E3 2019: Bethesda’s Press Conference

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jun 13, 2019

Filed under: Industry Events 86 comments

I know last time I promised that I would wrap up E3 in a single post, but once again I have underestimated my capacity to overanalyze things. It’s probably going to take me a few entries to process all this content. Today I’m just going to cover the Bethesda show.

This show should more properly be called the “Zenimax Press Event”. Zenimax is the parent company and the true owner of these various properties. I suspect this is a good cop / bad cop type deal. The name Zenimax is used when the company needs to launch another one of its obnoxious bullshit lawsuits where the company is technically in the right legally but deeply in the wrong morally. The Zenimax identity absorbs all the consumer hate, allowing the Bethesda name to sustain the pretense that they’re just a bunch of nice folks who love video games.

It’s hard to criticize the strategy, given how well it’s working so far.

Fallout 76

Don't think of it as a game that was broken at launch. Think of it as the longest public pre-alpha in the history of AAA games.
Don't think of it as a game that was broken at launch. Think of it as the longest public pre-alpha in the history of AAA games.

Bethesda is here to play “good cop”, so this was something of an apology show for them. Fallout 76 was an unmitigated disaster. Bethesda knew the game wasn’t ready for prime time, but they released it anyway. This earned them a lot of animosity, and a lot of this show was dedicated to admitting their mistakes in broad, non-actionable terms and talking about how important the fans are.

Fallout 76 has apparently been massively improved since launch. I’m glad the company didn’t just cut their losses and leave the game to die. At some point this year Fallout 76 is going to get proper NPCs with dialog and quests. Bethesda really does seem to want to make things right, so it baffles me that they released the game in such a state to begin with. If you care so much, why didn’t you do it right the first time? It’s not like those bugs were hard to spot! Since they had to put another year of work into it, wouldn’t it have been better to put in that work before launch? It certainly would have sold better, and that nasty metacritic rating isn’t going to go away.

In the past I’ve expressed a certain degree of distaste for Bethesda frontman Todd Howard. He always rubs me the wrong way and I often find myself arguing with my screen when he’s on stage. Having said that, he’s really good at his job. He always stays on message, and he’s really good at striking the right balance between truth and spin. Andrew Wilson would try to convince me that being fed legs-first into a woodchipper is “an exciting new opportunity that you’ve been demanding for years”, while Todd Howard would frame it more like, “The woodchipper thing was really unfortunate. We’ve learned a lot of lessons since then and we’re going to have to work overtime to earn back your trust.”

Both statements are empty and do nothing to remedy the situation, but Howard’s version is closer to reality, it obliquely admits some degree of fault, and it indicates they’re going to avoid doing it in the future. Wilson’s version is delusional and shows a certain degree of contempt for the listener. Howard is talking to the audience, and he’s trying to influence their perception of events, while Wilson is really talking to shareholders and saying things the audience knows are obviously false.

Ghostwire Tokyo

Thank you for sharing your concept art with us. Is this going to be a game of some kind?
Thank you for sharing your concept art with us. Is this going to be a game of some kind?

They presented an interesting premise for a world. It felt a little near-future and cyber-punkish, but with some spooky paranormal stuff. Cool ideas. Cool visuals. But like, what is it? What do you do in the game? Punch ghosts? Investigate stuff? Play match 3? Romance your schoolmates with awkwardly translated dialog?

I don’t know. It felt like this was more concept art and renders than an actual game. I think this one is still a long way off. We’ll see what it looks like next year.

Wolfenstein Youngblood

Wolfenstein is quickly becoming a brand I think of as great ideas with lousy execution.
Wolfenstein is quickly becoming a brand I think of as great ideas with lousy execution.

My concern here is the same concern I had with the game at last year’s show, and the same concern I had with Wolfenstein: New Colossus. The previous entry had serious shortcomings in terms of pacing, narrative design, level design, and gameplay. It was dull, loud, shallow, and full of self-indulgent cutscenes that existed to gratify a designer’s sophomoric Hollywood aspirations instead of entertaining the player. I’m looking for some indication that the team is working to improve their craft and focus on the essentials, and instead the only selling point is HEY KIDS YOU WANT TO KILL SOME NAZIS? BUY OUR GAME AND SHOOT THE EVIL NAZIS! The presenter kept stopping for applause every time he mentioned shooting nazis. (And to be fair, he got it.)

I’m not going to pay $60 to express how much I hate Nazis. I can do that anytime I like, for freeBTW: Nazis suck.. If I’m going to pay $60 for a game, it’s because I want to play a fun video game, not because I’m trying to show solidarity with the the non-Nazis of the world.

The co-op premise of BJ’s daughters is fine. You could make a good game out of this idea, but I have very little faith the team will do so.

Deathloop

That's actually a semi-circle and not a loop, but okay.
That's actually a semi-circle and not a loop, but okay.

Arkane Studios made my #1 game in 2017 and my #2 game in 2018, so I’m basically on board with whatever they’re doing at this point. With Deathloop it looks like they’re returning to the Groundhog Day ideas they were experimenting with in the Prey: Mooncrash DLC and building a full-fledged game out of it. You play as one of two assassins, trapped in a time loop, killing each other over and over. One wants to break the cycle and the other wants to sustain it.

That’s all we know, but it’s enough to make me very curious.

Orion

Wow. Robert Duffy got old. I'd better be careful or the same thing might happen to me!
Wow. Robert Duffy got old. I'd better be careful or the same thing might happen to me!

This was an unusual segment. For a brief moment, E3 actually lived up to its supposed purpose as a trade show rather than acting as a gigantic consumer-facing marketing blitz.

We usually watch these shows with the expectation that we’re going to see a showcase for consumer products, but this was actually a presentation for middleware. Id Software Chief Technology OfficerThat’s John Carmack’s old job. Robert Duffy and Director of Publishing Operations James AltmanThe owner of Zenimax is Robert Altman, and I’m pretty sure this guy is his son. came out and talked about Id Software’s history of technical innovation and the invention of commercial VR. The trick is that they did this without ever mentioning John Carmack. It’s understandable to not want to bring up his name after that unfortunate lawsuit business, but pretending like Carmack doesn’t exist is obnoxiously revisionist. I don’t blame Duffy or AltmanEr, not THIS Altman, anyway. for this. I’m sure this is just dumb corporate politics as a result of Zenimax’s ongoing litigation and mischief.

At any rate, they’ve invented a shader program to help with video compression. It’s aimed at streaming services like Google Stadia. The talk was mostly a sales pitch without much in the way of technical details, but by trying to read between the lines, I get the impression that this software is a sort of post-processing filter. You apply this filter to the final rendered frame and then it gets sent off for encoding and transmission to the user. The filter will alter the image to make the compression work better.

