QuakeCon 2015: Another Bad Bright Idea From Bethesda

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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QuakeCon 2015: Another Bad Bright Idea From Bethesda

I don't know what's going on out in the hallowed halls of Bethesda these days, but these guys keep putting out some really great ideas with absolutely catastrophic downsides to them. First it was offering a giveaway game that most of its target market probably already had, and now it's a strange development out of QuakeCon 2015, featuring one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, Fallout 4.

This time around, the idea focuses on QuakeCon 2015, a major event by any standard boosted to a fever pitch by the revelation that, this year, there would be a special gameplay demo of Fallout 4 joining the fracas this year, along with new looks at Doom and The Elder Scrolls Online. Great, except for one key point: the Fallout 4 demo will not be streamed, but only shown to attendees.

See what I mean? Another great idea with serious downside. Because while this was almost certainly done to draw attendees to QuakeCon, it's also shafting a huge amount of the player base. Pretty much everybody who can't make it to QuakeCon for any of a variety of good reasons misses out on advance footage of one of the biggest releases of the decade so far? Crazy talk, on the surface. Why in the world would Bethesda basically extend a gigantic middle finger to everyone who wasn't going to make QuakeCon?

It's a great idea, and there's no doubt that this is going to push a few people from their current position on the fence squarely into the "we're going to QuakeCon" camp. But there's such a downside to it that it doesn't make sense. 

Of course, there are reasonable explanations. It's not as though anyone's going to demand their pre-order money back--and yes, I've got mine in--and the game is still set for a November release. Thus, those unable to attend really aren't out all that much. Plus, it's a safe bet that someone attending the event is likely to record it and play it later, and even if that doesn't happen, it'll likely only be a matter of time until the demo hits one of the many game journalism sites out there anyway. It's just rational. So while this is a sharp stick in the eye to a large portion of the fan base, it's a very small sharp stick, so it's more insult than injury, and not even one that's likely to stick.

I don't know why Bethesda's behaving so oddly these days, with plenty of great ideas that are likely to backfire in short order. But still, it's a pretty fair idea all told, and one that will certainly accomplish its likely goal.

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