Bethesda was worried that since Fallout 76 was multiplayer, you would freak out and assume that they’d stop making cool single player games. In part, that’s why they announced Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 with short teasers this year even though they can barely give you any details and won’t for a long time yet—so that you won’t lose your lid.
“We thought it was important to say: hey, new IP, single player, sci-fi thing coming, hey we are doing TES6 after that,” said Bethesda senior vice president Pete Hines in an interview with Eurogamer. He continued: “So that people didn’t start spinning off on, like, that’s the end of singleplayer games from Bethesda Game Studios.” It’s not a surprising thing to hear from the studio, given many gamers’ negative reaction to BioWare, a primarily singleplayer RPG studio, making upcoming multiplayer game Anthem.
More details on Starfield and TES6 are not forthcoming. They’re going to be “A while from now and a really long while from now! Respectively.” The announcements don’t change Bethesda’s notoriously long and secretive development cycle, so you can expect it to take the kind of time windows that it took between Fallout 3, Skyrim, Fallout 4, and now Fallout 76, before you see those games.
In that same wide-ranging interview, Hines addressed several other topics. Multiplayer experiences in Bethesda games, he said, were “usually the result of our developers wanting to branch out and try different things,” rather than something enforced by the publisher. “I want to add co-op to our game to see what it does,” said Hines. “I want to add online—they want to expand their skillsets and try to bring different experiences to their games as well, because they’re creative and they want to push the boundaries and try new things.”
Despite that, he stressed that the default for Bethesda is still the expansive singleplayer game: “Bethesda’s next big game after this is going to be Starfield, which is decidedly singleplayer, our next game as a publisher is going to be Rage 2—decidedly singleplayer. We’re also doing DOOM Eternal which does have multiplayer, but is pretty staunchly singleplayer.”
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