Video compression is tricky business. This shader will help reduce the image sizeSize in bytes, not pixels. by “up to 20%”. My guess is that 20% is the best-case scenario and typical numbers will be lower than that. They make a point about how this will help reduce latency, which is only sort of true. It’s true that a streaming service will be able to broadcast gameplay images to the user faster if the images are smaller, but we can’t ignore the time it takes to run the shader itself. Still, this moves 20% of the problem off of the internet and puts it into the machine. It’s monumentally easier to increase processing throughput by adding more hardware than it is to increase internet throughput by extending your fiber optic network.

Apparently the industry isn’t kidding around this time. They’re really serious about making this streaming stuff work. Google is getting into it. Microsoft is getting into it, which is probably a bad idea. Walmart is apparently working on it. Sony might be developing their own service.

Given what a miserable killjoy “LIVE SERVICES” have turned out to be, I’m pretty apprehensive about this. The last thing I want is for these giants to start grabbing exclusives and balkanizing the industry even more. Also, my internet connection isn’t strong enough that I can rely on streaming. I have to share this internet connection with the rest of the family and I can’t just hog it all for myself because I want lag-free gaming.

These services seem to be aimed at people who have enough money for a top-notch internet connection, $60+ for the controllerAs of this writing, the controller doesn’t have a MSRP. However, it certainly WON’T be cheaper than the standard PlayStation / Xbox controllers it’s replicating, and will probably be more at launch due to extra features., and a couple of hundred bucks a year for the subscription, but who don’t have enough money to just buy a console. It’s for people hardcore enough to want to play a lot of AAA games, but who are also casual enough that they don’t want dedicated gaming hardware and they’re happy to just play whatever games show up on the service rather than selecting specific titles in their genre of interest. I won’t say those people don’t exist at all, but are there enough of them to sustain a system this large?

I don’t know. I assume the bean-counters at Google have run the numbers and think that this makes sense, but I’m not seeing it.

Doom Eternal

Yep. This is exactly what I was expecting.
Yep. This is exactly what I was expecting.

This looks like what we’re expecting. I’m not totally sold on all the first-person parkour, the spinning traps, and the swinging mechanics. I don’t mind doing complex chains of jumps to get secrets, but I really don’t want to stop shooting demons and do insta-kill jumping puzzles every couple of minutes. It could be fine, but I’m skeptical about some of the hazards I saw.

Even more concerning: At one point in the footage the player collects a 1Up. Maybe that’s an alternate game mode, but if they’re thinking of adding limited lives to Doom then I’m going to make an angry face.

No Elder Scrolls, No Starfield

Oh boy! It's... not what I thought it was.
Oh boy! It's... not what I thought it was.

I really wanted to see two things in this show: The next Elder Scrolls game, and Starfield. Both were a no-show.

“Oh boy! This looks like Elder Scrolls. Yes! There’s a Kajit. He looks great. And an elf… wait. Why is she so pretty? Did they change the art style? Wait, Elsweyr? I thought the next game was going to be set in Hammerfell? Did they… Shit, this is for the stupid MMO, isn’t it?  Damn it. Well, maybe they’ll show the next proper Elder Scrolls game later in the show.”

I fall for it every damn year.

This year I fell for it three times. Once when they announced new content for Elder Scrolls Online. Then again when they announced content for Elder Scrolls Blades. (A mobile game.) Then again when they showed off Elder Scrolls Legends. (A collectible card game.) It’s been 8 years – an entire console generation – since the last mainline title in the series. We’ve gotten numerous re-releases and spinoff titles, but we still don’t have any gameplay footage of a follow-up for Skyrim. If the game was aiming for a 2020 release, then they would have showed off some gameplay / teaser stuff this year. The fact that it wasn’t even mentioned means that the game is still years away.

They announced Starfield last year, but we still don’t know anything about it other than “probably outer space”.

So that’s the Bethesda show.  Hang on, the real surprises are coming up later in this series, when I do a 180° on a franchise and it goes from “most hated” to “most anticipated”.

 

Footnotes:

[1] BTW: Nazis suck.

[2] That’s John Carmack’s old job.

[3] The owner of Zenimax is Robert Altman, and I’m pretty sure this guy is his son.

[4] Er, not THIS Altman, anyway.

[5] Size in bytes, not pixels.

[6] As of this writing, the controller doesn’t have a MSRP. However, it certainly WON’T be cheaper than the standard PlayStation / Xbox controllers it’s replicating, and will probably be more at launch due to extra features.



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86 thoughts on “E3 2019: Bethesda’s Press Conference

  1. Dreadjaws says:

    Having said that, he’s really good as his job. He always stays on message, and he’s really good at striking the right balance between truth and spin.

    This is precisely the reason why I can’t stand the guy. He’s a freaking salesman. He knows what he’s saying is mostly not really true, but hangs to the littlest bit of truth he can find to try to spin things in his favor. Sure, the other guy is a jerk, but at least he has the decency of being stupid enough to not convince anyone, so we know the truth by default.

    Also, Typolice:

    Don’t think if it as a game that was broken at launch.

    Should be “Don’t think of it”

    Howard is talking to the audience is trying to influence their perception of events

    Not sure how to fix this. Maybe remove the first “is”, or change the second one to “as if”.

    However, it certainly WON’T be cheaper than the standard PlayStation / Xbox controllers it’s replication

    Should be “it’s replicating

    1. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      Agreed. If they’re going to be evil (spoilers, corporate heads usually are), then at least have the decency of being blatantly incompetent at it.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      More Typolice:

      he’s really good as his job.

      Good at his job…unless that’s some sort of deeper statement about his relationship with abstract concepts…

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Man, I completely failed to notice that one. Kind of ironic, being in a line I was quoting.

    3. Daimbert says:

      Interestingly, there’s a typo in the first line you quoted. It should be “he’s really good AT his job”, not “he’s really good AS his job”.

      EDIT: Should’ve scrolled down.

      It’s still interesting that there’s a typo in the one line that Dreadjaws quoted that WASN’T a typo correction [grin].

  2. TLN says:

    These services seem to be aimed at people who have enough money for a top-notch internet connection, $60+ for the controller, and a couple of hundred bucks a year for the subscription, but who don’t have enough money to just buy a console. It’s for people hardcore enough to want to play a lot of AAA games, but who are also casual enough that they don’t want dedicated gaming hardware and they’re happy to just play whatever games show up on the service rather than selecting specific titles in their genre of interest. I won’t say those people don’t exist at all, but are there enough of them to sustain a system this large?

