Bethesda wants to be the “Pixar of video games”, according to Hines

skyrim

By on August 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

In a recent interview, Bethesda marketing and PR executive Pete Hines said that Bethesda is happy to publish a diverse range of genres because there’s something special that unites its games.

“Wanting to be the Pixar of video games is not a bad thing,” he told Polygon.

“Like, ‘Well, you made [Finding Nemo], and you made Wall-E, and those things are nothing alike.’ But at the same time, they’re still forms of entertainment that share some commonalities in terms of level of execution, story, characters and the kinds of things they do, like, ‘Yes, I love both of those things even though they’re very different, and it doesn’t feel weird that a movie about a robot set on an abandoned Earth came from the same studio that made a movie about fish under the ocean.’

“It’s just how those things were executed and told that made them both Pixar things. You look at both of them and say, ‘That’s a Pixar movie.’ I would like for people, long term, to think of Bethesda like that. When you play a Bethesda game, there’s just something about it that makes you feel like that’s a Bethesda game.”

Although Bethesda is best known for The Elder Scrolls, which is developed at its flagship studio, it also publishes a variety of other games like iD Software’s games, the upcoming horror effor The Evil Within, and MachineGames’ Wolfenstein: The New Order, not to mention Dishonored.

“We don’t want to be defined by a genre. The Elder Scrolls is the crown jewel and probably always will be, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to evolve and grow in other areas with games that share common sensibilities. We’re very proud to be a company that does single-player when a lot of other folks won’t,” Hines added.

“We just want to be known for continuing to innovate, for focusing on a few key titles that are done really well, at a really high level from quality, and then go and do another one.”

Source: Polygon

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20 comments (Leave your own)

“something special that unties its games”

Hmm I wonder if that’s meant to be ‘unites’…

 

RSOblivion,

I have a strong feeling that you posted on Facebook also lol.

They might have a special design philosphy and polish that defines them, however I would like to see a studio create something like this:
http://jonnegroni.com/2013/07/11/the-pixar-theory/

 

You need to make good, emotional stories with deep characters to be the Pixar of video games…

 

auxtr3me:
You need to make good, emotional stories with deep characters to be the Pixar of video games…

And the ability to write an ending to something that isn’t a massive anticlimax time after time.

 

valve could manage this, Blizzard a few years ago could but Bethesda?

auxtr3me:
You need to make good, emotional stories with deep characters to be the Pixar of video games…

Not only that but Pixars films always look stunning, Bethesda on the other hand, whilst the games Bethesda makes may look great when looking from afar but when you get down to it they look like shit.

 

novak47:
valve could manage this, Blizzard a few years ago could but Bethesda?

Not only that but Pixars films always look stunning, Bethesda on the other hand, whilst the games Bethesda makes may look great when looking from afar but when you get down to it they look like shit.

Well to be fair, it isn’t like the TES series is bad or anything. Far from it in fact. It is simply that narrative is NOT one of Bethesda’s strong suits.

 

“The Elder Scrolls”

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the elder scrolls but it can’t hold a candle to dishonored.

Across the board dishonored is amazing writing, art style, graphics and game-play.
I really think dishonored is the kind of quality i would expect from the pixar of video games.

 

” When you play a Bethesda game, there’s just something about it that makes you feel like that’s a Bethesda game”

You already have that now (see video below)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRkkKyZzgI8

 

auxtr3me,

This is very true. The Elder Scrolls games are very good at environmental immersion yet quite poor in emotional character immersion. While their games do have something special to add, they always leave me wanting more in terms of story and personality.

 

I think Bethesda do great at what they are saying here. I recently just played New Vegas for the first time and did the main story and all DLC’s and loved it. I went to go play the DLCs on Skyrim thinking it would give a bit of Deja Vu and it really didnt, it felt the same but different – exactly like comparing Nemo and Wall-E.

The Elder Scrolls and Fallout in my opinion do absolutely everything right apart from character animation and voice acting. Add that, and a different tune would be sung.

 

Poor animations and a crappy engine do tie most Bethesda games together, so there’s that.

 

hobomaster:
Poor animations and a crappy engine do tie most Bethesda games together, so there’s that.

you can talk all the shit you want about the animations but crappy engine say what ? The creation engine is epic, i’m assuming you’re one of the many people that says an engine is bad without having any understanding of what it actually is.

 

Dishonored was great

 

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the elder scrolls but it can’t hold a candle to dishonored.

