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

I’ve bought every Dishonored, Prey, all the Wolfensteins. I wanted SP content for Doom DLC though, so I only got the regular game. I also bought Quake Champions, though that remains a work in progress.

Excepting the hardware $’s of the Switch, Bethesda has probably had over half my gaming budget

I also got Evil Within on a steam sale but much like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, not really for me.
 
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.
Oh, didn't know that, thanks.
But yeah, I think that's almost as bad, as it could have a negative effect were reviewers feel rushed to get their review out as fast as possible, which could negatively impact their experience.
 
Their current marketing strategy is utter trash, it doesn't work
This is the answer, and it's so frustrating because their asinine policy screwed over 3 games that ranged from "very good" (Evil Within 2) to "literally a modern classic" (Prey).

Bethesda has had the best single-player output of this console generation, and Wolf 2 is looking like it'll add to that as well.
 
Seeing this sucks because at least two of those games are just goty material.

Dishonored 2 and Prey

Death of the Outsider was a really good budget release as well and the pc version runs like a dream this time around.

The Evil Within 2 is going to be hit and miss again. Big hit for me, I'm having a ton of fun with it, I just wish 60fps wasn't so finicky on pc.
 

kittoo

Cretinously credulous
As a single-player games person and someone who really doesnt like GAAS model, this is very sad. I didnt like Dishonored 2 much, but liked Prey a lot and am loving Evil within 2.
 
Their current marketing strategy is utter trash, it doesn't work
This is honestly their main problem, alongside embargo things. They've released some stellar games in the past year and a half, and they only have themselves to blame for any lackluster sales or expectations. The sad part is the way the numbers get crunched, it's the studios that will take the fall for it.
 
Prey bombed for sure, but I'm not sure about Dishonored 2. It obviously didn't do as well as the first, but a certain chart website (I know they're not super reliable, but they're generally an okay indication) has the game's physical copies tracking close to 3 million and steam has the game at 900,000. Evil Within 2 might see a similar trend in sales overtime
 
All we know is that they performed under expectation, but it all points to Bethesda's strategy of huge tentpole 10+ million selling titles every 3 years + smaller more experimental games that make a small profit. Dishonored actually turned out to be a huge success, so their gamble sometimes pays off.
Thanks for the info :)

I hope The Evil Within 2 turns in some profit by the end of this year.
 
Just want to ask this one more time:

Is this a case of overly-optimistic expectations? Or is the market for these games objectively shrinking?
Because we've seen publisher expectations that were wildly out of whack before, and I'm not sure of what facts are behind the premise of this thread. What objective figures are being worked off of here? Are Dishonored 2 sales being compared to Dishonored 1? What is the baseline of success for these games?
 
I mean the marketing for those games was just not there. Also, according to your list all three of them had performance issues. TBH this seems like it's Bethesda's fault more than anything.
 
Is this a case of overly-optimistic expectations? Or is the market for these games objectively shrinking?
Neither, this is a case study in how withholding the publicity of good reviews can tank commercial performance of games that don't have big brand names and massive marketing campaigns behind them.

I wouldn't extend the consequences of Bethesda's ridiculous policies into larger generalizations about the state of AAA single-player gaming.
 
Because we've seen publisher expectations that were wildly out of whack before, and I'm not sure of what facts are behind the premise of this thread. What objective figures are being worked off of here? Are Dishonored 2 sales being compared to Dishonored 1? What is the baseline of success for these games?
That's a good point. Zenimax is not a public company so we don't know what their internal expectations are. It's not impossible that they don't have the same "every title must sell 10 million copies" that Ubi, EA, etc have.

Maybe they have reasonable budgets and expectations? That would be a pleasant surprise.
 
As a single-player games person and someone who really doesnt like GAAS model, this is very sad. I didnt like Dishonored 2 much, but liked Prey a lot and am loving Evil within 2.
It's very concerning to say the least. There have been single player games that have done well this year but they're all RPGs that you get 40+ hours out of.

I dont know if the AAA 10-15 hour linear games are viable anymore, outside of Resident Evil.
 
As a fan of immersive sims I find it quite disappointing that my favourite Bethesda games like Dishonored or Prey are the ones that sell the worst :(
 
They probably save a ludicrous amount on only advertising using streamers. A lot of game devs budget is spent on advertising, so maybe their strategy is working in the sense that these games might still be profitable, but may not put up Ubisoft numbers.

We dont know the financials to make these statements though.
 
Just want to ask this one more time:



Because we've seen publisher expectations that were wildly out of whack before, and I'm not sure of what facts are behind the premise of this thread. What objective figures are being worked off of here? Are Dishonored 2 sales being compared to Dishonored 1? What is the baseline of success for these games?
Well Arcane's creative director and founder was let go. We can't know for sure if it was because of missed sales expectations, but it's very likely imo.
 
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
Yup. Terrible decision, it’s working out poorly for them. If the games weren’t so fucking good I would say it’s well deserved for trying to make consumers less informed, but it really is doing them a disservice.
 
Well Arcane's creative director and founder was let go. We can't know for sure if it was because of missed sales expectations, but it's very likely imo.
I doubt he was let go. More likely he was just legitimately exhausted from being a project director for 18 years. I would expect when he left, however, that Zenimax made him sign a non-compete, so I doubt we'll see anything big from him games-wise besides consulting for a while.
 
