Tag Archives: bethesda

Are We Seeing The End Of Good Game Franchises?

Battlefield V got a massive amount of blowback when a combination of historical inaccuracies, outrage from both extreme left and right-wing groups, and terrible PR responses after the initial negative reaction to the game’s first trailer.

Then Diablo Immortals got a ton of blowback after a long-running PC-exclusive franchise suddenly went the mobile route. It was featured as the star attraction of a convention showcase where the fanbase was expecting something larger. Naturally, like EA/DICE with Battlefield V, the response from Activision Blizzard was, shall we say, less than stellar. And yes, we do have phones.

Now Bethesda is taking a turn with Fallout 76, a game that was created for a trendy genre several years too late to that party and was release as a broken, buggy and lifeless mess. Couple that with the recent outrage over a nylon bag in the $200 special edition where a refund of $5 of in-game currency (which is jack squat), and fans are also extremely pissed off.

This is just three recent cases of major franchises making a massive mistake (or several) and generating losses (or in Diablo’s case, potential losses) for franchises that before these controversies, were guaranteed to make tons of money in profits before even counting microtransactions, DLC and more. But there’s plenty of other franchises that developers and publishers alike have been slowly pissing away all the good will they’ve had over years and years, game after game.

Final Fantasy. Without counting the surprising success FFXIV: A Realm Reborn has had, single-player Final Fantasy games haven’t had a real hit since Final Fantasy X on the PlayStation 2. FFXII went well under the radar, FFXIII was a trilogy no one outside of Japan asked for, and FFXV showed promise, but was a mess from the beginning of its pre-production and could not have been saved.

Mass Effect. Not just a trilogy, but THE trilogy from the past console generation. Despite the controversial ending of the final installment, the series was one of the most well-respected franchises in gaming. Cue Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that was released in a poor state, made by a studio that had never made a game of that scale before, and was such a disaster, no single-player DLC came out for it and the series has been put on hold, potentially forever.

Star Wars. One of the few licensed franchises to have legitimately good games and then EA decided to get its hands all over it and do what EA does best. Cancel potentially interesting titles (Star Wars 1313, the game Visceral was going to make, etc.), refuse to remake or continue promising games within the license (KOTOR, Republic Commando, Rogue Squadron, etc.) and release only Star Wars titles of the most poor quality and rifled with microtransactions and create one of the largest video game controversies in history (Star Wars Battlefront II).

There’s six franchises right there. We could talk about Konami ruining Metal Gear Solid, SEGA constantly saving Sonic the Hedgehog and then screwing up all over again, and so much more, there’s just so many examples out there, some I’ve forgotten or aren’t even aware of. It’s not an anomaly anymore, it is a yearly, if not quarterly occasion now for long-time consistently great franchises in gaming to get either destroyed or severely damaged.

With Fallout 76 being the current offender, while not striking a lethal blow on the Fallout franchise, there is now considerable worry and disdain from fans of the series because of the game that many are calling an absolute disaster, a broken mess, a failure of failures. Couple the bad game with a terrible PR response to the aforementioned nylon bag in the $200 edition and it’s clear that Bethesda is going a similar route that a lot of the major publishers and developers are going. They’re simply using the good will of their franchises’ names and making games that cost less and rake more profits in through overpricing the base game, microtransactions, and other nefarious means.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. We’re in a very important time in this generation of gaming. Thankfully, we’re responding in the way that we should, however we’re also failing as well. Sure, we may be giving companies hell for failing miserably and insulting our intelligence, whether it’s making garbage games, poor PR relations with their consumer base, or just plain ol’ not listening to what their customers want, but in the end, way too many of us are just buying or even worse, pre-ordering their games just on brand recognition alone.

I’m sorry folks, but I have no sympathy for people dropping hundreds of dollars on games that “might” be good. It’s your job as a consumer to not look at things through a rose-coloured lens, rather than just pre-ordering a game, assuming it’ll be just as good as the last one. I made that mistake with Andromeda, and I will beat myself up for that one for years to come. The signs were all there, the game didn’t look that great, what little of it was shown. The concept was all I had to go on and that should’ve been a red flag. Fallout fans, you knew this game was not going to be a traditional Fallout game. Hell, we knew it wasn’t even going to be just “Fallout Online”, it was going to be something more akin to Rust or ARK: Survival Evolved. As someone who really enjoyed Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, but not Fallout 4, just the idea of getting a Fallout game that looked a lot like a copy/paste of the latest edition in the franchise, but one that would be more devoid of life as most of these survival games are, I was immediately not psyched. Boy am I glad I steered clear of this one.

