How Bethesda Flopped E3 2019


The first day of this year’s E3 2019 series of conferences has wrapped up. Today, we saw Microsoft, Bethesda, and Devolver show off their plans for the upcoming year. Many fans are excited about the new year of videos games, including the new generation of consoles as the new decade becomes a reality. However, of the three conferences, it may have felt like Bethesda didn’t walk up to the plate with their best batter. It almost felt like they phoned in a lot of their work. Here’s why it feels like Bethesda flopped at this year’s at E3 2019, and why it didn’t sit well as a legitimate conference.

Bethesda Fell Short at the E3 2019 Conference

Their Line Up of Games

There was nothing too surprising coming out from Bethesda this year. The only, legitimate surprise we had come out from the conference was the announcement of GhostWire: Tokyo, which is being created by Shinji Mikami’s studio, Tango Gameworks. Mikami is the director of Resident Evil and Evil Within, whereas Tango Gameworks’ only two credited games are Evil Within and the title’s sequel, Evil Within 2. Mikami has been hinting at the release for the past few days, talking about working on rehearsals before the E3 conferences. When he announced that the time had come, many were expecting to hear about Evil Within 3, but instead were given a brand new IP. This was a great move and set the standard for the show. However, it was announced early on during their press conference, and everything seemed to fall from there.

There were no big surprises from the studio. The other games that they announced were Deathloop and Commander Kenn, the latter being a mobile game and is an older game created by Id Software. Anything else that showed up during the conference was an update for already released games. Honestly, everything felt flat. Bethesda never came out with a strong arm, and instead gave audience members more of the same.

No Apology for Fallout 76 Players

At the start of the conference when Todd Howard came out, he gave a small joke regarding the type of year Bethesda had and how surprised he was how full the theater was because of it. For those who have been following Bethesda for the past year, you’re going to know why, and a lot of it boils down Fallout 76. Calling the game a trash fire from launch is being far too kind. It’s not even a train wreck. It was a massive explosion of disappointment, terrible PR, and horrible decisions by a company who should have known better. They’ve had so much with the game go wrong, and Fallout 76 quickly became a joke.

The worst part of all that was they never addressed it during their conference. Bethesda talked about the joke at the beginning, and then never sent what they were going to do to make up for it. Instead, Bethesda focused on what they were planning to bring the game for the next season, and what else players could expect to do during their time in the game. The fact none of the developers came out to offer an apology to their audience members, felt like a poor choice.

Too Much Time Spent on Certain Titles

Bethesda did not space out the time at their conference accordingly. They made poor choices in what they wanted to highlight, such as mobile games, updates for Fallout 76 that was a battle royale update, more Elder Scrolls Online DLC announcements, and multiplayer modes getting added to Doom Eternal. Not many players who are going into a Doom game want to know about the multiplayer aspects of it because they don’t purchase that type of experience for that gameplay. They want to know more about the story, and the singleplayer activities they’re going to have.

If they wanted to spend so much time on these titles, they should have found more convincing, engaging ways to discuss these announcements. There were a bunch of trailers and in-game footage pieces about what players are going to have fun in, and not what they heard from their player base. On top of that, throughout the conference, they spent time patting themselves on the back about how amazing of a company they were and how they brought people together. Given Fallout 76’s last year, they may have wanted to address how they were going to make it up to the players.

Bethesda may want to go to the Devolver route and, instead of having a massive, in-person conference, choose to hold a pre-recorded video conference and have their games available for the press when E3 begins.