Bethesda Softworks vice president Pete Hines has stated that his company largely ignored advice from users during Fallout 3 development.
Dedicated Fallout fans and forum rioters swamped Bethesda with complaints about the more Oblivion-like direction it was taking the franchise.
Bethesda chose to stick with its own direction and only take “feedback from the people who are actually playing the game.”
“When you’re designing a game, you have this group of people on the inside who are working on it every day and who know everything about the decisions that are being made,” he explained. “You don’t just take a chunk of that, throw it out to the community and say, ‘We don’t know how this question works, so let’s ask the fans.’ You’re working and changing every day – it’s a constant, fluid process. It’s not like we say, ‘Okay, everything is done now, let’s see what they say then go back and change it.'”
More important than forcing game changes based on what gamers want is testing the title in-house with those who developed it, says Hines.
“We’re big believers in playing the game, putting things in and then letting folks see how it feels, as opposed to ‘Oh, that sounds terrible!’ It turns out that ideas that sound terrible, when slightly tweaked, can be f**king awesome in the game. And it’s sometimes the case that awesome-sounding ideas will suck when you actually put them in. You’re never a slave to how something is written on paper – you put it in the game an play it. You have to take feedback from the people who are actually playing the game.”
Hines might be able to sideline ideas from gamers, but was not so lucky in preventing foreign governments from censoring Fallout 3, which ships in North America on October 28.