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 games, Dishonored, 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.
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.
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.
Bethesda's Anti-Review Policy
Starting with Doom in 2016, Bethesda had the brilliant idea to stop the press from reviewing their games in advance. They provide journalists with "review" copies less than 24 hours before a game is set to launch.
While Doom turned out to be a critical and commercial success, Bethesda took the cautious tolerance that game had earned their new policy and burnt it to the ground with Dishonored 2's disastrous launch, prompting a negative impact on Prey (2017) sales as a result. Will the policy affect Bethesda's future releases as well? Definitely. Do they deserve it? Indubitably.
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.