Can Bethesda Remain Independent?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

So we've all seen what happens to developers that get sucked up by these inarguably soulless, humanity consuming corporations. The soap drama that has been the EA acquisition of Bioware has largely shown that under the yoke of capital extremism, even a fan favorite like Bioware can be corrupted if you've got pockets like EA. Regardless of whether or not you enjoy the new bioware (I dont), youd have to be blind deaf and dumb not to realize how radically EA has affected the company's goals.

For me, Bethesda remains the sole bastion of hope for me and people like me who made these rpg companies possible (i.e. profitable). In just got Fallout 3 and I have to say . . . these people are gods.

Now the point of this thread is to try and get a sense of whether or not Beth can maintain its level of independence. I know Skyrim sold like gangbusters, but Im not really aware if this is god or bad for independence?

Now Im not saying Bethesda is the most perfect, moral company on the planet. They have had some moments of which Im not particaularly enthused, however on the whole, Bethesda has done me proud. I just hope they can resist the temptation of a billion dollars like Bioware couldnt do.

God I hope so. If rpg games all become some streamline bullocks, gaming wont be the same.

They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

GethBall:
What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

Valve needs to release god damn Half Life 3. A game doesn't need to be THAT awesome. Just reasonably awesome.

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

Even if EA shuts down Bioware the Bioware developers that do get fired can just start up a different studio and go back to making RPGs that they were once famous for. They could also join forces with Obsidian.

Dexter111:
They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

I was aware of them being owned by Zenimax, but they never seemed to affect anything made by Bethesda quality-wise. I guess wording it as "remaining independent" was a mistake, remaining with a hands-free publisher is more like it. If I owned one of these companies, Bioware for example, I wouldn't even dream of letting it go, being a gamer aside, the steady flow of revenue is way more appealing to me over a lump sum in the short term. I guess EA just thought they could flatten out the base more then Bioware could do, and theyve proven that they can to an extent. Theyve also proven that theyre entirely capable of royally fucking up this process with Dragon Age 2, but im rambling here...

I read about the takeover around the time that it happened, and it rekindled my old hate for them. This was around the time that Kotick hate was reaching near Casey anthony levels... it sucks that hostile takeover are even legal, but cest la vie, the public doesnt really see the big picture; wall street is malignant

Zeel:

GethBall:
What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

Valve needs to release god damn Half Life 3. A game doesn't need to be THAT awesome. Just reasonably awesome.

When a game is THAT awesome it makes all the waiting worth it. I am going to be disappointed if they just do Half Life 2: Episode 3 and not Half Life 3. It would be cool to see them release both at the same time.

gof22:

Zeel:

GethBall:
What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

Valve needs to release god damn Half Life 3. A game doesn't need to be THAT awesome. Just reasonably awesome.

When a game is THAT awesome it makes all the waiting worth it. I am going to be disappointed if they just do Half Life 2: Episode 3 and not Half Life 3. It would be cool to see them release both at the same time.

it would be cool if its released at all to be honest I'm losing faith

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

What do you think a flop would entail? ME2 sales levels?

In any case, I think you're right. If the name doesnt produce profit on par with the cost of acquisition, then the publisher has no fiscal incentive to keep it around, simply put. My beef with EA is that they dont seem to understand the mindset of the rpg audience. DA2 for example, is considered to be a flop (im assuming this is what you were referring to). I dont think it had to be that way! If they had actually spent some time on the thing instead of rushing it out the door to boost short term earnings, then I think the game would have inevitably sold fantastically well! Thats the thing about rpg players, we are a discerning bunch unlike the fps crowd. Thats not really fair ... what I mean is that fps games can be churned out every year and still be good fun, while its not really possible with an rpg.

GethBall:
What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

Fallout 4: New Soviet Republic . . . with the shooter mechanics of counter-strike? I think im going to pass out

gof22:
Even if EA shuts down Bioware the Bioware developers that do get fired can just start up a different studio and go back to making RPGs that they were once famous for. They could also join forces with Obsidian.

