming out that has caused consumers to stop showing interest and/or for a publisher to totally lose faith in a title, and they mainly finish it because they lose less money that way and keep their team happier and more skilled by finishing products.
 
I will say that TEW 2 feels relatively moderately budgeted. Not to its detriment but it feels closer to AA than AAA in terms of production value. If the suppositions that Tango is making a second game simultaneously are true then its possible that Bethesda isn't expecting huge numbers to call it a success.

Generally they do a lot of market research, pre-order checks, and interest level checks after the first couple marketing events for the game, set expectations, and then set the promotional budget as a percentage of sales expectations (usually in the 5-17% range depending on how hard they want to push something).

Presumably their sales expectations were just very low based on all the numbers they were seeing going into release, so they just went for high efficiency digital ads instead of throwing lots of money out they thought they would never make back.

Interesting- I would think that approach wouldn't work well when using a model predicated on short announcement to release windows. Hard to build up a large amount of awareness when a game is only announced a few months ago and they were stingy on footage for a good portion even after that.
 
Are you sure that "people" are asking for them and not just a vocal minority. I'm assuming most people would rather Bethesda only make skyrim and Fallout games annually
I agree. Single player fans always blame developers for not catering to their taste, yet when a single player game comes out, they won't buy it unless it's 50% off.
 
It's almost like their policy of only sending games to streamers and not reviewers and not doing any other marketing is not working out for them

Prey was fucking brilliant btw and this makes me sad
This depends. If the money saved on zero marketing and the eventual long term sales volume is good enough - it could very well be justifiable
 
I will say that TEW 2 feels relatively moderately budgeted. Not to its detriment but it feels closer to AA than AAA in terms of production value. If the suppositions that Tango is making a second game simultaneously are true then its possible that Bethesda isn't expecting huge numbers to call it a success.
To be honest, what makes you say that? Poor main character animations aside, I'd say everything in the game, from cutscene direction to art variety and monster design/animation screams high budget. It's a huuuuuge step up from the first game.
 
Dishonored 2 Owners: 935,561 ± 28,694
Prey Owners: 465,475 ± 20,250
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Owners: 82,766 ± 8,542
The Evil Within 2 Owners: 54,640 ± 6,940

These numbers would include all purchases made from any third party site, bethesda's digital store or steam. (All are Steam DRM afaik)

Would be really interesting in seeing console numbers and total sales vs Originals.

I think Wolfenstein will be fine since I see marketing for it all over the place
 
I do think the no reviews before release is really biting them on the arse. I'm constantly surprised when I discover their games or out or nearly out and at that point I'll usually just wait for it to be on sale.
Their marketing is just nonexistent too, if people like me who frequents game news sites and forums doesn't know their games have released, I imagine more casual consumers don't even know they exist to begin with. Early reviews are a great way of letting the people who might actually buy it day 1 know it's coming real soon and to be ready. Great early reviews can make up for crappy marketing too.

Saying that, Wolfenstein seems to have great marketing, but they decided to release it on the same day as a 3D Mario and Assassin's Creed which I don't think ends well for Wolfenstein. Though possible they expect good legs like The New Order.
 
Their anti-review copy stance has quite literally only hurt them in the last 18 months. It's as if they're afraid they're going to have to sneak out a turd at some point, and are willing to damage the sales of 4, likely 5 excellent games to do so.

That reminds me, I need to replay Prey with a completely different build...
 
There's a pretty wide gulf between a "massive ad campaign" and the almost complete lack of marketing I've seen for the Evil Within 2.

At the end of the day, people aren't going to buy your shit if they don't know it exists.
Why aren’t people buying Metroid Samus Returns? Is it because of lack of advertising exposure? Do you think Destiny 2, FIFA or Watchdogs 2 lacked marketing?

It is not always about marketing. Sometimes you are catering to a smaller audience.
 
Please be excited for them to shift to the GaaS model
Maybe people will start buying their single player games then.

At the moment, they're laying out quality single player stuff and people are largely ignoring it.

Maybe if they add MTXs people will make it the next hot button conversation piece and get the weird out there.
 
It would help on the PC/Steam side if their games had stronger ports...

Many have improved post launch, but they take awhile and the damage is already done (Dishonored 2).

Thankfully the upcoming Wolfenstein is on idtech 6 which we know is a stellar performer from last year's DOOM. They can't possibly fuck that one up.

(I'm aware that Bethesda is only a publisher on these, but there's a notable trend).
 
Why aren’t people buying Metroid Sami’s Returns? Is it because of lack of advertising exposure? Do you think Destiny 2, FIFA or Watchdogs 2 lacked marketing?

