Bethesda Game Studios is developing a "AAA freemium game"


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Bethesda Game Studios Montreal is developing a “bleeding-edge AAA freemium game,” according to a job listing on the website of parent company Zenimax. The position advertised is for a Game Performance Manager who is able to "envision, evolve, and operate monetization strategies, targeting the intersection of revenue generation goals and quality player experience."

NeoGAF user Nirolak spotted the posting, which comes from the game development arm of Bethesda responsible for the likes of Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, rather than Bethesda the publisher.

Back at DICE 2017 last February, Bethesda president Todd Howard said the company was working on an unannounced mobile game. It may seem like the job listing here is related to the project, but that's not necessarily the case – all Zenimax’s other postings that involve mobile titles specifically mention the platform, whereas this one does not.

Bethesda Game Studios has previous experience with mobile games and microtransactions thanks to Fallout Shelter, which was developed alongside Behavior Interactive. While interest in the 2015 title has now waned, it was released to positive reviews and grossed $5.1 million in microtransaction sales within two weeks following its launch.

Howard said that the mobile game Bethesda is working on would follow in the footsteps of Fallout Shelter, which doesn’t make it sound very “bleeding-edge” or “AAA.” He also revealed that Bethesda Game Studios was developing three other unnamed projects, two of which are "bigger than everything we've done [before]." It’s possible that the job listing is for one of these trio of titles.

Despite the evidence, this “AAA” game could still be a Fallout Shelter-style mobile experience, but perhaps Bethesda is working on a big budget PC title with a freemium model. Expect to find out more at E3 next week.

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*Sigh*, I am really starting to get tired of this model. At first I didn't mind playing the odd game that was a little grindy but free (and if the game was good enough to sink many hours into, I would spend some money in the store as a "thank you"). But now there are too many games that have great looking gameplay mechanics which are watered down with grinding.
My biggest annoyance is when a game goes online only, but has gameplay mechanics that I really would like to see in a fleshed out singleplayer/co-op game.
At this point, I want to play video games that are fun most of the time, not some of the time because I have to grind (or pay) to progress...

Vindictus is a great example of an MMO that I'd want to see turned into a decent paid for SP/COOP game; solid fighting and RPG mechanics, but is plagued by p2w aspects. Put many hours into the game and stopped playing because I couldn't keep up with the needed stats without grinding bosses that had almost impossible to get drops (rare enough that you'd then sell it for the money to maybe buy a piece of enhanced armor/weapons). It pretty much became a community where if you didn't have the stats, you didn't get allowed to join raids you needed to improve your character (because the bosses were stupid hard as it was, and joining lower stat people almost guaranteed a loss).
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Posts: 92   +96
I hope this fails so other developers don't think this is a good idea and in a few years every video game made is "free to play" with in-game purchases.
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Posts: 3,836   +1,183
I hope this fails so other developers don't think this is a good idea and in a few years every video game made is "free to play" with in-game purchases.
Hehe yes, it will fail like so many others, the model is flawed and none can make a revenue...

As long as it's not pay to win it should be ok.


Posts: 3,084   +3,134
Soooo sick of the attempts to monetize literally every interaction with the Internet (and via the IoT making EVERYTHING part of the Internet). With the likely death of net neutrality the Balkanization of the web is going to accelerate and within ten years we will no longer have an Internet as we know it today. It will be an ugly parody of how things were in the early-to-mid 90's.

alabama man

Posts: 563   +354
Sound to me like they are looking for someone to fix quake. As it is it will flop hard and it would be a shame to waste all that work.