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The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

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The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by dantaefetticus on Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:45 am

You know, seeing the recent antics of Bethesda really got me to research to the company as a whole. During my research, I learned that Bethesda has two sides.

One side is Bethesda Softworks, the Bethesda branch that does all of the promotional stuff and publishes all their games(Evil Within, Wolfenstein, DOOM, etc.), with Pete Hines being the vice president of that company. They're, for the most part, a strictly business branch of Bethesda. The only thing they ever really took part in when it came to Fallout and Skyrim is the publishing and all the PR practices.

And Bethesda Game Studios, the Bethesda company that actually develop the games, with Todd Howard being the leader of that company.

There is also Zenimax, which owns Bethesda as a whole. They call the shots and has mainly worked with Softworks.

I'm bringing this all up because I honestly think that if there is anyone to blame for all the PR failures of Fallout 4 and other Bethesda games, it would have to be Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks. I honestly believe that it was their decision to make half of Fallout 4's DLC based on settlements. I am also inclined to believe that they're the reason behind the absolute trainwreck of a launch that is Creation Club. I whole heartedly believe that Bethesda Game Studios and Todd Howard hardly has anything to do with that and that they're just doing what they're told.

This may seem like a simple thing that everyone should honestly understand, but sadly, not a lot of people don't. I don't try to generalize groups of people. I know that every group has people of many differing and conflicting mindsets. This is the same with Bethesda.

What about you? What do you think about this fellow GUNners?

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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by midnight1996 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:17 am

i think you are correct, the Scheme behind the creation club must be form Zenimax or Soft works.
i hope that Todd Howard's team are just following orders. and eventually their corporate overlords will realize the creation club is Stupid.
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by botanicbubbles on Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:09 pm

Here's the thing, though: even if this whole fiasco is coming from one entity and not the others, they all fall under the same banner and are all equally effected. This gives two possible scenarios:

1. All parties are compliant and as such deserve the hate
2. Parties not at fault have such little control over their IPs they may as well not even be a separate entity.

Both are really, really bad.

It's akin to lighting your house on fire - your fault, but anyone else in there is going to get burned.

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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by shadowshade on Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:03 pm

@dantaefetticus wrote:I'm bringing this all up because I honestly think that if there is anyone to blame for all the PR failures of Fallout 4 and other Bethesda games, it would have to be Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks. I honestly believe that it was their decision to make half of Fallout 4's DLC based on settlements. I am also inclined to believe that they're the reason behind the absolute trainwreck of a launch that is Creation Club. I whole heartedly believe that Bethesda Game Studios and Todd Howard hardly has anything to do with that and that they're just doing what they're told.

I'm not saying you are wrong, though I don't know if you're right either because it's all speculation. But it's almost like a custom inside the gaming-community to shield the actual developers from any blame when something has gone wrong. We almost always see the developer as one of us and have a hard time accepting it when they make a decision we don't like. It's always the people having to do with the money-side of gaming who we blame. Even with Andromeda - EA gets blamed for letting Bioware Montreal develop the game in the first place.

You mentioned those settlement DLC - I doubt they could have made those without having made early on the design-decision that gave settlements a general emphasize in the overall game. Do you think that decision was made by Bethesda Softworks or Zenimax and not by Bethesda Game Studios?
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by Anchev on Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:29 pm

Since Morrowind when Zenimax bought Bethesda you can see the dumb down they are making from game to game...
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by dantaefetticus on Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:35 pm

@shadowshade The reason a lot of the gaming community always try to give the developers the benefit of the doubt is that most of the time when shady business practices happen with games, it is the publisher at fault. The publisher pays and approves for all the stuff that the developer makes. They also decide the release dates. Fallout New Vegas' true potential to be an amazing game(it still is an amazing game, but hear me out) was gutted because Bethesda Softworks gave Obsidian one year to develop the game. If they had one more year of development, the game would've been even better. to put it simply, Publishers are the sugar daddies and the developers are the young girlfriends. Hell, this isn't exclusive for gaming either. In film, directors are independent, but even then, movie studios like Fox are more prominently featured in promotional material than the production company that makes a film. Remember Alien 3? The reason why that film flopped so hard is that FOX was messing with David Fincher"s( the director ) vision. A lot of scenes Fincher wanted in the theatrical cut were cut to make the film more "Action-oriented" because we all know the reason why the Alien franchise is loved is that of the action, lol.

This just has to do with the fact that we're more willing to empathize with the artist and not empathize with person funding the artist's work. The person funding the work may have done something to screw up the artist's "Feng Shui". You are right, this is all speculation. BGS may have some part in the shady PR practices, but seeing all the shady things publishers have done to ensure that they get that extra dollar(WB Games, EA, Ubisoft, Activision), I am more inclined to believe that Softworks and ZeniMax are at fault.

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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by Banewrath on Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:58 pm

Todd Howard mentioned at an interview before release that all the staff got together and discussed possible features from other games. Since Minecraft was and is such a big hit with gamers, they decided to addin the settlement feature because people on staff played Minecraft alot. Maybe they took it too far with adding only building DLC, but at upon release there was more people praising how cool it was to build stuff then people complaining about it. I guess they took those reactions as a green light to cater to the building crowd. I don`t think they will make the mistake again though with all the people who ripped them new ones over pure build dlc.
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by Banewrath on Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:14 pm

@midnight1996 wrote:i think you are correct, the Scheme behind the creation club must be form Zenimax or  Soft works.
i hope that Todd Howard's team are just following orders. and eventually their corporate overlords will realize the creation club is Stupid.