So the question remains, are we in for a long period of time, perhaps permanently, where long-time franchises are doomed to failure? Are we soon to expect other franchises like Street Fighter, HALO, Legend of Zelda, The Witcher, Hitman and many more, follow the same trend and royally piss off their consumer base, just to make a quick buck off the brand value? Hell, even though I like what I’ve seen from Kingdom Hearts III, I’m not discounting the possibility that this game could be an absolute pile of shit and completely drive the franchise into the ground, just like Square Enix has been doing with Final Fantasy.

But in the end, I remain optimistic. I think it really depends on who’s running the show. If it’s EA, there’s no hope. Activision Blizzard? Hahahaha, we know we’re screwed now. Bethesda is new to the game, maybe they’ll learn from Fallout 76. Ubisoft has learned their lesson several times, just take a look at Rainbow Six: Siege, Tom Clancy’s The Division, the Assassin’s Creed games. They’ve improved. Nintendo should be fine, they generally put real effort into what they make. It’s honestly a 50/50 chance that your favourite franchise could take a hit when they release their next game.

So have a coin handy the next time a big reveal trailer drops for a series you love and adore. Heads, you pre-order. Tails, you don’t. It’ll help you make a call so you don’t have to take those rose-coloured glasses off.

E3 2017 Press Conferences – My Thoughts

I didn’t get a chance to watch all the press conferences live, but I’ve seen all the trailers and gameplay footage that was shown. So while again this won’t be a massive paragraph-laden article, I will give my thoughts on each game shown at the various conferences this year with a simple response to each of them.

Here’s how I’ll rate every game. They’ll be in one of four categories:

  1. PRE-ORDERING IT RIGHT NOW!!! – I think that’s pretty self-explanatory, it’s a game I for sure will be playing.
  2. GO ON… – My attention is definitely piqued, it’s a game that will likely be one I pick up a little later in its life cycle once it goes down in price a little bit and it’s generally garnering a positive reaction.
  3. MEH! – While there may be some promise or potential there, the core concepts, the gameplay, story, visuals, etc., they’re just not grabbing me. It’s possible I’ll end up playing the game, but will likely fall wayside to to many others that are above it on the list.
  4. NOPE!!! – Whether it’s a game not suited for my style, or just a bad-looking game, it’s one I don’t plan on playing, unless it reaches Game of the Year appeal and that may not even be enough to pique my interest.

So in order, we’ll start with EA’s conference and work our way to Nintendo’s earlier today:

  • Anthem – MEH! (Due to showing nothing, see Microsoft for a proper rating)
  • A Way Out – GO ON…
  • Battlefield 1: The Name of the Czar – NOPE!!!
  • FIFA 18 – MEH!
  • Madden 18 – NOPE!!!
  • NBA Live 18 – NOPE!!!
  • Need For Speed: Payback – NOPE!!!
  • Star Wars Battlefront II – MEH!

I saw EA’s press conference live and it was an absolutely horrendous one. Putting aside the sports games for those who don’t care for that (I do, but they never show the NHL games), the conference was still really bad. Need For Speed looks horrible, Battlefront II was boring to watch and I’m not convinced Anthem and A Way Out are on the good path just yet.

EA’S OVERALL SCORE: 1.5/5

  • Anthem – GO ON…
  • Ashen – MEH!
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins – MEH!
  • Black Desert Online – MEH!
  • Code Vein – NOPE!!!
  • Crackdown 3 – MEH!
  • Cuphead – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (On PC)
  • Dragon Ball Fighter Z – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (On PS4)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 – MEH!
  • Deep Rock Galactic – MEH!
  • Life Is Strange: Before The Storm – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (On PC/PS4)
  • Metro: Exodus – NOPE!!! (Don’t play horror games)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – N/A (Already on PC)
  • Ori And The Will Of The Wisps – MEH! (Looks gorgeous though)
  • Sea of Thieves – GO ON…
  • Shadow of War – MEH!
  • State of Decay 2 – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (On PC)
  • Super’s Lucky Tale – MEH! (Looks great for kids though)
  • Tacoma – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (On PC)
  • The Artful Escape – MEH!
  • The Darwin Project – MEH!
  • The Last Night – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (I don’t care what the lead developer said in 2014, just shut up already…)
  • Xbox One X – MEH!

There’s a lot of games here, hell I didn’t even count all the ID @ Xbox games shown, because you see so little of them. Microsoft is certainly trying to get some players back after Sony lured them away (by trying), but I think the damage has been done, mostly self-inflicted by Microsoft themselves. After all, how do you sell a console that PC players would accept when they can play the very games you’re advertising on this console, on the PC they already own?

