Interesting enough as it uses Fallout 3 as one of its test cases and quotes Howard and Hines, Julian Murdoch did a piece for the Games For Windows magazine on fans, media and industry, for which he also interview Jeff Green, Ken Levine and me. See here.
While commenters on his blog (and in Bethesda’s own forums) were overwhelmingly excited about the developments shown at E3, the hardcore Fallout fansites fired invective, arguing that Green (and the gaming press in general), were incapable of objective opinion, often using language not fit to print.
I was unaware this forum was overwhelmingly excited about Fallout 3 as shown at E3. Did I miss something?
And, of course, the Hines-Howard quote machine:
Todd Howard, the executive producer on Fallout 3 for Bethesda, has become inoculated to this kind of controversy, because he understands it. “I remind my guys that nobody works up the energy to get on the Internet and write ‘Everything is fine,‘” he explains. “If people aren’t writing about it, what’s up with that? Either they don’t care, or we’re playing it too safe.”
“Reinvention is one of our core philosophies. Sequals aren’t ‘plus ones’- this old thing with a new change.” So instead, his team started with what they liked best about the old games – the setting, the humor and the ink-black irony of the world – and started making a new game. A Bethesda games. “That’s just how we work.”
As for Bethesda, they’ve been listening. Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing, lives at the bloody front of the Fallout 3 battle. From his perspective, despite the noise, the job is pretty simple. “It doesn’t take all that long to figure out what it is people want or don’t want,” he claims. “We’ve known what they’ve wanted since 2004, and I don’t think anything that they want has changed.”
“If you don’t want us to make this game, you’re going to be disappointed, because we’re making it,” concludes Bethesda’s Hines. “And if you’re willing to give it a shot – well, then we appreciate what you want, but we’re going to move on.“
Interesting thoughts on the community, the old fans and, possibly, why we simply don’t matter.
Overall it’s an interesting piece, worth some discussion. But if the idea was to support the camp of those that prefer dramatic changes to well known franchises then Jason should have picked a different example than Tribes: Vengeance, that game was not only a weak Tribes game, and in that the most vocal fans were right all along, but it was also a mediocre game in itself.