    Isn’t part of the appeal the dream that by offloading hardware requirements to somewhere else, you’d be able to make games that are much bigger and look much better than what your console can typically handle (I mean, now we’re about to get new consoles so they’ll catch up a bit, but in 3-4 years they’ll presumably be lagging behind PCs again).

    1. DerJungerLudendorff says:

      I’m not sure if consoles ever caught up with PC’s.
      The last generation was noted to be basically middle-range PC’s in a box, which would and did become outdated fairly

    2. Vinsomer says:

      Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse?

      People aren’t going to design games solely for the Stadia, because for nearly everyone the bottleneck is going to be internet connection. There’s no use making a super awesome game wih crazy high-fidelity graphics if nobody can play the thing because of low internet speeds or bandwidth caps. Maybe, in a world where streaming is the norm, you’ll actually see that, but just like every other attempt to change the gaming landscape (VR, motion controls, Ouya), the fundamental issue is the devs go where the players are, so if you don’t have the players, you won’t have the content necessary to get the players.

      I can’t see the Stadia really succeeding because the people who would eat this up (mostly middle-class gamers in emerging economies like Brazil, India, China, Africa etc.) aren’t going to have the infrastructure in place to make it a reality, and those that do can just afford the choice and freedom that comes with consoles or PCs.

      And Shamus is right, it’s a lot easier to improve local hardware than it is to improve internet cables/speed.

      1. Decius says:

        Give me a turn-based strategy game like Civilization, but that needs more number crunching when it’s running than I can afford to have dedicated to my gaming.

        1. Vinsomer says:

          That might be a great game for you (and me), but, as with every project there needs to be a proven market before investors or publishers consider it worth the expense.

          And a lack of power isn’t what’s holding back strategy games anyway. More powerful Civ might be nice, but move to another platform with a sub fee and heavy internet requirements nice?

          1. Decius says:

            Possibly so,etching like “Dwarf Fortress but with larger world tiles to support larger embark tiles”.

            But yeah, I don’t see the market for Stadia games that ignore current resource limits being large enough for anyone who to start making enough to give Stadia a library worth the cost.

    3. “we’re about to get new consoles so they’ll catch up a bit, but in 3-4 years they’ll presumably be lagging behind PCs”
      Well that’s the beauty of consoles for developers, you have fixed hardware to design for which makes super easy.

      This means that as a state of the art console is released it matches the high end mainstream PCs, near the end of it’s “lice cycle” it matches a low end mainstream or high end budget PC.

      High end mainstream PCs to low end mainstream or high end budget PCs is the main chunk of gaming market for PCs. You have state of the art budget machines withing this range and 10 year old “high end enthusiast desktop” (HEDT) gamer rigs. All able to play the game at a reasonable good look/framerate if game settings are tweaked right.

      When the console hardware “war” started slipping down from 5 year cycles and more towards 4 years I began to worry as this meant it would decrease the PC upgrade cycle making PC gaming too expensive.

      However AMD kinda subverted that by offering same performance at a lower cost or better performance at same cost CPU’s when compared to Intel. And seems to be set to almost do that with Nvidia (which is now releasing a Super series and may price drop their current range to make room for them, which may probably cause AMD to drop prices too if AMD wish to gain back marketshare).

      I just hope AMD can stay profitable with a price drop, if they do then besides the very top end (1 or 2) cards by Nvidia, high performing gaming cards that matches or even surprasses the Xbox Scarlett will be relatively affordable.

      MY own rule of thumb is to only ever double things I buy. So 8GB RAM to 16GB RAM. 4GB GFX card to 8GB GFX card. From old GFX card to new GFX card with 100% performance increase (aka double the performance). From 4 core to 8 core CPU, etc.
      Scarlett was said to be 4 times as powerful than XBox One X, with a longer lifespan than a (non-upgraded) PC this makes sense in my oppinion.

      What is curious to me is one of the female architects behind Scarlett saying that it’ll have raytracing and it’s hardware accelerated. I so wanna hear more about that. Is ther a NAvi+ chip in Scarlett (i.e. is AMD releasing their own “RTX” like cards late next fall along wit the new XBox?
      Or does Navi support it and next fall (or next year) AMD just releases a driver update and boom, raytracing is enabled on Navi cards?

      Navi (or Navi+ or whatever) will most likely like Intel’s GFX cards have raytracing support/acceleration in way that is compatible with Microsoft’s DXR, and Vulkan Raytracing. This means developers just target those APIs and gamers has raytracing regardless of them having a Intel, AMD, Nvidia card.

      Only difference being that one AMD engineer stated that it only hypothetically made sense if the entire GFX card stack supported it. If that still holds true. Then AMD’s new cards from the highend to low end should support raytracing. It’s possible Intel is thinking the same. Splitting the market like Nvidia did with GTX and RTX was a dumb move. They should have launched a full bottom up GFX card stack with raytracing. But I guess Nvidia wanted to get rid of old stack and sell failed RTX card chips (binned) re-branded as GTX cards (1660 and 1650 etc).

      There is another conference where I’ve read more details on Scarlett may be revealed (that the E3 stuff now was just a “teaser”). The new AMD cards launches this summer. It’s possible AMD wanna drop a raytracing “bomb” after Nvidia releases their super cards. AMD did kinda hold back the new 16 core Ryzen to not only spread out their announcements but also to see how Intel responded (is my guess).

      It is certainly a interesting tech year.

    4. Tizzy says:

      I think Penny Arcade best summed up the concerns over who the audience is.

      Having fancy games that are more powerful than the typical non-gaming rig could handle seems to ignore the issue that bandwidth will remain the bottleneck. Two alternative suggestions that come to my mind.

      1. Game streaming represents the next step in weaponizing the live services model, for the benefit of new (industry) players. Once you convince gamers to move to a streaming platform, those live services games are forced onto that platform and Google or whoever no doubt gets a cut of that sweet microtransaction dollar.

      2. Less likely, but maybe the gaming market is that saturated that trying to capture a market share of the existing gamers has become a losing proposition, and going for the margins and expanding into new markets is what’s required. Google gets to leverage its massive server farms and distributed computing know-how, which are entirely out of the wheelhouse of game publishers and platform holders (other than Microsoft). And prodding the right influencers and streamers (puke!) could conceivably get people interested to move on that platform. Maybe the distributed technology could allow for entirely new types of games?

      My second option is more Google-specific, so in that case I can’t explain why so many competing services would be announced (isn’t Apple rumored to be working on one as well?), except maybe FOMO.

