Fans of Bethesda Game Studio should continue to expect the same quick turn-around from announcement to release that Fallout 4 received last year. Creative Director Todd Howard explained why he prefers a short announcement to release timeframe in an interview at the DICE 2016 Awards over the weekend.
Howard spoke to IGN about the five month announcement-to-release timeframe that Fallout 4 enjoyed last year, versus the sometimes multi-year span of competing AAA games.
“I would like that to become the norm,” Howard told IGN at DICE in Las Vegas. “I hope that the way we did it with Fallout changes how a lot of people do it, and how successful it was doing it that way. I think a lot of people are going to start doing that. That’s my hope. As a gamer, too, I want a period of time to be excited, and I don’t want that to go away. Sometimes they announce, I get so excited, ‘I want to buy this right now!’ And then, I’ve gotta wait.”
That’s long been the standard in the AAA game industry, with notable titles ranging from Mass Effect to Halo and more. Yearly franchises such as Call of Duty don’t face the issue to the same degree, due to the fact they now have a set cadence of when the next game is announced, and then new features slowly revealed up to launch.
Developers who do go with the short announcement to launch period face their own set of challenges, however. The most prominent of these is dealing with leaks. Fallout 4, in particular, was the victim of several leaks, including the bulk of the game’s script at one point. The challenge to keep silent in the face of such leaks is a challenge for any organization, especially when it occurs over years.
“It is hard,” Howard said of keeping Fallout 4‘s development a secret. “It was definitely hard on everybody. But, definitely, the way it went, I would make it even shorter if I could get away with it. It would be, ‘this is out right now.’ But that’s not my perfect scenario. I think people need a little time to get it. There’s a moment there where everyone enjoys it together. They’re in on it, being excited and waiting for it. Whether that’s five months or less, I don’t know.”
This interview came on the heels of Howard announcing Bethesda Game Studios is currently developing three long-term projects during a talk at the 2016 DICE Summit. Details are, of course, scarce, as the Creative Director would only state the upcoming projects are different from anything they’ve done before, while still being a big Bethesda-style game.
Howard did not specify if these will take place in existing game universes, such as The Elder Scrolls, or if they will be all new franchises. This naturally has led to much speculation from the gaming community about what Bethesda is working on next, which is almost as good a marketing plan as announcing the titles outright.
Bethesda Game Studios has enough to keep it busy for now, however. The Fallout 4 DLC plan was recently announced, with the first three add-on packs coming over the next three months. Automatron will hit in March, followed by the Wasteland Workshop in April and Far Harbor in May.
These represent only the first of several DLC releases planned for Fallout 4 throughout 2016. Additionally, free updates will be made to the game, as well, with plans for a re-tooling of Survival Mode, along with various optimizations to gameplay.
Bethesda is increasing the price of the Fallout 4 Season Pass as a result of the expanded DLC plans. The current $29.99 price will be available through Monday, February 29, and will bump up to $49.99 starting Tuesday, March 1.
[Image via Bethesda Softworks]