Bethesda Softworks has emerged as one of the premiere game publishers in the industry. Since its purchase of id Software, the game company now has big franchises like Quake, Doom and the new Rage. Plus there’s Bethesda Game Studios’ own Fallout and Elder Scrolls role-playing game franchises. The publishers’ purchase of Arkane Studios adds a new franchise to the mix with the open world adventure game, Dishonored. And Bethesda’s partnership with inXile Games brings Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, a throwback to the old dungeon crawling days. Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing at Bethesda Softworks, talks about the future of games in this exclusive interview for dperry.com by John Gaudiosi of GamerLive.tv.
If you got out your crystal ball, when do you think the video game industry will become mostly digital?
It seems to be trending that way, slowly. I really can’t say when we’ll see the big shift. It’s really up to the console manufacturers and how they choose to support it going forward. That’ll determine how fast it happens.
If you were designing the next killer console, what would you focus on?
I’d make it more, and more flexibility with more memory and a big hard drive to allow for more user content. And I’d make everyone work together to create just one so we could stop designing games for multiple consoles.
EA stated that a 5-7 year console cycle is a serious problem when Apple refreshes hardware every 12 months and ships new features multiple times a year. Is our industry moving too slowly?
We like the fact that we get to iterate on a single console and continue to get more out of them, rather than “starting all over” with a new one. You can look at the progression from Oblivion to Fallout 3 to Skyrim and Rage and see we’re still able to make advances, while still developing on the same console.
Some of the really big game publishers still don’t focus on Facebook and Google players, how long can they keep ignoring these platforms?
Companies do well when they focus on what they do well. We don’t make games for Facebook or Google players. Though if you play on those things, and also play console games, we still focus on you. We just stick to the platforms we know that allow us to make the kind of games we like to make.
Facebook games seem to be on an accelerated evolution path, what technologies are most exciting to you? For example, have you seen Flash Stage 3D (Molehill) or Unity or Gaikai who can instantly stream products like World of Warcraft inside Facebook?
I’m excited about anything that brings more awesomeness to my iPhone or iPad. I admit, I don’t play a lot of games on Facebook or Google, despite how much I use both. Between my Apple devices and console and PC games, I have more than enough different types of games to keep me happy.
Bethesda Softworks Blog: www.bethblog.com
Pete Hines: @DCDeacon