Some of them already did, for instance the Lead Designer of Dragon Age: Origins even before Dragon Age 2 was announced: http://blog.brentknowles.com/2010/08/15/bioware-brent-year-10-fall-2008-summer-2009/

Changes
We were nearing the end of active work on design content for Dragon Age... there was still a lot more bug fixing/polishing/ and fill-content generation ahead but the core plot/writing and level design was finished. My work was rapidly shifting into that of reviewing what the team had put together.

Discussion on Dragon Age 2 began around this time and looking ahead I knew that I wasn't going to be satisfied with what Dragon Age 2 would be. Party control/tactical combat are huge factors in my enjoyment of a role-playing game as is adopting the role of the hero (i.e., customizing my character). I was fairly certain Dragon Age would transition towards more of a Mass Effect experience, which while enjoyable is not the type of role-playing game I play. Could I be the lead designer on such a title? Certainly... though if I were going to work on a game adopting a set-in-stone protagonist I'd rather work on something lighter, like a shooter.

Through a series of circumstances it was decided that with my not wanting to participate on Dragon Age 2 it was time to transition in a new lead to finish the Dragon Age console versions and ramp up for Dragon Age 2. I moved out of an active lead role though I stayed on for several months performing quality assurance and helping with the transition. I completed the game several times during this period and racked up the second or third highest bug totals... so, still busy but doing something quite different.

After this was over and the content locked down I took a sabbatical.

Mass Effect, KOTOR Lead Writer left the studio last week: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-17-kotor-mass-effect-lead-writer-drew-karpyshyn-leaves-bioware

Another recent news about 3 Leads from Star Wars: The Old Republic who left Bioware to make their own Indie-company and work on a game with vikings: http://www.indiegamemag.com/ex-bioware-devs-announce-the-banner-saga/

"It will include BioWare-style dialog, exploration of gorgeously painted landscapes, and turn-based strategic combat," John Watson told us. "The story is compelling and epic, and your choices will dramatically affect the outcome of the story."

http://www.indiegamemag.com/a-moment-with-stoic-leaving-bioware-and-going-full-indie/

Those are just a few of the ones that made it to the Press btw.

I'm pretty sure that even if every single "Bioware-dev" leaves EA will likely still keep it around as a brand, they recently even opened another studio called "Bioware Victory" that doesn't have anything to do with Bioware at all and none of the people working there to make "Command & Conquer: Generals 2" and basically be able to say on the box "Bioware did it!".

SurfinTaxt:
I read about the takeover around the time that it happened, and it rekindled my old hate for them. This was around the time that Kotick hate was reaching near Casey anthony levels... it sucks that hostile takeover are even legal, but cest la vie, the public doesnt really see the big picture; wall street is malignant

The takeover of Take-Two didn't happen, EA tried several months but they kept vehemently saying "no" and apparently got enough backing to prevent it.

SurfinTaxt:

GethBall:
What I would like to see is Bethesda and Valve to become brother companies or something. Imagine the awesomeness.

Fallout 4: New Soviet Republic . . . with the shooter mechanics of counter-strike? I think im going to pass out

That would be the game of the century.

gof22:

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

Even if EA shuts down Bioware the Bioware developers that do get fired can just start up a different studio and go back to making RPGs that they were once famous for. They could also join forces with Obsidian.

Yes. that's what i'm hoping for, to be honest.

Dexter111:

SurfinTaxt:
I read about the takeover around the time that it happened, and it rekindled my old hate for them. This was around the time that Kotick hate was reaching near Casey anthony levels... it sucks that hostile takeover are even legal, but cest la vie, the public doesnt really see the big picture; wall street is malignant

The takeover of Take-Two didn't happen, EA tried several months but they kept vehemently saying "no" and apparently got enough backing to prevent it.

Right, I meant attempted takeover. But my point remains the same

Dexter111:
They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

Ninja'd

Yeah, not much point in the discussion when Bethesda is already owned by a larger corporate entity.

Don't forget that we have two Bethesda. The publishing one and the game studio. Both are under Zenimax Media, which the creators of Bethesda made in order to become a multi-media corporation. They planed to make movies and music but you can see how that turned out. So Zenimax is what all the studios are united under, but Bethesda publishes them and Bethesda Game studio makes them, along with a whole bunch of other studios.