      1. Liessa says:

        It’s the first panel that nails it for me. They’re apparently targeting people who have never played a non-mobile game before (since they have no hardware), yet are willing to pay for an expensive subscription service with no guarantee of what will be on offer at any time, and also for a super-fast Internet connection in order to run it. Um, okay?

      2. Cubic says:

        Man, I got scooped, but I fully agree.

        “I love playing hardcore high-fidelity games — or at least I assume I would. I don’t own a console or a powerful computer. That’s why I think Google Stadia is for me.”

        It goes on. Brilliant.

        This all gives a whiff of Silicon Valley companies getting into some conference venue, milling around with powerpoints and now the herd is getting uneasy, perhaps even spooked. Games! Games is where it’s at! Rumble. The flock of PR crows raucously takes off.

        Not convinced Stadia or even lo-fi game streaming works in a real setting. I think the most interesting part of all this might be that Apple is getting into gaming.

        1. Mark says:

          Apple has been making these feints at taking gaming seriously since the Clinton administration. I wouldn’t get too excited until they stick to the plan for more than three months.

          1. Tizzy says:

            True. But with the income from the hardware side drying up real fast, they have the incentive to take a serious shot at it.

    5. Mephane says:

      I know one person who would be definitely in the target audience right now: got no gaming hardware whatsoever, rather tight budget. Stadia requires no subscription for 1080p streaming, only for 4K, which obviously would be useless anyway without a 4K screen.

      That said, I think the companies are playing a long game here. Sure, right now all of this seems rather superfluous, but I imagine that for the next console generation already, some of the people who so far bought their own hardware, might choose to skip buying a new console/PC altogether and instead go for the streaming.

      1. WarlockOfOz says:

        Presuming a wizard (or failing that, continuing improvement in the tech and infrastructure) makes all the internetty questions go away, streaming could be a big thing – rather than millions of people each owning a whole pc/console that they only use some of the time they’d share access to some smaller number of equivalents (enough to cover peak use, with maintenance and other compute done outside the surges).
        A big thing in 2019, no. But neither were digital storefronts when they first launched, and i can understand why companies are trying to lay the grounds to become Streaming-Steam rather than Streaming-Windows store.
        Not going to pay for Stadia myself, but I might well check whether if my Geforce Now account is still active.

        1. Richard says:

          It probably needs a wizard.

          The round-trip latency of “move mouse, see viewpoint move” is the thing that will kill the experience.

          At 60fps, there’s 16ms available, so my PC has 16ms to do everything or it misses the deadline and takes 32ms.

          I’m in a major metropolis, and my ping to Google right now is 20-25ms.
          So Stadia has already missed the deadline, before the Stadia or my box have done anything at all.

          So it can’t be 60fps because physics.

          To be 30fps, (2-frame deadline), Stadia has 7ms in which to:
          Have my box upload my command, Stadia processes it, applies my input to the game logic, runs a game logic update step, renders, compress the render, then transmit it to me and have my box decompress and display the frame.

          7ms just isn’t enough time to do that, even assuming Stadia’s servers are ultrafast and my box is doing the ethernet-decode-and-display in dedicated hardware.
          (It isn’t, because directly-ethernet-connected GPUs aren’t currently a thing.)

          Perhaps it might make 20fps of user input with ‘perfect’ display interframes. Maybe that is ‘good enough’ for casual, but are they actually going to subscribe?

    6. Agammamon says:

      Sorry, except at the beginning of the XBox360 era, consoles have been lagging behind PC’s.

      The PS4/XBOne were equivalent to middle-of-the-road gaming PC’s *when they released*. The ‘upgraded’ versions were sat the lower bounds of ‘good’ when *they* released.

      I suspect that when the next generation of consoles arrives it will be about as powerful as a gtx1070 or AMD equivalent – still strictly middle-of-the-road as far as PC gaming hardware standards go.

      If you don’t do PC gaming (and so don’t build your PC for gaming) then you might not realize how large the delta is. Consoles are generally much better than the standard PC people use who primarily use it for office productivity – and that includes most of what is marketed as a ‘gaming PC’ in the OEM pre-built market.

    7. Leeward says:

      I think it’s about destroying the secondary games market once and for all. Lots of people seem to like the model where they buy the game for $60, play through it once, then return it to GameStop for store credit or money or something. Then GameStop sells it to someone else who’s not willing to pay $60 for it. Publishers don’t want to sell the game for $40 after the game’s been on shelves for a year, because they can still find some people willing to pay $60 and the tastiest thing they eat is consumer surplus.

      This way, instead of GameStop getting those $40, they can get royalties for hours-of-game-played or an up-front deal with Google/whomever to have their game on the platform.

      Netflix (streaming) wasn’t about putting DVD makers out of business. It was about putting Blockbuster out of business. And it worked.

  3. Ghostwire Tokyo
    The female developer talking about the game was super adorkable. Imagine if the archer in the teaser trailer took of his hood and it was CGI Keanu, then we cut to the stage with him walking up next to her. If she and Keanu Reeves had been on the stage at the same time I think the internet would have melted.

    It seems like a lot of Japanese projects is making it’s way “west”, while hardly anything interested me it’s nice to see more asian content appear.

    Fallout 76
    As to Fallout 76 and NPCs, that thing surprised me. I’m gonna take a wild guess that somebody managed to convince upper management by saying “Look how many players we have and how much money we are making yet so many dislike the game, imagine how much we’d make if everyone liked it instead?”

    I noticed they used the terms 1st year and 2nd year, does this allude to there being 3rd and 4th year content plans too for Fallout 76? Was this their plan all a long? Why not say so earlier when people complained on the lack of NPCs?

    I think Todd Howard is like Peter Molyneux. Talented, smart, charismatic, and the “big ideas guy”. And not very good at managing the projects himself (maybe the positive changes in Fallout 76 is due to him moving on fully to finishing up Starfield and starting work on ES6?).

    As to ES6 and Starfield, I think ES6 is at least 3-4 years out, max 6. But Starfield will either be released fall 2020 or spring 2021, this means there might be a large Starfield reveal at next E3, and maybe a short teaser trailer for ES6 if lucky.
    I also expect E3 in 2022 or 2023 to show a Fallout 5 title teaser.

    I have no idea how large/wide their dev teams are or how things are setup, they may or may not be able to work on multiple large projects at the same time, if that is the case then we might end up with a ideal release chain of Starfield, ES6, Fallout 5 with just one year apart for each of them. (I highly doubt that though, it’s probably at least 2 years between them), I just hope I wont be too old to play games by the time Fallout 5 is actually released.