It is not always about marketing. Sometimes you are catering to a smaller audience.
Are those supposed to be examples of games that sold poorly?
 
To be honest, what makes you say that? Poor main character animations aside, I'd say everything in the game, from cutscene direction to art variety and monster design/animation screams high budget. It's a huuuuuge step up from the first game.
Little things- inconsistent visual quality, dodgy animations, clipping errors. Just polish stuff. Hell Bethesda didn't even spring for an "all-star" voice cast. Which is fine because I think they are way too reliant on getting film and TV actors instead of dedicated voice actors but its still rather unlike them. Bethesda seems to love cramming B and C List actors into their games.

I actually think the first game was more "state of the art" compared to its contemporaries at the time.

I do think the no reviews before release is really biting them on the arse.
FWIW, they changed it with TEW 2. Reviewers got code 3 days early and they released the embargo day before release. Not sure if that will be policy going forward or if it was a hail mary to try to salvage TEW 2. But even then 3 days isn't much for a game that is 15+ hours where you want to encourage reviewers to explore the side content.

Anyone know if Wolfentstein will be going out to reviewers early?
 
If someone could explain to me why of all 365 days this year Wolfenstein 2 is releasing on the 27th October I'd appreciate it.

I mean I sorta got the 'logic' of EA releasing Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 last year when they did but the placement of this game amongst all their other confuses me greatly, as well as the 2 other massive games releasing on that day.
 
As a person who loves SP only games an immersive sims it is hard to watch those games flop one by one. And i think that Bethesda is big cause of that. Their marketing is almost non-existent and their no review codes policy is hurting their games and developers really bad. And they are keep doing that over and over again. I don't want to see those game franchises die but is there anything that we could do? Is there a future for those kind of games in todays GaaS oriented market?
Bethesda thinks they're above generally accepted practices for video game publishers.

EDIT: Everyone saying Wolfenstein 2 is going to hit, but it's coming out the same day as two other huge AAA franchises that (I believe) are more popular and will review better than Wolfenstein.
 
If someone could explain to me why of all 365 days this year Wolfenstein 2 is releasing on the 27th October I'd appreciate it.

I mean I sorta got the 'logic' of EA releasing Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 last year when they did but the placement of this game amongst all their other confuses me greatly, as well as the 2 other massive games releasing on that day.
Battlefront 2, Call of Duty and Asscreed Origins
 
I feel someone or some group at Bethesda or Zenimax don't want these games to succeed so they can have an easy excuse to get into GaaS more prominently.

It's a shame, really.
This is the feel I get. How come other publishers can get their stuff selling decently but bethesda for the life of them can't? It's gotta be that they're not even trying because they expect the games to bomb anyway or that they really want to go all in on GAAS. After all these very good quality SP games I kinda dread the future of Bethesda published games.
 
It's not like there's zero awareness of these games.

Like let's go look at their YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BethesdaSoftworks/videos?view=0&sort=p&flow=grid

Dishonored 2 Live Action Trailer: 4.6 million views
Prey - Gameplay Trailer #2 - 4.5 million views

Looking at streamer partnerships, Markiplier has a 3.5 million view Let's Play video of Prey as well.

Way, way more people seem to be aware that these games exist than are actually buying them.
Bugs and performance problems are very important for a lot of people. And they seem to create incredible games but then rush a few months before being totally cooked with really big performance problems.
 
But they already successfully launched Dishonored once. The success of that title in concert with Human Revolution is one of the reasons it seemed like the genre wasn't dead for a time.

Basically, they successfully launch a brand new IP from a little known developer, with a unique art style well outside of mainstream aesthetics, with an emphasis on player choice over the cinematic handholding that was all the range of that time. That's incredible. *That* should have been the hard part, not following up that success. Especially when the sequel is as good as Dishonored 2 turned out to be.
These launched what is basically a lifetime ago, unfortunately.

It's not just marketing, though that is indeed a problem that is making things worse.

Thing is the market is just moving away from linear single player only 10-20 hour long games. Unless everything is executed perfectly it's hard to match sales those types of games used to get.

Bethesda will have to change strategy and start developing different types of games (online multiplayer, open world, co-op, etc.)
The unpleasant truth - the market those games launched in is basically dead. It doesn't matter how good they are unless they're damn near flawless in a mass market sort of way.

Here is Arkane's future in case yall forgot. From a Nirolak thread in July.



http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=242703496&postcount=1
The inevitable future and more proof we're stuck in the worst timeline.