Bethesda's Todd Howard Baffled By Facebook Gaming

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Bethesda's Todd Howard Baffled By Facebook Gaming

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The head of the studio that put out Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Fallout 3 doesn't understand the whole Facebook gaming craze.

Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard is not into FarmVille. In fact, he's not into the current wave of social networking games and all, and says that he doesn't "get it."

Tens of millions of people are playing Facebook games every day apparently, but Howard indicates that Bethesda isn't going for a piece of that pie. In an interview with Industry Gamers, Howard said of Facebook gaming: "I've got to be honest: I don't get it. I look at it and try to understand but for now I've just decided to ignore it (laughter)."

Howard sees merit in what Facebook games do, but the gameplay is not his bag. "I think, one day, maybe I'll figure it out, but until then, I don't see the allure of those kinds of games," he continued. "There might be a way to connect people. I think that's always a good goal: to connect people through your game. So I've kind of looked into that, how we might be able to do some of those things. But as far as a game on there, I don't know."

It seems Howard's confusion partially relates to the constant acquisition of farm animals and the virtual piscene. He says: "The light bulb hasn't gone off for me ... I get these little messages: 'I've got a new horse, or fish?' I don't know."

A world like Oblivion that's inhabited by real people sounds cool, but there's a place for expansive single-player games so I'm glad we've still got a friend in Bethesda for now. I wouldn't mind if Bethesda put its development effort into something really, really cool that could be played through Facebook though, of course. I'm still waiting for that huge Facebook RPG that will engross me totally while connecting me with friends. Wait, I guess that experience is basically given by World of Warcraft, isn't it? Fair enough.

Just for the record: No, Howard didn't say anything worthwhile about the next Elder Scrolls game or the current Bethesda Game Studios project. That is, other than that he's working on something and we have to be patient to find out what it is.

Source: Industry Gamers

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Me too Todd, me too.

I think everyone who doesn't, and several who do don't understand it either.

Nice to know not everyone's jumping on the bandwagon. I don't understand the allure either.

What's to understand: It's experimentation by Zynga to see if how well they can balance success with massively alienating their fanbase.

I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

Considering all the hate hurled at them from players of other games it doesn't surprise me.

Irridium:

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

Considering all the hate hurled at them from players of other games it doesn't surprise me.

Yeah that would explain it :(

I never hated on them, I just get a little peeved when they say stuff similar to Zynga makes the best online games EVAR!!!

Yeah, Facebook games suck.

EDIT: I love you todd o_o

Aww, I was hoping for something about the next TES. I have that hope everytime there's anything about Bethesda on any website.

Irridium:

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

Considering all the hate hurled at them from players of other games it doesn't surprise me.

Gonna have to second this. The "casual vs. hardcore" snobbery is indirectly self-destructive to all gamers. When you polarize a potential audience, you're cutting potential sales of complex games severely, and starving free-to-play game developers of traffic and ad revenue. Neither industry is particularly crippled by this, but it sure as hell isn't helping anyone.

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

I'm baffled as to why so many gamers refuse to try out facebook games at all.

I agree Todd, I agree. I just don't understand why some people get so addicted to them. I'm just glad you can choose to hide notifications from them. Haven't seen a "X has just found a lost cow" message in months, thankfully.

He's not alone, they all just plain simple and easy maybe thats why people like them, even flash games have a difficulty curve.

Facebook games are pretty much the Neopets for people who have outgrown Neopets. It's not particularly fun, but it's social, and it's incredibly easy for anyone to play. It's World of Warcraft distilled into meagre button clicks that are then spammed onto all of your friends' pages. I don't see what's not to "get" when you start thinking that Facebook games are just the next evolution (or de-evolution) of MMOs.

Blad that Bethesda isn't going to touch the things, though. Facebook games are all about money over substance.

Plinglebob:

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

I'm baffled as to why so many gamers refuse to try out facebook games at all.

I'm not against trying them :-(

I don't understand how people get so caught up in those games?
When my roommates laptop died, he was always on my computer (when I didn't need it of course) doing shit to his facebook games. He plays pretty much the same stuff as I do, but he gets so into waiting 15 minutes for a burger to be done to just create another one, then wait 2 days for some other meal to be done, etc...CONFUSING!

I wouldn't mind if BethSoft creates a really cool game (in Facebook standards) about the Elder Scrolls universe, something like a dungeon crawler of sorts, Diablo style. Or a simple port of the old Fallout classics. I think Facebook can do way better than simple still images to click, click, click.

But, I'm glad BethSoft didn't get greedy and started dumping out more shovelware for Facebook.

I can understand that point of view.

There isn't much to Facebook games when you try to break them down...

I happen to appreciate Bethesda for focusing on expansive single-player games, when everyone else is trying to enmesh their games in social networking as much as possible, no matter how inappropriate it may be.

I mean, if you don't like Bethesda, they're a pretty benign company, and if you do like them, it's probably for the niche they fill.

It baffles me too. I tried a couple and they all suck. Bad. I haven't touched one in a while. I read the article on Cow Clicker and honestly, I find that hilarious and also a rather awesome poke in the face of facebook games... they're so bad. There is no gameplay... You just collect... stuff... /shrug

You have found a toss on your farm. Will you give one?

Thank God there are still some Dev's who want to keep their souls clean.

Its all housewives and teens with nothing better to do, and, not willing to go out and play a proper game!

The Zynga games are just so boring, yet loads of people play them. Like Todd, I guess I just don't find the appeal.

Anyway, who's up for an announcement at Quakecon!

So.. the head of Bethesda, of all people, says that he doesn't understand a game revolving around grind? Has he looked at how people play Oblivion? Who here hasn't run around in Oblivion casting a spell that doesn't do much of anything simply to level your spellcasting ability?

As every person said before, somebody who played games back in the 80's and play this now is not impressive to older gamers but to someone new, it's impressive to them.

Most likely that contributed it's success would happen to be 1) Simplicity and 2) Massive social networking for free.

However, seems that Zygna happens to copy and paste their games and rename it something else.

Mr. Howard, I advise you sit down and spend a few hours playing a game from the Harvest Moon franchise. Specifically Harvest Moon 64, it won't take long for you to understand the addictive nature of taking care of a virtual farm.(I almost shit a brick when a typhoon blew my green-house away) Is it going to make you want to pick up FarmVille? God willing, no, but it will give you that understanding you desire.

Facebook in general is a tool of Satan. Anything associated with it, is equally as evil and baffling.

What do you expect? Bethesda is famous for its massive, sprawling games of exploration. Facebook just doesn't allow for that.

Of course he doesn't get it; most of us don't bloody get it!

Our market and that market are two very different things, I wish people from our side of it would stop banging on about it. Especially the morons that say it's the future of PC gaming.

It's the spawn of Satan. Simple as that. Zynga merely drags these people in with alot of smiles and promises of accessibility. Before you know it, you are one of the most gravest sinner on the planet and spend your hard-earned bucks on their games.

Either way, a Morrowind MMORPG sounds rad.

thank you todd, and thats why you are one of my favorite devlopers

I've tried them, ranted on them in another thread, and I don't play Facebook games for the same reason I don't play a lot of games, they're too simple and limited. However, lots of people love simple and limited, but you had to get the games to them. With FB, you've created an environment that is about as mass market as you can get, and thus it makes a perfect simple game delivery system.

I tried FarmVille a while ago. Never again.

Sinclose:
I'm baffled as to why so many facebook gamers refuse to try out other games at all.

Its a game on a social networking site. Thus it is sociable.

They're being snobs or they know themselves well.

Overall its not hard to understand 'Todd'.

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