    1. Shamus says:

      “The female developer talking about the game was super adorkable.”

      She was AMAZING. So enthusiastic. That crazy body language. I loved it. Get rid of these boring suits and let her run the show.

      I think she was the only presenter at the show that was having a good time.

      1. Her name is Ikumi Nakamura and Kotaku’s article details her career some.

        I’m sadly not that aware of many game directors designers (even less so any female ones), but I can’t help but feel she’s become the role model for many who may want to get into game development.

        Note! Feel free to skip past line in the praise/criticism paragraph that links to a NY Times op-ed. Nakamura was either well aware that she was doing a “Kawaii” act, or this is possibly just how she really is (and maybe just emphasised it some on stage).

        Kotaku ends the article nicely though by saying “she’s been at this forever. Just quietly, in the background, while dudes in blazers sleepwalked their way in and out of the spotlight. For Nakamura, this sort of recognition on a major stage is, if anything, overdue”

        I hope this continues a growing trend, where more of the brilliant people working tirelessly and quietly on these games get a moment in the spotlight. This will increase their presence and they may be able to avoid “the suits” calling the shots too much and ruining great games (lootboxes, shortened release dates, content changes due to marketability, PGifying mature games etc).

        (a few moments later)
        I’ll have to correct myself, looking at her twitter https://twitter.com/nakamura193
        She appears to be just like she was on stage, bubbly, lively, and having the time of her life. If Ghostwire (no clue what the game is about) has amazing gameplay and looks even half as good as the trailer, we might be looking at a female Hideo Kojima here (as far as gaming rockstar status goes, Kojima would never have been able to do a presentation as well as Nakamura just did).

        Edit: I love some of these memes that have started popping up: http://catchymemes.com/post/185518568069

      2. cheekibreeki says:

        She, Keanu, Jon Bernthal’s dog, Watch Dogs granny, and Banjo were the real stars of E3

      3. Rack says:

        The way she talked about it being horror without being a traditional horror title, and being a mystery in that you don’t even know the situations you encounter will be supernatural in origin made it seem way more interesting than the trailer did.

        1. Yeah that’s the major critique I have of all of E3, so many had (awesome looking but) teaser trailers, no gameplay. If these where trailers for animated movies the teasers would be awesome.

          1. Preciousgollum says:

            I have a suspicion that due to the 24 hour media cycle, the publishers decided that longer gameplay trailers can be made available on Youtube, and the teaser/reveal/concept trailer is what they want to show on stage, because they are designed to be short, and more stuff can then be announced in the presentation.

            Why make gameplay trailers for E3 (to then be accused of misrepresentation) when all those budding journalists are around will do the work for you by making their own gameplay trailers?

        2. Christopher says:

          I feel pretty damn confident about Shinji Mikami’s studio’s ability to make a fun action romp with some spooky stuff in it. I haven’t been big into Tango’s own games yet, but Mikami’s been behind games like Resident Evil 4, God Hand and Vanquish while raising up talent like Hideki Kamiya (and, apparently, John Johanas, the director of Evil Within 2 who made a better game than he did himself). Nobody’s perfect, but I feel pretty confident in them delivering a quality product even if there was no gameplay. Also yeah Nakamura is like the cutest ever. I don’t think she’s been a creative director before, so she’s not a big name, but she’s certainly worked on some cool stuff.

          During Giant Bomb’s late night videos, Jeff Gerstmann has lamented the presentation of the Wolfenstein game and said that what he saw behind closed doors “sells itself”. I’m curious about what the game is really like.

          In other news, it’s come to light that Keanu Reeves is playing a ghost in your head that only you can see. Which I think makes a lot of people think about Batman Arkham Knight, but which makes me think about Tales From the Borderlands, where Handsome Jack’s memories are stuck in your cyborg protag’s head and keeps trying to manipulate you to get what he wants.

          What I’m saying is, if this game doesn’t end with the protag dismantling the cybernetic implants in his own body in a boss fight, including ripping off his own arm and pull out his eye to get the man trying to control him from the inside, then this game suuuuucks.

      4. Look at this interview regarding The Evil Within where she was the lead artist.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0yOgw6LTlI

        At one point she flat out honestly say that she hated the way one of the monsters she designed is revealed in-game which causes Shinji Mikami to laugh out loud.

        She is refreshingly honest and authentic in my opinion, and I hope this industry won’t change her, I truly hope she remains as a inspiration for creators.

    2. Agammamon says:

      I noticed they used the terms 1st year and 2nd year, does this allude to there being 3rd and 4th year content plans too for Fallout 76? Was this their plan all a long? Why not say so earlier when people complained on the lack of NPCs?

      I honestly don’t think they had ‘plans’ – they had hopes, dreams, aspirations, ‘things we’d like to do’. But first, shove it into the pool and see if it swims. Hey, it swam. WE’RE NOT GOING TO GET LAID OFF!!. Shit. Better start nailing down that roadmap.

  4. Preciousgollum says:

    It is concerning with Wolfenstein: Youngblood that it isn’t a next gen sequel, but rather the last of the current gen.

    It would be a really good idea to have a Wolfenstein spin-off or whatever type of story this, as an Xbox Scarlett launch title.

    Wolfenstein The New Order was a ‘first-wave’ batch of releases for Xbox One because of course with it being somewhat a reboot, nobody knew how it was going to be received (especially when the last game ‘Wolfenstein’ for the Xbox 360 was received poorly). The reason why Wolfenstein: The New Order was positively received has a lot to do with:
    1. Game supreceeding low expectations.
    2. There weren’t that many new games coming out on the Xbox One, because there were a lot of remastered titles

    So, basically, in the kingdom of the blind, one-eyed Wolfenstein was king.

    Now you now have no prospect at all that a Wolfenstein III (if there even is one) will end up on current gen consoles to actually complete whatever this story was building up to. The series becomes a convoluted soap-opera again with its own continuity.

    Maybe they’re trying to avoid doing a Mass Effect 3.

  5. cheekibreeki says:

    It was kind of amusing how the presenters looked put off by the audience’s constant cheering, like “C’mon guys these are just dialogue options being added for Fallout 76, not Half Life 3”.

    1. galacticplumber says:

      Pretty sure consensus last I heard was that that audience was both inebriated and full of Bethesda staffers. Paying people to woo, but the wooers couldn’t figure out the right times to woo and went with saturation bombing.

  6. Crokus Younghand says:

    Bethesda is known for not announcing/marketing games until the release date is upon them. I won’t hold any hope for Starfield or ES6 stuff until 6 months before release.