MICROSOFT’S OVERALL SCORE: 3/5

  • Dishonored – Death of the Outsider – MEH!
  • DOOM VR – MEH! (Don’t care for VR right now)
  • Fallout 4 VR – MEH! (Don’t care for VR right now)
  • Quake Champions – MEH!
  • Skyrim (Switch) – MEH!
  • The Elder Scrolls Legends – MEH!
  • The Evil Within 2 – NOPE!!! (Don’t play horror games)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – GO ON…

Unless you were into VR, this conference was a whole lot of nothing, in my opinion. Other than Wolfenstein’s new game, everything else was either okay at best or not interesting at all. It’s clear that Bethesda may need to take a break from conferences, they’re just smacking the bottom of the proverbial ketchup bottle at this point.

BETHESDA’S OVERALL SCORE: 2/5

  • Beyond Good & Evil 2 – *faints* PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (Almost 15 years in the making, this was the moment this year at E3)
  • Far Cry 5 – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!!
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!! (If I had a Switch)
  • Skull & Bones – GO ON…
  • South Park: Phone Destroyer – GO ON… (We’ll see how expensive it’ll cost ya in microtransactions)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole – PRE-ORDERING RIGHT NOW!!!
  • Starlink: Battle of Atlas – NOPE!!! (For the sake of all our wallets)
  • Steep Olympics DLC – MEH!
  • The Crew 2 – NOPE!!!
  • Transference – GO ON… (Might just be horror, but it’s an interesting concept. Too bad it’s VR-based though)

There were some amazing moments in Beyond Good & Evil 2 and the shockingly good-looking Mario/Rabbids game, but there were also some unbelievably bad games like The Crew 2 as well. The conference was a mixed bag, but mostly good in the end.

UBISOFT’S OVERALL SCORE: 3/5

  • Call of Duty: WWII – GO ON… (First time in a long time I’ve been really interested in a Call of Duty game)
  • Days Gone – MEH!
  • Destiny 2 – PRE-ORDERED ALREADY!!!
  • Detroit: Become Human – GO ON…
  • God of War – GO ON…
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds – GO ON… (I’ve still yet to get the actual game)
  • Marvel vs Capcom Infinite – MEH!
  • Monster Hunter World – GO ON… (A massive get for Sony though!)
  • PS VR Games (Skyrim, FFXV Fishing, The Inpatient, Bravo Team) – MEH!
  • Shadow of the Colossus Remake – GO ON…
  • Spider-Man – MEH! (I’m not convinced yet, looks like every other Spider-Man game)
  • Uncharted: Lost Legacy – MEH!
  • Undertale – N/A (Already own it. PLAY IT!!!)

Sony just showed us a bunch of trailers, most of them without gameplay, so there wasn’t a whole lot to sink my teeth into. And overall, the games I wanted to see gameplay from never got it, so there was never really anything to excite me aside from Monster Hunter returning to the PlayStation and of course (because I’m a fanboy) some more Destiny 2 stuff.

SONY’S OVERALL SCORE: 2.5/5

  • Kirby – MEH!
  • Metroid Prime 4 – GO ON…
  • Metroid: Samus Returns – GO ON…
  • “Pokemon RPG” – GO ON… (The Nintendo consoles have needed one for quite some time)
  • Rocket League – N/A (Have it on PS4, great get for Switch)
  • Super Mario Odyssey – GO ON…
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC – GO ON…
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – GO ON… 
  • Yoshi – MEH!

The immediate problem with the Nintendo Direct showcases, while I gave no real “bad” ratings, all these games were generally games we all thought would be coming, including Metroid Prime 4. They had to finally make it guys. Even the Pokemon RPG game, the consoles have desperately needed a good Pokemon game for quite some time, the handhelds couldn’t have all the spotlight. So the Nintendo Direct this year wasn’t bad per se, there just wasn’t anything of note.

NINTENDO’S OVERALL SCORE: 2.5/5


So who won this year’s battle of the conferences? By ratings, we’re narrowing it down to our two 3/5 rated shows, Microsoft and Ubisoft.

And the winner is…UBISOFT!!!

The official order at this year’s E3:

  1. Ubisoft
  2. Microsoft
  3. Nintendo
  4. Sony
  5. Bethesda
  6. EA

Strictly for the moment that was Michel Ancel getting very emotional about Beyond Good & Evil 2 finally being a thing he could be proud to show off, Ubisoft owns this year basically because they had the lone moment. I was 100% correct about my suspicions that this year’s E3 was not going to be overly eventful. There’s a lot of good games coming in the next year for sure, but I think it may also end up being one of the weaker years. After all, we’re running out of major surprises and legendary series that are consistently good, so in the next three years, all the major developers and publishers need to look at creating new IPs to really bring things back to how they were in the 3-5 years before this E3.

So, what did you guys think about this year’s E3 overall? What really excited you? What disappointed you? Share in the comments below!