People don't want to pay full price for shortish single player focused games these days, the new South Park will suffer the same fate

I have no interest with Evil Within, but I would of instantly picked it up if it was my cup of tea as I perfer single player focused games. Just look at the disappointing sales of some of shorter CRPG's.

You Tube and streaming has effected these type of games, as kids and other people would rather watch people play story focused games. I have never seen the attraction, but that's just me.
 
Despite needing a large budget to make a good immersive sim game, I think the genre is dead at the $60 price point.

It’s difficulty to justify paying that much for a pure single player 15-30 hour game in this day and age, no matter the graphical fidelity or quality.

The game market in general is oversaturated, and many other games with multiplayer components or focus often provide a better value in terms of hours per dollar.

That’s not to say these are bad games, or that they shouldn’t be made (likely subsidized by other successes), but why pay full price for an immersive sim when I know I can get it anywhere from a few months to a year down the line at a greatly discounted price and enjoy it all the same? There’s no pressing need to play these near launch, when I have a backlog in the double digits at least, let alone the time any multiplayer games take up.
 
Neither, this is a case study in how withholding the publicity of good reviews can tank commercial performance of games that don't have big brand names and massive marketing campaigns behind them.

I wouldn't extend the consequences of Bethesda's ridiculous policies into larger generalizations about the state of AAA single-player gaming.
It seems like lots of AAA games are releasing to reduced sales. I'm not sure that this says as much about Bethesda as it does about the larger market, and gamers starting to spend more time in long-running GaaS titles.
 

Fantastapotamus

Wrong about commas, wrong about everything
It's depressing.
Those are 3 great, singleplayer games with great level design and no open world BS crammed in. Prey's performance is heart breaking cause that game is simply amazing.

On the other hand Shadow of War, despite being another checkbox open world game with a terrible story and the whole lootbox controversy seems to sell pretty great, confirming my suspicion that everybody except for me has a terrible taste in games.
 
It's depressing.
Those are 3 great, singleplayer games with great level design and no open world BS crammed in. Prey's performance is heart breaking cause that game is simply amazing.

On the other hand Shadow of War, despite being another checkbox open world game with a terrible story and the whole lootbox controversy seems to sell pretty great, confirming my suspicion that everybody except for me has a terrible taste in games.
TEW2 has open world BS sorry
 
Whats with Bethesdas poor marketing strategy? They ran a commercial for Fallout 4 on several channels before that launched and here we are over a week out from Wolfenstine launching and not one commercial!?
 
It's just speculation. But i believe this, because it was so shortly after the games release.
That's actually a pretty typical time to leave- right when a project wraps up. In the case of Arkane they just had two major products wrap up within six months of each other which means that whatever follows is probably still in pre-production. That's honestly the best time to handle a transition like that.

It's likely that Raphael indicated to Bethesda months in advance of Prey's release that he was looking to step down but they decided to wait until several weeks after the project to announce his departure to avoid negatively impacting the news of the game at release.
 
Whats with Bethesdas poor marketing strategy? They ran a commercial for Fallout 4 on several channels before that launched and here we are over a week out from Wolfenstine launching and not one commercial!?
Wolfenstein at least has marketing that makes people talk.
 
Well... releasing Dishonored 2 during November wasn't a very wise idea.

And the Prey demo was awful, I almost had a heart attack when the first mimic showed up because the way the sound ramp up I deleted almost instantaneously, then I played the trial this weekend and loved.
 
Despite needing a large budget to make a good immersive sim game, I think the genre is dead at the $60 price point.

It’s difficulty to justify paying that much for a pure single player 15-30 hour game in this day and age, no matter the graphical fidelity or quality.

The game market in general is oversaturated, and many other games with multiplayer components or focus often provide a better value in terms of hours per dollar.

That’s not to say these are bad games, or that they shouldn’t be made (likely subsidized by other successes), but why pay full price for an immersive sim when I know I can get it anywhere from a few months to a year down the line at a greatly discounted price and enjoy it all the same? There’s no pressing need to play these near launch, when I have a backlog in the double digits at least, let alone the time any multiplayer games take up.
You could apply that logic to any game, but the market is NOT over saturated with the games Bethesda makes. No one else makes immersive sims. Only one other team makes survival horror any more. I can't think of another developer who makes SP-focused FPS games. No one else makes open-world games that are first person (they all do 3rd person, which is why BGS' worlds still feel very different to me).

Ultimately, they're going their own path, and they seem to be doing well enough with it. They're pumping out games at an impressive rate given their relatively small size and number of recently-formed studios. As a few other posters have noted, we can't definitively speak to their success without knowing their financials. One thing they might need to do is participate in Sony/MS/Nintendo press conferences from here on out. Since they switched to doing their own E3 shows, the hype for their games has sadly gone down. Those are big, easy events to showcase their games to a wide audience. Save the new reveals for BE3, put alternate trailers for previously-announced games at Sony/MS/Nintendo.
 
It's very concerning to say the least. There have been single player games that have done well this year but they're all RPGs that you get 40+ hours out of.

I dont know if the AAA 10-15 hour linear games are viable anymore, outside of Resident Evil.
Going by RE7, it seems even RE can't justify $60 price tag when it's 10-15 hour long without multiplayer.