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Bethesda: Nintendo has to ‘do what Sony and Microsoft’ have been doing for us


Bethesda’s Peter Hines had some very harsh words for Nintendo recently concerning how they approached third parties with the Wii U pre-launch. He says that Nintendo needed to take an extra step to get companies like Bethesda on board and ‘do what Sony and Microsoft have been doing with us’.

Controversial words to say the least that aren’t entirely wrong or right.

The time for convincing publishers and developers to support Wii U has long past. The box is out. You have to do what Sony and Microsoft have been doing with us for a long time and it’s not that every time we met with them we got all the answers we wanted. But they involved us very early on, and talking to folks like Bethesda and Gearbox, they say ‘here’s what we’re doing, here’s what we’re planning, here’s how we think it’s going to work’ to hear what we thought – from our tech guys and from an experience standpoint.

You have to spend an unbelievable amount of time upfront doing that. If you’re just going sort off deciding ‘we’re going to make a box and this is how it works and you should make games for it.’ Well, no. No is my answer, I’m going to focus on other ones that better support what it is we’re trying to do. So you’ve gotta spend more time trying to reach out to those folks before you even make the box, when you’re still designing and thinking about how it’s going to work

I have to question how much “reaching out” to those folks matters in the long run. It was reportedly Gearbox who told Sony they shouldn’t ship the PS4 with only 4GB RAM and then Sony granted them their wish and upped it to 8GB. Then, months later we found out the PS4 truly has 5-5.5GB RAM for devs to play around with. What was the difference? Did Sony truly listen to developers if they ended up not giving all that much more memory to them? There is nothing wrong with that, its just a bit ironic.

Nintendo is at fault here too but companies like Bethesda can’t expect the same treatment from MS and Sony from them. Nintendo has rarely operated like that and only now they are changing their old ways by reaching out to indies more and publishing a lot of third party games. It seems Nintendo has gone out of their way to help third parties like Ubisoft, Warner Bros, and Capcom.

This sounds like a case of third parties wishing Nintendo had given them a chance to say “don’t go with PowerPC again” or “please put more RAM in the machine” but ultimately I don’t think Nintendo would be better off if they followed third party wishes exactly. Whose to say they’d support the Wii U even if it was on par with all other next-gen consoles?


  • da1writer

    Sorry guy… 6GB of ram is given to devs. The 5 – 5.5GB is bogus and has been debunked by multiple devs making games for the PS4.

    http://www.gamesthirst.com/2013/07/28/ps4-saves-6gb-of-ram-for-games-report/

    • gimmegimmekevin

      I hadn’t seen that, thanks for pointing it out. On a side note: His wording seems rather dramatic since if it leaves 6GB for developers would Eurogamer being off by 512MB really be “absolutely false” worthy? I’m not questioning it, just seems a bit over the top.

    • jahFou Z

      Its not debunked until Sony says so. Or proved after ps4 release. Sorry guy.

      • Joey

        Yeah and Brian Provinciano is an absolutely disgusting liar.

  • The Wolf 47

    “Whose to say they’d support the Wii U even if it was on par with all other next-gen consoles?”

    Who said they would support the Wii U no matter what? EA
    Who was the first to back down from the Wii U? EA
    Lesson learn, never trust EA.

  • Stealth

    bethesda are second rate devs who cant even develop on a platform without bugs.

    • Benschachar

      Oh for God’s sake. They are hardly second rate given how much they have sold Skyrim. Look, I acknowledge they have bugs (no game is free of bugs period) but you have to acknowledge that the Elder Scrolls and the Fallout series is hundreds of times more complex than the average game and dozens of times more advanced than the average rpg, how many games are open world and allow you to complete quests up to five different ways with scripted events and ambient AI, how many games allow you to pick up a random item and carry it to the far corner of the map?

      • teufel

        Because an open world game like that is ground breaking….oh wait, sandbox games like that is kind of old, and one should ask where they are going rather than where they have been.

        I mean, other than seeing another Elder Scrolls game or open world shooter, what are they going to bring to the table other than the same old stuff with glitches?

        As for dismissing their incompetence in programming, after so many years of working with those systems with only a little evolution in software, the sheer volume of game ending errors and mind numbing glitches is pretty unforgivable. Seriously, the PS3 was bogged down by silliest programming errors with Skyrim that made almost no sense that they existed at all if they had properly tested the game first; unless of course, they knew their was issues to begin with and decided to leach the world of money before they fixed them.