  7. BlueHorus says:

    The original DOOM didn’t even have lives, did it? That’d be a step back into the dark ages – as Yahtzee pointed out, the only real reason for it was back in the arcade era when they were designed to extract money from people continuously*.

    Deathloop does sound intriuging, though. That’s a great-sounding premise, though it has the potential to be either really good, or really badly mishandled.
    (Here’s a thought: it’s Always-Online, and that means other players can drop into your game unnannounced and play the other assassin! What fun! Though naturally, the most dangerous assassin would be a dodgy internet connection.)

    *There’s a comment about Microtransactions in here somewhere…

    1. Chad Miller says:

      the only real reason for it was back in the arcade era when they were designed to extract money from people continuously

      Limited lives made sense in older games where the respawn point if you started a new life was different than the respawn point if you lost all lives. It provided a way for game designers to create challenges that discouraged a certain degree of brute-forcing while still giving the player a break if they didn’t get it all in one attempt. It stopped making sense when players started expecting to get right back to the point where they died immediately after death.

    2. Fizban says:

      Doesn’t DOOM 2016 already have an arcade mode with lives/credits? Dunno why they’d use that mode for a trailer though.

  8. Mephane says:

    Even more concerning: At one point in the footage the player collects a 1Up. Maybe that’s an alternate game mode, but if they’re thinking of adding limited lives to Doom then I’m going to make an angry face.

    Oh I have a bad feeling about this. Between Fallout 76 recent addition of P2W MTX (repair kits), the entirety of Elder Scrolls Blades, and the recent reveal that Wolfenstein Young Blood will have P2W MTX, too, there is a non-zero risk that not only might there be limited lives, but extra lives could be sold for real money.

  9. Ninety-Three says:

    I won’t say those people don’t exist at all, but are there enough of them to sustain a system this large?

    Whether they exist today doesn’t matter. If you look at the market prices for bandwidth and computing power, then look at what Stadia is charging, it’s hard to see Stadia turning a profit no matter how many customers it gets. I think they’re banking on technology improvements, which will not only bring down their costs but make good internet more widely available. Entering the market now, during the unprofitable phase is about building brand recognition, plus getting a head start on solving some of the engineering problems.

    1. Hector says:

      I also was trying to come up with a financial model for Stadia or the streaming services and it just doesn’t add up to me. The cost actually seems way low for the hardware you’re supposed to have 24/7 access to with no waits at peak times. Add in the licensing expense and it just doesn’t seem viable.

      1. Cubic says:

        Do you need a dedicated machine in the data center to run the 4K game that is streamed to your screen? If so, seems like it could get expensive to build.

        1. Hwctir says:

          Hypothetically, no – but that wouldn’t save money. A machine capable of running multiple 4k output sessions, with different level data, characters, world states, etc (not to mention having entirely different games) would be borderline magic. You could buy hardware and develop middleware to do it, but I’m having a hard time thinking you’d ever save money on the deal.

          Nothing Google is doing is impossible per se, just incredibly difficult from an economic angle. Expensive, with front loaded costs and a lot on ongoing expenses. They may be using the “free” stuff as a lure to get people to buy lots more at full price.

          1. Moridin says:

            A machine capable of running multiple 4k output sessions, with different level data, characters, world states, etc (not to mention having entirely different games) would be borderline magic.

            A server CPU has enough PCI-e lanes to handle multiple high-end GPUs(and enough cores to dedicate sufficient threads for each instance). For middleware, you can just adapt an existing VM or container solution(it’s not too different from a VPS in that regard, minus the need to output 4k video through internet). You’re absolutely right in that the hardware costs would be higher than just getting a discrete machine for each instance, but the gaming hardware isn’t the only concern here. Floor space, networking hardware, etc. all cost money as well.

        2. WarlockOfOz says:

          Technically no but in effect yes since you’ll need enough resources to imitate a full machine. The advantage is that when you’re not using it someone else can, so the provider only needs to have enough machines for peak simultaneous use, not enough for their entire membership.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            And we all know that companies are excellent in gauging those and totally not taking a stance like “eh, people will deal with server troubles on launch day and we’ll drop some of those users in a week or two” (Simcity, Diablo 3, nearly any MMO ever on launch day or after a major expansion launches). Only a service like this would not just be vulnerable to this on launch day but during big launches, holiday seasons and even daily cycles as different areas of the world finish work or start their day…

      2. Neery says:

        Google already provides a cloud computing solution for enterprises, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t be surprised if the demand on those machines drops way down once the professionals go home. I suspect this games streaming service came out of a conversation that started “Who can we get to pay for all this computing capacity that’s just going to waste during non-business hours?”

  10. Ivan says:

    Regarding Deathloop, who else would like it if the entire thing is just the meta narrative of a duel between two players in an unlimited lives deathmatch in an FPS?

    Also, presuming Watch Dogs is the one Shamus is alluding to, I am very interested to see what concerns/hopes you have regarding it. Cos I had a few. Eg: how is death going to be handled outside of that presumably scripted prologue death?

    1. Liessa says:

      Watch Dogs would be my guess as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if Shamus is excited about Legion due to his enthusiasm for procgen, but personally I have to say that I’m deeply, deeply skeptical. I’ll be interested to hear his thoughts on it nonetheless.

      1. Christopher says:

        I like to imagine Shamus really hated FF7 originally but then saw the Tifa reveal and got super stoked.

        Watch_Dogs’ grandma animations look fun and all but it’s still gonna be Watch_Dogs.

  11. BlueBlazeSpear says:

    Andrew Wilson would try to convince me that being fed legs-first into a woodchipper is “an exciting new opportunity that you’ve been demanding for years”, while Todd Howard would frame it more like, “The woodchipper thing was really unfortunate. We’ve learned a lot of lessons since then and we’re going to have to work overtime to earn back your trust.”

    I think Todd Howard would frame it more like “The Woodchipper thing was really unfortunate. But if I could just get you to go ahead and climb on into it…”

    I played Fallout 76 a while back and found nothing enjoyable or redeeming about the experience. It barely felt like a game – more like a proof-of-concept. The survival aspects were just persistent enough to be annoying without really adding anything to the experience. The settlement building wasn’t designed to be fun, but rather a platform for loot-grinding in the form of schematics. It was frustrating and restrictive. And it was never an enjoyable experience to run into other players in the world, even the ones that weren’t actively hostile. I was playing my wife’s character, which was female, and I think that played a part in the unpleasantness, but all I could think was “This was exactly the last thing that a Fallout game needed.” What the game did need was human NPCs, so I’m glad that’s happening. But at this point, the game has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I don’t care anymore.