Stupid or Genius. If they are releasing a Doom suit that`s rigged for FO4 and already released a suit from Prey, this means possibly they might release more official armors and weapon sets from other games within the company. Which is awsome if there are no other alternatives available. If they are realatively cheap it shouldn`t be a problem.
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by Corvo on Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:35 pm

@shadowshade

I think it's quite the opposite. Within each gaming community there will always be people who will throw insults and berate the developer while not exactly paying much attention to what the developer does right. You see, if a developer rolls out content that the community feels is dumbed down or weakened to fit to a larger audience, the loyal consumers and franchise veterans will criticize it heavily and take so much disliking to the company that they will spurt nonsensical drivel across forums and message boards attacking all those that do like the content. Conversely, if a company rolls out content that the franchise veterans will like and try going back to their roots, the newer audience of gamers will take this as enough evidence to assume that the company doesn't want to innovate, and the same result will happen either way.

You see, it's not so much the developer's fault as it is their audience. I mean, look at Fallout 4 for example. Bethesda took Fallout 4 and decided to have it be the game to innovate Fallout, to drive it forward into a new age, to include a voiced protagonist to make the game feel more cinematic to appeal to gamers that like the story, something that was heavily criticized in Fallout 3. The combat and gameplay of the TES games and earlier Fallout games was also something that was criticized, so what do Bethesda do? They improve the gameplay and make the combat feel less of a chore and more fun. But what do the franchise veterans say to this? They take out their metaphorical pitchforks and throw a tantrum because they feel Bethesda is turning Fallout into a FPS, which in reality, couldn't be further from the truth.

Now hypothetically, let's say Bethesda took the New Vegas route of focusing on story and not improving nearly anything gameplay wise. Do you really think that Fallout 4 would be as much of a success as it is today? The answer is no, because not all gamers think that what makes a good game is a good story. In fact, many of Bethesda game veterans know that what makes a Bethesda game good is not the main story at all but the freedom of the open world. Bethesda games are less focused on narrative and more so in creating a theme park filled with locations to explore, enemies to shoot, atmospheres to experience and skills to improve, and that is why Skyrim was such a brilliant game and revered as one of the best games this generation, and although a lot of people like to deny it, it is the common consensus that Skyrim was an amazing game. The reason why is not because of the writing or story because Skyrim was weak in those aspects, but because it had an amazing world filled with activities and quests to complete.

Now Bethesda saw the success of Skyrim and thought to make Fallout 4 the Skyrim-like Fallout game where they innovated and looked at what gamers liked in certain franchises, and threw it all into one game to make Fallout 4. Needless to say, Fallout 4 was a brilliant success. It had major flaws but ended up being the most purchased Bethesda game even toppling Skyrim. But as the community gets larger so does the vocal minority of that community, and it just so happens that the franchise veterans take up quite a lot of that vocal minority that hate Fallout 4 and also hate anybody that likes Fallout 4. They want to live in their little bubble where Bethesda never innovated and stuck to being an isometric game, or at least that's what they want you to believe. Just look at the mods on this site porting all of the Fallout 4 weapons and armors to Fallout NV, and then look at the sheer number of people that have the stones to say they want a New Vegas remake in the Fallout 4 engine while spamming every topic with the same senseless word vomit that Fallout 4 is a terrible game. You see a lot of that vocal minority like the innovations Bethesda brought to the table, they just don't like to admit it. They repeat the same criticisms over and over again hoping they would recruit more people to join the Bethesda hate bandwagon while not actually seeing that they like a lot of Fallout 4.

Now don't take what I've said as that they don't have fair criticisms, they do, but it is just part and parcel that there will always be a small community of haters for that developer and it just so happens that Fallout used to belong to Interplay, so the Interplay fans feel their franchise is being invaded by newbies and take that as justification to spread hate for Bethesda.

Now Bethesda isn't perfect, and from both BGS and Softworks they have their blunders like with Creation Club, paid mods, hell even all the times Todd Howard lies about their games, yet when it all comes down to it, they are one of the better companies out there. I mean, look at the backlash to Fallout 3's ending where you cannot play the game anymore and then see how BGS followed up with a response DLC to that, Broken Steel, which is essentially Bethesda telling their consumer "yeah, you deserve better, here's more content and an alternate ending". Look at horse armor and the backlash to that and then see how BGS released Shivering Isles soon after that, one of the best expansion packs of all time. Bethesda have their blunders like with Creation Club, but in truth they are not as terrible as EA or Activision.

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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

Post by KTG690 on Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:12 am

I have about 3 months shy of having 3 1/2 years of Video Game Quality Assurance Testing experience under my belt. I can very easily say, it's both. Developers and Publishers. They will both make and decide on decisions that always be "in hindsight" terrible.

Not to say that it's this way all the time, but frequently. And sometimes, those decisions are indeed good ones. Sometimes.
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Re: The differences between Zenimax, BS, and BGS

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