On topic I don't think Bethesda or really Zenimax is in any danger, not with how well Skyrim sold, and I guess Rage which sold around 2 millions units, so its doing well enough and it is quickly growing. I think it might become the fourth or fifth major gaming corporation.

I wanna see Bethesda get taken over by either Square or Nintendo. Just to piss everyone here off.

They're owned by Zenimax, who pretty much let them do their own thing. And they're in good company with id and Arkane.

Shallow open-world FPS games are not really my cup of tea.
Sure, there's the exploration and dynamic encounters, but I still prefer the character immersion, writing, dialogue and responsive worlds that Bioware has created.

There's a difference between Opinion and Fact.
Some people need to learn not to spout their opinions everywhere and pretend it's facts, and then get upset when people disagree.

You like Bethesda.
Fair enough.
Personally, I'm not too impressed - especially since they seem to rely alot on the modding community to fix bugs and provide additional content.

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

"Another flop"?

May I ask you what game you mean? Because all Bioware games sell stupidly well... Even DA2 had good sales.

Well they aren't really independent but they were allowed to do their own thing sofar, and they will stay afloat while they produce all out success stories.
Best you can really hope for is for them to remain small enough not to be overrun by accountants and big enough to keep other accounting companies at bay.

And what do you mean EA corrupts, Bioware makes the best game ever with every new release... how dare you suggest anything else!

Zenimax/Bethesda are pretty big, and they tend to be the ones doing the buying, so I'm pretty confident they'll stay independant. If only because the devs seem to like it that way.

Surely it would be more a case of staff drifting away and starting/joining rival studios and working on new products that would do for Bioware far more than EA long term. Though I agree EA are bad news - but thats true with most of the big publishers in most creative industries, they want revenue quickly and fast and to hell with integrity milk the cow as quickly as you can and for as much as you can.

Things shouldn't stagnate and if there's anything good to come out of EA buying Bioware then hopefully its that those that made it good can take their ideas elsewhere and develop new ideas.

Or is that to optomistic?

TheKasp:

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

"Another flop"?

May I ask you what game you mean? Because all Bioware games sell stupidly well... Even DA2 had good sales.

Yeah i want an answer to this as well. flop = bad sales, not bad game.

and i liked dragon age 2 <.<

Whilst I personally really enjoyed EA/Bioware's Mass Effect 2 I do hope that Bethesda remain independent. Skyrim is perfectly accessible and easy to pick up without losing depth - probably their best game - if another company came in and tried to make it even more consumer friendly then they'd risk ruining it.

Dexter111:
They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

Zenimax was founded by the same people who founded Bethesda Softworks. They are basically one in the same. In an essence, they still publish their own stuff. As you said also, so long as a company remains private, it is solid, generally. Once a company goes public, expect it to turn to shit.
This is mostly what I have seen for gaming companies. Once a company goes public, it turns to shit very very quickly.

Tayh:
Shallow open-world FPS games are not really my cup of tea.
Sure, there's the exploration and dynamic encounters, but I still prefer the character immersion, writing, dialogue and responsive worlds that Bioware has created.

There's a difference between Opinion and Fact.
Some people need to learn not to spout their opinions everywhere and pretend it's facts, and then get upset when people disagree.

You like Bethesda.
Fair enough.
Personally, I'm not too impressed - especially since they seem to rely alot on the modding community to fix bugs and provide additional content.

Your avatar is very ironic.

Bethesda are owned by Zenimax, so no hope for you OP.

Tayh:
Shallow open-world FPS games are not really my cup of tea.
Sure, there's the exploration and dynamic encounters, but I still prefer the character immersion, writing, dialogue and responsive worlds that Bioware has created.

There's a difference between Opinion and Fact.
Some people need to learn not to spout their opinions everywhere and pretend it's facts, and then get upset when people disagree.

You like Bethesda.
Fair enough.
Personally, I'm not too impressed - especially since they seem to rely alot on the modding community to fix bugs and provide additional content.

Not that I disagree, but how the fuck does that in any way relate to the thread topic?