Across the board dishonored is amazing writing, art style, graphics and game-play.
I really think dishonored is the kind of quality i would expect from the pixar of video games.

I agree with that sentiment, however I have 200+ hours in skyrim and fallout new vegas (nearly 500 combined) while less than 30 in both bioshock infinite and dishonored which had better story.

There is something to be said for big worlds, which they do really well. It might not be the same thing pixar is famous for but I do tend to rack up the hours with bethesda games.

 

spooler: you can talk all the shit you want about the animations but crappy engine say what ? The creation engine is epic, i’m assuming you’re one of the many people that says an engine is bad without having any understanding of what it actually is.

Care to elaborate on why its such a good engine, seeing as you’re telling him he wouldn’t understand. If you don’t understand it either I’d say that’s an empty blanket statement in order to try and invalidate his criticism.

The biggest flaw of creation system is mostly to do with character streaming, it can’t keep characters in memory very long, versus say Arma 3′s engine which can quite easily I use this example as both are open world. You can however see similar problems with the GTA4 engine as well.

I think there’s also a lot to be desired in the AI path finding part of the Creation Engine which I’d reckon is the Achilles heel of the entire experience which I argue has more to do than anything with how they incorporated Waypoint pathing versus the navmesh, its still a very poor implementation and I’d argue they need to make the NavMesh a dynamic NavMesh to fix some of the issues they’ve had in the past. Autodesk has a few techdemos for middle ware that would quite easily incorporate into creation engine. why they aren’t using it is pretty stupid. It’s readily available if you have the money which Zenimax certainly does.

I think you’ll find my arguments to be fairly legitimate.

 

dajenko: There is something to be said for big worlds, which they do really well.

Indeed, the amount of hours I’ve spent playing in Bethesda worlds is quite scary considering how short life is. Storywise they don’t hold a candle to the likes of BioShock or even VTM: Bloodlines, but they do have that epic “universe” quality that somehow transfixes you into the world for much longer than it should.

I’d be surprised if anyone could pull off a fantastic story with a massive world.

 

spooler,

You mean Gamebryo, right? ;)

Anyway, there’s a LOT of issues with the engine. As said above, AI pathfinding is pretty awful in general. The physics, and all the glitches that come with it, are usually laughable as hell.

As well, there’s the plain and simple issue of stability. It’s an unstable as fuck engine. I have NEVER played a Bethesda game since Morrowind that hasn’t had huge issues with crashing to the desktop. The issue is only exacerbated by mods, regardless of how well they’re made. A game designed to support mods should have an engine which can support them without becoming a crashy mess. The issue is a lot to do with memory allocation too. We’re long beyond the times of everyone having 4GB of RAM, Bethesda, increase the limit so we can actually use HD texture packs without crashing constantly.

 

gammad,

all of those issues aren’t really the engine they’re the implementation of the engine, they can all be tampered with in engine.

The term good engine now is kind of a moot one almost every AAA engine is flexible enough to handle just about any scenario you could want to throw at it if used correctly.

It just bugs me when people say the engine does x wrong and they mean the game does x wrong, you pointed out an example yourself of something that could be incorporated into the engine.

The only argument for “bad engine” with Bethesda really is their use of havok which lets face it is starting to look pretty dated and stupid.

 

spooler: The term good engine now is kind of a moot one almost every AAA engine is flexible enough to handle just about any scenario you could want to throw at it if used correctly.

You’re wrong here. The engine is essentially everything that is required for there to be a game. We’re not just talking rendering power, we’re talking Pathfinding (name me one Engine that doesn’t have pathing implemented by default). AI is in fact an engine specific thing, what I was referring to was a middle ware, which there are many many middle wares that are engine specific. In fact most of the industry includes middle ware when referring to an engine, hence why you hear speed tree and scaleform often touted for their ease of art integration within the engine itself.

If you look at UDK’s implementation of AI its stock in-engine. Unity same deal they have their own pathing methods inbuilt, but at the same time plenty of little plugins that go a long way to improve the engine.

Given the nature the industry is right now you cannot dismiss middle ware for being non-engine specific as a lot of the industry is now middle ware providers. I recall Unreal made a point that even Unreal Engine could be considered middle ware. Likewise Gamebryo is middleware which is why the Creation engine is even able to exist as its an implementation of Gamebryo.

Anyway its incredibly difficult to make an engine one size fits all. Bethesda would be better off scrapping creation and instead going standalone.

 

Well the modding community certainly pulled alot more out of the engine than Bethesda did.

 
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