During his appearance on IGN Unfiltered, Todd Howard, director of Bethesda, revealed that the company expected the game to have a rough launch. According to Howard, they expected much of the criticism that came their way.
That was a very difficult development on that game to get it where it was. We were ready for…a lot of those difficulties that ended up on the screen. We knew, hey look, this is not the type of game that people are used to from us and we’re going to get some criticism on it. A lot of that is very well-deserved criticism.
While much of the conversation focused around Howard’s hopes for the future of the game, he did admit that the launch has dealt some lasting damage to Bethesda’s reputation. As I watched the interview, I found it hard to figure out where Howard expects these comments to go. The game was marketed and pushed as if it was up to the standard people expect from Bethesda. It seems the general hope was that any issues could be fixed quickly after launch.
While it should be obvious that Bethesda new the state of the game as it launched, I don’t know if this moment of public honesty will do much more than reignite the heat that Bethesda received over it. I imagine quite a few people will be wondering why the game simply wasn’t delayed if the issues were so prevalent.
Howard also talked about how this can often be an aspect of many online games, and you just need to keep on working on giving players the best possible experience, citing their own Elder Scrolls Online game as an example.
He did say that they are very proud of the work they have done on the game since launch, and that they do see a bright future for it. Whether that bright future involves a happy community, or another nuke going off, is hard to predict at the moment.