        Their complaint here truly shows how short sighted they are. Rather than seeing what they can do with the tools at hand, they are whining about something that was out of their control and really had nothing to do with them. They make software, that is all, and to believe they should give insight on how a console should be built is wishful thinking at best.

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  • Alice

    Maybe that’s not Nintendo’s M.O., but that doesn’t mean Nintendo should expect them to support Nintendo if they don’t want to help the third parties either. That’s fine if Nintendo wants to do its own thing, but if they want 3rd party support, they may want to consider making compromises if they hope to get the 3rd party attention. Sony kinda learned that lesson with the PS3 (they couldn’t get much games at the beginning cause they refused to make it easy to develop for the PS3).

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  • spideynut71

    I was fully expecting the rest of that headline to read “sucking our d**ks.

  • Axe99

    RAM example provided in example as poor and overly simplistic (not least as it’s false, covered off by da1writer) – clearly there would have been an OS in the 4GB RAM plan for the PS4 – upping to 8GB gives more to developers and the OS.

    At the end of the day, Sony and MS went out and talked to devs about what kind of system would be best for the games they run, engaging them in planning and dialogue early. In Ninty’s case, they just released a box and said “here you go”. Clearly the people that engage more with devs will have more support, all else being equal, even if (which it isn’t) the Wii U was as suited to the types of games in question as the other boxes. It’s just logic, and hardly controversial.

    Nothing against Ninty’s approach either – it’s their choice. Not one I’d make personally or recommend, but Ninty have strongly done their own thing since the N64, that’s their way.

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  • smashbrolink

    Bethesda has gotten pretty arrogant, haven’t they?
    It’s the other way around; there are plenty of third party and indie studios out there, and more than a few of them would have no issue with working on games for Wii U once sales pick up.
    In fact a nice number of indie devs are already doing so.
    The holiday season and the early and mid range of 2014 are jam-packed with Nintendo and Indie games, not to mention a few gloriously awesome second and third party titles, that are sure to boost sales, with the right advertisement efforts.
    Missing out on a few Bethesda games because Nintendo didn’t bend over backwards for them won’t kill anything for the Wii U.
    If anything, Beth is missing out on a huge opportunity to leap onto the system with an expansive adventure game, and adventure and RPG games sell well on Nintendo systems, if the past is any indication.
    They could have chosen to do what other devs are doing: learn their way around the hardware, and developed a game that would have drawn a crowd towards the system, increased the install base, and gained them a reputation as one of the companies that helped the Wii U set sail into record sales numbers.
    Instead they’re floating around on an inner-tube made of games they’ve put out on other systems, while Nintendo sets up the sails of their ship themselves with a ton of first party titles.

    As usual, Nintendo has to save its own ass, because third parties like Bethesda don’t want to take the initiative, and they’ll only come back once Nintendo has done the heavy lifting FOR them by increasing the number of console owners.

    It’s a typical story and it’s not likely to change any time soon.

    • kangms872

      They are entitled to that kind

      • wampdog29

        LOL entitled….there’s that word again…..

      • smashbrolink

        They’re also entitled to a size-12 boot to the ass…

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  • teufel

    Wah? Bethesda, you think too much of yourselves, honestly. This is coming from a group that cant seem to launch a game that isnt full of glitches/game ending errors for systems that they have been working on for 7+ years.

    Seriously now, you make software, so where do you get off telling a company how they should make hardware or how they should approach gaming? Saying that MSony bowed before you and asked you what you wanted is nice and all, but I seriously doubt either company cared what you had to say considering they had real companies that use cutting edge software to cater to; what ever Bethesda had to say MSony likely amounted to agreeing to what ever the real companies that make the game engines had to say.

    As for Nintendo having to seek approval of a software company in order to get “support” from them, dont make me laugh. If Nintendo cared about their games one bit, they would have thrown them some scratch to pave the road to making a game, but instead they invested in worthwhile companies that have a proven record of making awe inspiring games with a consistent record of games that arent messes from the get-go.

    Which would I rather play? The potential of what X represents or a game that the glitches are more frustrating than any boss in the game? Yeah, Bethesda has a couple of games that are quite fun despite the glitches, but to think that this company should be so bold to say that Nintendo not bowing before them to get their opinion on a console is why they decided to not make games for it is ridiculous. Oh, and for further proof of how out of touch Bethesda is with the world market, trying to launch a MORG with a monthly fee on consoles is laugh worthy at best nowadays outside of a select few countries.

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