Exclusive prediction I know I’m not the first to say this but $7.5 billion for Bethesda just seems unbelievable given their recent output. It’s a clear decade now since Skyrim, which was their modern peak if you ask me, and their best stuff since has been the considerably lower selling Doom and Wolfenstein games, which are by two studios Bethesda had to buy in.
I have very little confidence that Bethesda Game Studios can regain their former glory and I can only hope that Starfield proves me wrong, not least because I’d love to see a new big budget space trading game. What makes the whole deal weirder to me is that Microsoft already bought Obsidian, who made Fallout: New Vegas – a better Fallout game than Bethesda ever managed. Their new game Avowed looks like a Skyrim clone so why didn’t they just stick with them, give them a bigger budget, and ensure no bugs?
We’ll never know I guess but the big question is which games exactly are going to be exclusives? My prediction is that it’ll be a hotchpotch that won’t make much sense initially but will eventually be everything except for free-to-play or online games. Starfield will definitely be exclusive, I reckon, because it’s not an established franchise, but The Elder Scrolls 6 won’t be because Bethesda already announced it when they were still independent. Fallout 5 will be exclusive though, because it’s never been officially announced.
Ultimately, it makes no sense for Microsoft to buy Bethesda and not make their games exclusive. This isn’t like Minecraft, where the Xbox is the least appropriate format for the game. All of Bethesda’s games are complicated, mostly single-player games aimed at adults. That’s exactly what the Xbox is aimed at and that’s why, I think, Microsoft bought them. Gojira
Best year ever I didn’t realise Tomb Raider was 25 this year as well. Resident Evil and Lara Croft in the same year? 1996 must’ve been quite the year. I knew Wikipedia did review of the years type article so I looked up the year and, wow, I wasn’t wrong. Add to the list Super Mario 64, Quake, Civilization 2, Tekken 2, Duke Nukem 3D, NiGHTS Into Dreams, and Pokémon.
I’d say that puts 1996 in contention for best year ever or at least one of the years with the most influential releases. I don’t really remember it myself, as I was just starting uni and video games weren’t at the forefront of my mind right then but it I’m almost kicking myself that I missed out now.
2020 and 2021 clearly aren’t in the running to be classics but I wonder what other years other readers consider to be the best ever? I think 2017, with the launch of the Switch, Persona 5, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and XCOM 2 is probably the best in recent memory but curious what other people think (it’s okay if you have to look it up, I spent some happy hours surfing through Wikipedia to find out). Mick
The AAA paradox I had completely forgotten that Watch Dogs: Legion even existed until you mentioned it again on Tuesday. I’ve never played it and never intend to (I had enough of the Ubisoft formula a long time ago) but that was clearly a big game that must’ve taken a lot of time and money to make and… I don’t think I heard a soul talk about it beyond the week it was released.
On the one hand it shows why publishers don’t dare to be too experimental with expensive, because they’ve got to try and ensure they sell to as many people as possible. But it also shows why that just ends up with ever decreasing circles of bland, predictable games that sell okay but never enough to more than wash their face (I’m imagining, based on the game’s chart performance and lack of hype).
I feel sorry for the developers the most. I’m sure they’re all very talented and would much rather be working on something more interesting but here they are stuck making unexciting Ubisoft rehash #30331c. Korby
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Light at the end of the tunnel Some encouraging signs over the last few days, that the stock problems of the new gen consoles are getting better. The Xbox Series S was in stock without selling out right away at Amazon and Very. PlayStation 5 drops are much more frequent now. The asking price for a PlayStation 5 is much lower on eBay and CeX will only give £500 for a disc version now, as they have far more coming in.
A work colleague and I both got an Xbox Series X from the GAME drop yesterday. Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will still sell out quickly with each drop for months but it doesn’t feel as dire as a few weeks ago with the statements from AMD, Microsoft, and news of the semiconductor shortages.
I was going to sell the Xbox Series X on at bought value, to whoever wanted it, but might keep it and pick the PlayStation 5 up at the end of the gen for the exclusives. My nephew gaming on Xbox is the biggest reason but there’s others. Microsoft still offer a conversion of 1:1 of Xbox Live Gold to Game Pass Ultimate up to 36 months for new subscribers. Load your account with Gold then sign up to Ultimate for a £1 and all remaining Gold is converted 1:1.
ShopTo sell a year of Gold for £40, so that’s three years of Ultimate for £120. With the next gen price hike it’s exceptional value, especially with the recent Bethesda purchase and adding EA Play to the service. All for £20 cheaper than two Sony first party exclusives. Simundo
Shield streamer So GeForce Now, eh? I am signed up to the free version and have used it all of once, on my Shield tablet. I played Tomb Raider, just to see how it worked. it seemed OK, I certainly didn’t experience the lag mentioned on the other letter.
I have mainly used it for the Gamestream feature, where you stream from your own PC to the Shield. This has had mixed results, on games like Overcooked it works great, when trying Forza Horizon 4 (presumably because there is a lot more data to be flown through the air) performance was patchy until I got a Wi-Fi booster (and you really need 5GHz, not 2.4GHz Wi-Fi). The Dude Abides PS: I too miss arcade racers. I love Forza Horizon 4, especially just taking my F150 and just literally going wherever I want on the map, but I really miss the split screen action that Burnout used to give. I spent many happy hours on the PlayStation 2 playing split-screen Burnout games. Inbox magic, make it so!
Cinematic universe So if the new Mortal Kombat movie is a success and so was Sonic The Hedgehog and Pokémon, is that going to lead to a new wave of video game movies? It seems almost certain it will, because Hollywood tends to be even more of a band wagon jumper than games. But will they acknowledge that the reason these films were a success is because they’re from long-running games with a big universe and they were surprisingly accurate to the games (Sonic wasn’t originally but making Sonic more accurate was a big news story when they changed his look and delayed the movie)?
I really don’t see the point of making films of things like Uncharted and The Last Of Us as there’s nothing distinctive about their worlds once you take the game part out of it. There’s not some massive world to explore that the games wouldn’t show but the films can, it’s just a zombie apocalypse and Indiana Jones in the modern day.
They should be looking at things like Diablo and Overwatch and Destiny for the next films. Not games that are know for their stories but they’ve got huge worlds and lots of characters so there’s plenty of room for a film to be authentic but not feel tied down. If there’s not an Overwatch film announcement within the next two years I will be very surprised. Bushwhacker
Hats off I’ve seen other readers say something similar before but I’d just like to join the list of people who don’t have any real interest in Fortnite but are constantly impressed at how Epic Games manage to keep it fresh with new features. I realise they do this by throwing money at it (and having lots of crunch) but even so.
I’m even actually tempted to try out the single player mode they’ll be adding for the next season, although my memory of playing the game was that it wasn’t a particularly good third person shooter – it was everything around it, and it being free, that had made it such a hit. Wraith
Xbox indirect I’m struggling to see what the point of that Xbox blog was, other than to tell us that they’ve bought Bethesda, which we already know. Their other information is that some of their games will be exclusives, but they’re not saying which ones or why, and more games are coming to Game Pass, but they won’t say which ones. Well thanks Microsoft, that sure has got me hyped!
They’ve been like this for months now and I have no idea whether they think they’re being clever or they’ve got so little to work with they have to string it out like this. For example, they didn’t announce the much rumoured livestream on Thursday so does that mean it’s not happening or they’re going to have a completely separate announcement about Bethesda two days in a row? I can’t guess.
I just hope we get some news, and a proper look at, Starfield soon because I’ve been hoping for a long time that it will be the Elite style game that is not quite so purposefully boring and antiseptic as the real Elite. I’d also like to see it be a return to form for Bethesda who, as far as I’m concerned have been on a downward slide for years now and should frankly feel very lucky that Microsoft wanted to buy them. Yasm
Inbox also-rans Have Crystal Dynamics really issued a statement that says the levelling system in Marvel’s Avengers was too complicated for the people playing the game? So Crystal Dynamics essentially just called the people that bought their game idiots? PazJohnMitch
RE: Ryan O’ D. You will find Dark Souls 3 quite a bit easier after Bloodborne and Dark Souls 1. Alan Smith
Happy MAR10 day everyone! JAH
This week’s Hot Topic The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Ishi, and asks what game have you tried the hardest to like but always failed to enjoy?
It doesn’t have to be a famous or notable game but is there anything you were really looking forward to, or had heard good things about, that you found you just couldn’t get into it? Was it because the game was different to what you expected or a problem with the difficultly, story, or other individual elements?
Did you ever come back to it a second time, or more? What’s the most times you’ve tried to play a game and still never got on with it?
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The small print New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.