Home Gaming Bethesda: We’re about quality, not quantity

Bethesda: We’re about quality, not quantity

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Bethesda is one of the larger and more successful games publishers – but they haven’t reached the top of that totem pole by vomiting out tons of games. no, their growth is based on giving players quality games instead of a multitude of them.

That’s what Bethesda’s Pete Hines said to Joystiq at Quakecon about the company’s growth philosophy.

"It’s not a situation where we set out to say ‘Well, we need to be acquiring studios at this level,’ or ‘We need to be a 10,"’ Hines said. "We know for sure that we don’t want to be a publisher that is publishing 20 to 30 games a year, that’s not who we are."

"We’re more about fewer premium titles and putting our full attention behind those," Hines continued, "and if it’s one a year, or two a year, or three a year or four a year, what’s most important is backing the best bets, putting our full support behind those and making them great. And then, do it again."

When it comes to games, Bethesda really is about quality; their publishing slate at the moment consists of just a few-key titles; Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Evil Within, and The Elder Scrolls Online – all of which are set for release next year. There’s also Doom 4 and Prey 2, which may or may not ever be released.

When it comes to bugs though, Bethesda’s all about the quantity.

Last Updated: August 7, 2013


  1. Martin du preez

    August 7, 2013 at 11:42

    STFU Pete Hines and give me Fallout 4 with next gen grafix!


  2. Trevor Davies

    August 7, 2013 at 11:42

    I know I’d rather have fewer, better games than something that’s been rushed out the door to meet a release date or a basic copy/paste of a previous title. But yes, there’s some irony with Bethesda saying this after Skyrim & its special features.


  3. Wyzak

    August 7, 2013 at 11:44

    What happened to Skyrim on the PS3 then?


    • Martin du preez

      August 7, 2013 at 11:51

      lack of:


    • Melasco

      August 7, 2013 at 12:00

      Yeah, there it was all about quantity… The sheer quantity of bugs…


  4. Admiral Chief Zombie Slayer

    August 7, 2013 at 11:48

    LULZ at pot on head and smaller pot slapping


    • InsanityFlea

      August 7, 2013 at 12:09

      Ringing that bell!


  5. InsanityFlea

    August 7, 2013 at 12:10

    Don’t mock Skyrim, even with it’s bugs it’s a BRILLIANT game.


    • OminousRain

      August 7, 2013 at 12:37


      It is a massive game. Bugs are to be expected


      • Spathi

        August 7, 2013 at 15:07

        Bugs breaking your game is not to be expected.


      • Brady miaau

        August 7, 2013 at 15:08


        Careful planning and breaking down makes a large system into a sequence of smaller systems, then some integration testing of smaller systems, growing ever bigger.

        There is a science to this


        • OminousRain

          August 7, 2013 at 15:25

          Note that you can test smaller systems as much as you like. But you can’t test every scenario. As soon as all the smaller sections start working together it becomes a hole different story. Unit testing only takes you so far. This is not like a car where you can test the car battery and your done. Its allot more complex than that.

          There are still design patterns coming out and being refined. There is not one pattern that can be applied on any software. It depends on scenario and what you want to accomplish. So even if one pattern gets applied you need to modify change adapt it as you go along.

          This is not a game on rails. The possibilities are endless.

          I worked on large systems where 1 in every million transaction will fail. Do you know how hard it is to figure out why that happens. You can’t reproduce it on your machine so that you can see what happens in the code.

          If you want Skyrim to be bug free, then you will still be waiting for it to be released.


          • Brady miaau

            August 7, 2013 at 16:11

            I was not referring to Unit Testing, but that is important too.

            I see your point, but I do not fully agree. And as I write this I realise I may be incorrect.

            There is also the scenario of how the player puts together different quests, which is not even the original coding (engine or whatever), but now basically scripts that direct, this action leads to that action an so forth.

            Why I wrote that is I keep getting annoyed when people (not all, some) say (I am now speaking of the engineering and embedded coding world) this is so big and complex and so forth. Break it down, small steps, once working, lead to bigger steps and so forth. But in a game like this it is almost like two programs, one within the other and the possibility for bugs is quite big.

            Thanks for the feedback, nice thoughts.

            And I love complex problem solving, involving multiple disciplines and so forth. I love having a team of diverse people and trying to solve a single problem that could be caused by electronics, software or the mechanical actions of a machine. I love that, looking for needle in a situation like that. I facilitate the team, ask questions and so forth, I cannot actually do most of the work.

      • Brian Murphy

        August 7, 2013 at 18:13

        Some bugs are expected, sure. Bugs that are so completely buried that finding them is a matter of chance. There is absolutely no way, however, that they could not have known about the PS3 issues, none. All they had to do is look at their code and resource usage over time (which I assume can be easily charted, given they know exactly how the engine works), which they did not.

        Some bugs are excusable…but a bug that literally breaks the game after X amount of hours playing? That’s absolutely poor QA, or knowingly releasing a broken bit of software.


  6. Hesperus Phosphorus

    August 7, 2013 at 12:10

    I quite enjoyed most of the Skyrim bugs. It does break the suspension of disbelief, but flying mammoths and horse walking were rather amusing. Nothing ever broke my game though.


  7. Xelus

    August 7, 2013 at 12:18

    Quality? What does Bethesda know about quality? Look at what they’ve made, games that is barely stable at release day, you call that quality, or games that need 9 patches and community patches that fix more than 1800 bugs in your game. Clearly someone in Bethesda didn’t get your “Quality” Memo. Screw graphics!

    I want a game that runs stable and smoothly, gameplay matters more to me than fancy graphics hiding a horror.

    I guess they’re also on the: “It’s not a bug, it is a random feature!” train.


    • DBL_ZA

      August 7, 2013 at 12:55

      Like so?


  8. DBL_ZA

    August 7, 2013 at 12:54

    And in related news, Bethesda have just changed their logo:


  9. Ryan

    August 7, 2013 at 13:32

    While I can appreciate Skyrim’s open world it would be nice if Bethesda actually hired writers instead of using the producers 5 year old child for all the writing…


  10. Brenz

    August 7, 2013 at 14:03

    Do I enjoy their games, yes i do, and I look forward to each release
    I also know to expect a fuck truck of bugs thrown at me, since when did this not fall under the quality and attention to detail category?
    Saying that, just make a next-gen Fallout already, its all we want right now.


  11. Brady miaau

    August 7, 2013 at 14:56

    Oh crap.

    Has his royal Jim the Banana seen this?

    I wonder if he needs revival…. smelling salts?


  12. Rock789

    August 8, 2013 at 08:16

    I completely agree with their concept. And I love most of their games (Elder Scrolls for the WIN!!). But even hardcore Bethesda fans will admit that bugs in their games are just part of the territory… Amazing worlds, but glitches do happen… 🙂


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