    As someone who’s waiting for news of Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 myself, I knew we had every reason to believe that we’d get nothing more than some passing lip service. They announced a while back that they wouldn’t be discussing these games at E3, but a certain segment of the “fanboy” population couldn’t help themselves and began to try to spin that statement to interpret it to mean that Bethesda would for sure be talking about Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6. I can appreciate that BGS wants to blossom creatively and not be a two-franchise studio, but the fact that the Elder Scrolls franchise will be skipping an entire console generation suggests to me that somebody over there may’ve lost the thread for what they should be doing.

    1. Geebs says:

      I think Todd Howard would frame it more like “The Woodchipper thing was really unfortunate. But if I could just get you to go ahead and climb on into it…”

      I think he’d go for something like the angle he took for the reveal of that Pip-boy peripheral that came with the Collectors’ edition of Fallout 4. “I know that the experience of getting fed into a wood-chipper is crap, but this is the best crap we’ve ever made”.

      1. Preciousgollum says:

        “…AND IT GLOWS IN THE FUCKING DARK!” – Todd Howard.

  12. EOW says:

    I’m surprised how the TripleA industry, known for being obnoxiously risk adverse, is all jumping on the idea of these services, which are an unknown market.
    I’m kinda afraid, i feel there’s far too much choice. Like, we have 6-7 competitors all launching their service at the same time. How can the average consumer that doesn’t really know what an EA or Ubisoft is make a good choice about what service to take?
    Especially when most tripleA games tend to be military brown shooters?

    Plus, games aren’t movies. Netflix works because a movie takes you two hours to watch.
    A game takes from 10 to 60 hours, it just doesn’t seem something you can really play comfortably on a monthly fee.

    1. Hector says:

      While I think that’s a not simplified, its obvious to me that the big publishers haven’t understood Live Services yet. To them, its a way to shove microtransactions and or monthly fees. Then things fail and they don’t get why.

      Live service have been a thing for some time in other contexts, but the trick is that you have to offer more – often a LOT more – in exchange. Usually you need a unique angle or hook, which AAA doesn’t like. As with the failed post WoW mmo clones, they think its a safe way to get practically free money when they’re really taking a huge risk, often in a market they don’t understand.

  13. Pax says:

    Sorry, Shamus, they had announced before E3 that they weren’t going to be talking more about Starfield or ES6 yet, so I knew at least to not get my hopes up. I think their main RPG team just expanded from a small ~100 people group into a massive corporate monster team like all the other studios have, but I doubt they’re that comfortable working on multiple games at once, except for maybe having concept guys and people who already have their work done going on the next one. If nothing else, the split of focus between 76 and Starfield, coupled with 76’s reaction probably wouldn’t encourage them to divide their attention. I’m fairly certain Starfield will be mostly done from release from release before ES6 seriously enters production. Maybe next year.

  14. Piflik says:

    Hang on, the real surprises are coming up later in this series, when I do a 180° on a franchise and it goes from “most hated” to “most anticipated”.

    I agree… the new Watch_Dogs did look quite interesting. The hacker grandma was rad.

  15. ElementalAlchemist says:

    Isn’t Elder Scrolls VI only slated for full development after Star Field? I’d be expecting something more like 2022-2024 for it.

    1. Agammamon says:

      Probably. If Starfield isn’t being released until the latter half of next year – likely since they didn’t drop a release date at E3 – then 2024 is the most likely date for TES VI.

      But, their studio is larger now so they might have the manpower to be able to do more than pre-production on TES VI concurrently with Starfield – something they haven’t been able to do in the past.

  16. Christopher says:

    The DOOM devs were delightful on Giant Bomb’s night show, too.

    They sound like they really know what they’re making. It’s super refreshing to have a gamey-ass game among the AAA western devs, where the devs are acutely aware that they’re making it with fun first and foremost in mind rather than immersion or whatever. I normally have to weeb over to Japan to get that kinda treatment.

    Edit: BTW Shamus, extra lives are more like how you have two lives in Sekiro and can get back up after being knocked out. Or alternatively, if you’ve got a fairy on hand to revive you after death in Zelda. It’s just something that gets you up at the place you died instantly instead of reloading a checkpoint, as a concession to less skilled players.

    https://www.pcgamesn.com/doom-eternal/doom-eternal-extra-life

    1. Higher Peanut says:

      I’m more and more wary what they do to Doom, the things they show seem more intrusive than anything else.

      Lives: Can I turn them off or am I going to have to reload manually or jump off a cliff to get rid of them?

      First person insta-death platforming over pits: A likely return to Xen and we all know how fun that was.

      No deathmatch: Because that niche quietly died with Quake3 and UT2004 apparently.

      That god awful UI and pickups: I read their interviews about how they want everything to stand out so you can read it easily. I get it, but you can do that without ruining any atmosphere you had. Even 90’s doom had less arcadey pickups that fit in with the game style. As for the UI it’s super bright and wastes screen space. Nothing on the screen should pop more than the combat. If you just keep the important information (the numbers) and drop or minimise the rest (giant glowing icons and bars) it solves the fast readability problems. 90’s Doom had the giant face bar but that’s usually minimised to 3 numbers (hp, armour, ammo) and keys now.

      They cause tonal problems with the game too. 1-UPs are very meta, they even say 1-up in giant floating letters. They put all this effort into lore and logs, why should I care at all if the game tells me constantly that it’s all just fun, silly arcade times. It seems like a step back from 2016 (and the 90’s) where we could get a fun game about exploding demons but the world presented was tonally cohesive with itself enough that whatever lore and story was there felt like it fit.

      Edit: This was supposed to be posted as a new comment but it came out as a reply instead.

  17. Preciousgollum says:

    The Elder Scrolls Online is better than a ‘proper’ Elder Scrolls game, because ‘proper’ Elder Scrolls games have been on a downward spiral in terms of mechanical ambition, and therefore ESO actually distills into a single video game, in a relatively user-friendly way, what Elder Scrolls games have actually become.

    ESO embraces the garbage, and upcycles it into something workable, if a bit tacky, whereas a new Elder Scrolls game will probably try to wow audiences with how ABSOLUTELY HUGE and full its garbage pile is.

  18. Locke says:

    BTW: Nazis suck

    Applause

    1. Shamus says:

      Thank you. It took a lot of courage to say that.

      1. trevalyan says:

        So brave. Thank you for this.

  19. Jabberwok says:

    I know very little about either franchise, but it seems odd to me that Wolfenstein is doing the two teenage girls thing right after Far Cry just did the same thing?