SurfinTaxt:

Dexter111:
They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

I was aware of them being owned by Zenimax, but they never seemed to affect anything made by Bethesda quality-wise. I guess wording it as "remaining independent" was a mistake, remaining with a hands-free publisher is more like it. If I owned one of these companies, Bioware for example, I wouldn't even dream of letting it go, being a gamer aside, the steady flow of revenue is way more appealing to me over a lump sum in the short term. I guess EA just thought they could flatten out the base more then Bioware could do, and theyve proven that they can to an extent. Theyve also proven that theyre entirely capable of royally fucking up this process with Dragon Age 2, but im rambling here...

I read about the takeover around the time that it happened, and it rekindled my old hate for them. This was around the time that Kotick hate was reaching near Casey anthony levels... it sucks that hostile takeover are even legal, but cest la vie, the public doesnt really see the big picture; wall street is malignant

Eh, BethSoft make money for ZeniMax and they're happy to just keep them under the umbrella. If a HUGE offer was made they may consider selling but consider the MMO rumours and the obvious Fallout 4 and Elder Scrolls 6 games to come...I doubt they'd be willing to shift them before these games were out, if they flop then maybe a seriously large offer could shift them but when you have an asset which consistently rakes in large amounts of money...you don't want to lose that...

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

I assume when you say 'another' that you're referring to DA2? Otherwise I'm not quite sure which flop you're talking about. SWTOR seems to be pretty successful...2 million paying subscribers and growing.

Aside from jamming multiplayer into ME3 (Which I hear has turned out pretty well), what exactly has changed about Bioware since they were acquired by EA? I am honestly confused as to what is so horrible about them now. I see so much uproar about origin and ME3 but I see nothing concrete that could actually cause people so much irritation.

I'm sure its been said, but Bethesda IS owned by a huge 'souless' corporation. Just because said corporation allows them to develop games without raping them with multiplayer, doesn't mean that they're any more ethical than EA.

Somonah:

TheKasp:

Zeel:
Don't forget their whole buying studios and closing them down within 5-7 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts
38 studios bought, only 7 are still alive. 2 of them fairly recent.

If Bioware produces another flop, they might be at risk.

"Another flop"?

May I ask you what game you mean? Because all Bioware games sell stupidly well... Even DA2 had good sales.

Yeah i want an answer to this as well. flop = bad sales, not bad game.

and i liked dragon age 2 <.<

Well, DA2 sales were about half of DA:O's. Considering the short development cycle they've probably still turned a good profit, but they'll have a hard time selling that particular franchise ever again.

And while SW:TOR had a good launch, i'm not sure they'll be able to recoup their $200M+ investment if they experience the same subscription drop like in WAR, which is very likely.

Overall, over the last few years they've lost more fans than they've gained and are quickly becoming less and less profitable. Unless they come up with something really new and inspiring, EA will just squeeze them dry and throw them away.

Another dragon age game will sell. it'll still ride the hype of origins, and there were still alot of people that actually liked or didn't mind 2. As for SWTOR, launch has been good so far, and it's not even availible everywhere yet. I ca't even get it here till later in march.

bad sales = flop, not less sales than it's predecessor.

Dexter111:
They're part of Zenimax Media since like 1999... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZeniMax_Media

Along with several other studios:

Bethesda Game Studios, acquired in 1999.
ZeniMax Online Studios (MMOG development), created 2007.
Vir2L Studios, created 2008.
id Software, acquired in June 2009.
Arkane Studios, acquired in August 2010.
Tango Gameworks, acquired in October 2010.
MachineGames, acquired in November 2010.

There's the kind of "owners" that let companies do their own thing, especially as long as it works and makes them money, and then there's the kind like Activision and EA that have to "restructure" everything and "finetune development processes" for "optimized" workflow and fiscal exploitation that fuck everything up on the way.

Not that I personally like Bethesda games much, they're kind of... empty... to me xD

We gotta remember that EA also tries to buy other huge publishers though to keep staying on top, for instance they tried a hostile takeover of Take-Two (along with RockStar) in 2008: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two , so it's still a possibility (not while ZeniMax remains a Private company and isn't publicly traded on the Stock Market though).

o.o i did not know that, XD i was gonna reply 'they make stupid money of TES why wouldn't they stay independent'. but props to zenimax for leaving them to they're own devices.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked