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11 Times Bethesda F*cked Up And Shot Themselves In The Foot

Updated June 26, 2017 520 votes 114 voters 2.4k views11 items

List RulesVote up the biggest mistakes made by Bethesda Game Studios.

While every company has its missteps, most of these fumbles are usually harmless and easily overlooked by the public. But on rare occasions, a corporate juggernaut will screw up in a big way - take United Airlines, for example. Messes that are big enough will destabilize entire chunks of an industry.

Bethesda Game Studios is one such company that's had a rocky track record, doing everything from monetizing mods to running one of the best stealth gamesDishonored, right into the ground. This list serves to show that the industry giant behind titles like Skyrim and Fallout 3 might not be as perfect as you think. Compiled here are the times Bethesda seriously dropped the ball - vote up the worst blunders. 

  • 1

    Paid Mods Round 2: Creation Club Boogaloo

    Not one to go silently, Bethesda re-debuted its infamous paid mod program from 2015 under the new title "Creation Club," planned for consoles as well as PC. Here's the gist of their proposal: pay Bethesda, and only Bethesda, for mods that they've partially developed, but really leeched from the actual modding community's volunteer work. That's right - it's worse than their original 2015 program. 

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  • 2

    Paid Mods: Full Steam Ahead

    Back in 2015, Bethesda Game Studios took their very first stab at monetizing a sect of gaming that, out of good faith, had remained free since its very inception. The company opened up Pandora's box by allowing PC modders to charge for their creations on Steam, provided they were willing to share a massive cut of the profits with Bethesda. This purely corporate move sparked widespread outrage within the PC modding community and the pushback was so strong that Bethesda and Valve shuttered the program less than a month after its initial unveiling.

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  • 3

    Todd "All Of This Just Works" Howard And His False Promises

    Photo: IGN

    Ah, Todd Howard. Creative visionary, lauded game director, and serial liar. The man is responsible not only for Fallout 3, 4, TES: Oblivion, and Skyrim, but also for lying about each of those games' features. When questioned about how a game like Fallout 4 could function properly (read: no glitches), he responded with, "That's the benefit of a fully dynamic world: all of this just works." 

    He claimed Fallout 3 would have 200 endings. Yes. That's not a typo. 200. Howard also swore Oblivion would sport over 40,000 unique lines of recorded dialogue. He promised gamers the world, time and time again, and at each juncture, he fooled them. So the next time you see this man give an E3 presentation, be careful: he's the kind of guy who puts all his stat points into luck, charisma, and nothing else.  

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  • 4

    Bethesda's Reliance On Radiance

    One of Todd Howard's biggest lies throughout his pre-release Skyrim presentations was regarding the use of a radiant AI and mission system as a means of making the game endless, and thereby playable forever, with uniquely generated content. But while Skyrim was technically infinite because of this system, that hardly meant infinitely playable - plodding through endless, painstakingly dull radiant quests would quickly become a chore, one that the developers used as a deliberate substitute for real, hand-developed content. This problematic system persisted in Skyrim, Fallout 4, and will presumably continue into whatever open-world game Bethesda releases next.

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