    1. Preciousgollum says:

      I know very little about either franchise, but it seems odd to me that Wolfenstein is doing the two teenage girls thing right after Far Cry just did the same thing?

      The way market trends tend to work is that a fashion trend catches on, or is insisted upon by marketing, and then everybody rushes to make a product based on that trend, based on prediction that it will be popular somehow. Some get to market before others. It happens in the film industry a lot, where there will be a missing type of film or material (Robin Hood, King Arthur, Hercules, White House Under siege) and suddenly MULTIPLE versions of that story will come out in the same year.

      Remember 2013 in video games being The Year of The Bow?

    2. shoeboxjeddy says:

      In Far Cry, those were (some of) the villains. In Wolfenstein, they’re the player characters. That’s pretty different.

      1. Jabberwok says:

        Oh really. Didn’t realize that, I assumed you played as them. I just thought maybe it was that time when shooters would all transition from gruff father figure murdering people to twin daughters murdering people. Like how a memo apparently went around a couple years ago that it was okay for AAA games to start using bright colors again.

        “The way market trends tend to work is that a fashion trend catches on, or is insisted upon by marketing, and then everybody rushes to make a product based on that trend, based on prediction that it will be popular somehow.”

        Yeah, I hate that…

        1. Preciousgollum says:

          I realise that my comment kind of reads like ‘entertainment market gives things that people want’ but I also think you can read between the lines (as you have seemingly demonstrated lol) and realise that the entertainment market jumps on a cow and then milks that cow until the udders are dry. And then expects that you are only going to drink milk for the next year. And then you realise a good portion of creators have been lining up to milk the same cow, when there were other perfectly viable alternatives they could have milked.

          Hope you like that milk from the same cow for a year or more… (and aren’t lactose intolerant).

  20. Paul Spooner says:

    I think the point is well made that it makes a lot more economic sense to buy a gaming console or mid-tier PC if you want to get into performance gaming.
    On the other hand, if you start playing ShootMan Omegeddon 20Xd6 on your phone screen on an impulse while waiting at the airport while your flight is delayed, it becomes much more difficult to justify buying the hardware when you get home rather than just buying a subscription every month.
    Pay-day loan companies work on the same model. It’s financially bonkers to pay $20 for a $50 advance every week, month after month, but somehow there’s no end of customers. It’s super sleazy, but those people make a ton of money off of the habitual short-sightedness, poor planning, and impulsive gratification seeking which seems to be in no short supply. So, I guess what I’m saying is that Google Stadia is positioning to be the payday loan broker of videogames.

    1. shoeboxjeddy says:

      Some people are using payday loans foolishly in order to indulge in their vices faster. But there’s also people in desperate straits. An unexpected medical or vehicle bill could give you the option of “payday loan or… dangerous illness/nonfunctional vehicle.”

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        But none of those justifications apply to video games.

    2. NinetyThree says:

      The Stadia console is $130 and the monthly subscription service is optional, you can just buy the console plus individual games like you do on Xbox. Assuming you already have internet, you’re now paying a third the cost of a console and the tradeoff is… the catalog might be limited based on Google’s ability to talk devs into selling on their shop? This does not look like a sleazy payday loan.

    3. Agammamon says:

      *If* you have the bandwidth and low-latency to support – it can make sense even for ‘hardcore’ gaming. Spend $1,800 on a gaming PC or spend $150 for the initial setup and $10/mo for the next 160 months (13 years)? Or go premium and spend $30 for 55 months (4.5 years – even at this point you’re still getting a deal).

      Of course, its dependent on a) high bandwidth/low-latency networking being available (its not coming to where I live anytime soon) and b) Google or whatever competitor being able to actually monetize it well enough that they don’t pull the rug out from under you. Google doesn’t have a good track record. Sure, what they’ve monetized they’ve become extremely rich off of – but that just means *they’re* taking in riskier projects, most of which fail, leaving the users in the lurch.

      Also – that’s not the majority of payday loan customers. *Rent-to-Own rim shops* however . . .

  21. RFS-81 says:

    DOOM Story Trailer is the funniest combination of words I’ve seen today!

    You shoot demons in the face with guns! Plot twist! Sometimes, you chainsaw demons in the face with chainsaws!

    1. Agammamon says:

      Too predictable.

      Now if you shot chainsaws at them . . .

  22. Agammamon says:

    I have to share this internet connection with the rest of the family and I can’t just hog it all for myself because I want lag-free gaming.

    That’s the life of a father – all patriarchy outside the house, lowest on the pecking order inside it.

  23. Joe says:

    Todd Howard was on IGN Unfiltered recently. He says he doesn’t like showing things too far in advance. If it was up to him, he’d announce things maybe a week before actual launch. However, he admits that the marketing people have a hand in the matter. Either way, it’s still too early for Starfield/TES6.

  24. Joe Informatico says:

    Thought on hearing about Deathloop: “They updated that Spy vs. Spy game I had for the Commodore 64!”

  25. Bubble181 says:

    About the bandwidth issues… I have a feeling people here aren’t looking far enough. 5G is being rolled out as we speak – and is higher-bandwidth, lower-latency than most Wi-Fi networks. It easily meets the requirements for Stadia.
    Sure, the USA might be slow in the uptake, especially with the current Huawei stuff, but as we’ve seen with 3G and 4G, in poorer countries, this sort of technology it’s often much easier and faster to roll out than in developed countries. Less interference, less legal hurdles, people all want access but nobody thinks it’s useful to put cables down all over Africa and south-America.
    Sure, realistically, it won’t be ready all over the world for a few more years…But by that time, the fight for market dominance will be all but finished. The big companies feel the competition, and everyone wants to be the Steam of streaming games, not the GfWL. Facebook, not Friendster. Etc.

  26. Wiseman says:

    I’m gonna buy a game if it makes me FEEL like Spider-man, not because I hate men with robot tentacles.

    Anyway, I doubt they expected you too buy Wolfenstein out of solidarity with non-Nazis, but because they’re hated villains and it’s fun to shoot at them.

  27. Ben Matthews says:

    Shamus – the reason they released it early and broken is because they wanted those delicious Black Friday and Holiday sales. Nothing more, nothing less. Which is one of my major problems with Black Friday :/

  28. Leeward says:

    Not sure I agree with your skepticism about the latency-reducing power of a fancy new shader. Network I/O dwarfs pretty much any other kind of latency by orders of magnitude. It seems likely that an extra 10-20% (assuming the median is half the max) compression will offset its cost by so much that the cost looks like a rounding error.

    Of course, if I were running one of these services, I’d stick some hardware in that just compresses every frame on its way out. FPGAs have been getting cheaper.

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