Yes, you did read that right. In an industry defining move earlier today Microsoft announced it is acquiring ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Game Studios. This move sees eight major Bethesda game franchises fall under the ownership of Microsoft. Furthermore, they could all become Xbox exclusives depending on how the American technology giant approaches development.
The eight notable franchises Xbox has gained ownership of are DOOM, Dishonored, Fallout, PREY, The Elder Scrolls, The Evil Within, Starfield, and Wolfenstein. Many of these series have active games in development, with the biggest by far being The Elder Scrolls VI. It was teased a couple of years back, but we’ve seen no new information since then. It’ll be interesting to see if it ends up being an Xbox exclusive or not.
The acquisition of Bethesda
Microsoft’s acquisition of the popular American games publisher alongside ZeniMax is rumored to have cost $7.5 billion. To put that colossal number into context, that’s three times what it paid to acquire Minecraft developer Mojang.
In a post written by Bethesda PR vice president Pete Hines, the developer states this opportunity allows it to make “even better games going forward.” Also, Hines believes Microsoft can provide “access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer.”
Given the rough patch Bethesda is going through, a change in direction was probably needed. The disaster that was and is Fallout 76 has been difficult to overcome for the developer, but this switch up of approach could help. Hopefully, with the backing and funding of Xbox Bethesda can get back to developing industry defining RPGs.
What do you think about this bold move by Microsoft? Are they justified in doing this or is the acquisition of Bethesda a bad move for industry competition? Let us know in the comments what you think and if this will pay off long-term.
In a recent interview with Gamescom regarding Quakecon, Bethesda’s marketing VP – Pete Hines – revealed that they won’t be able to make anymore more Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Editions due to lack of resources and time, but don’t worry, as we might not need Bethesda in the end.
Yvo de Haas – gamer and fan of the Fallout franchise – was kind enough to release his 3D plans of how to make a Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV, a.k.a. that phone holder that everyone wants.
This version of the Pip-Boy, like the one from Bethesda – was designed to house a smartphone, meaning that you’ll still be able to communicate with Fallout 4 through a mobile app as your arm will serve as its supporter.
Though the Pip-boy 3000 Mark IV will have its differences from Bethesda’s official model, like the lack of any bell and whistles, but will have a couple of orange leds and will be accepting tapes but they’ll still do nothing.
Yvo de Haas is now trying to create a Pip-Boy version more like the game’s version but won’t be compatible any smartphone so the Pip-boy can have a size more authentic.
This isn’t the first Pip-Boy recreated by Haas, as his was the Pip-Boy 3000 from Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
And don’t forget, for more on Fallout 4 and Pip-boy-related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.
As we all know, Fallout 4 Collector’s Edition will come along with the iconic Pip-Boy’s accessory, and because fans of the franchise are constantly cleaning the stock for the pre-order of the product, Bethesda had to admit that they’re too busy to keep its production.
At this weekend’s QuakeCon, Bethesda’s marketing VP – Pete Hines – revealed to Gamescom, when asked about the situation with these special Collector’s Editions of Fallout 4:
“We reached a point where we’d go back to the factories and they were like, ‘guys, this is it, sorry. This is as long as we can run the lines and as many of them as we can make.'”
Hines explained that the manufacturers extended their pipeline to make more Pip-Boys but it cost too much, and the company had to move on.
“We’d go back to [the factories] and say, ‘Demand for this is insane, we’ve got to make more, And they’d move other projects off or shift stuff to other factories and it just came to [them telling Bethesda], ‘Final answer: sorry, this is as many as we can make.”
And to conclude, Hines stated:
“We made a s**tload of Pip-Boys, I think we did more of these things than we did for any collector’s edition we’ve ever done.”
And don’t forget, for more on Fallout 4 and Bethesda-related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.
Bethesda have recently announced that a special edition lithograph has gone on sale in their store. The print is a wide shot featuring the garage, armour and dog as seen in the game’s announcement trailer.
A special edition of the lithograph is also available for $65. This edition has foil embellishments on title and Fallout logo, is a limited edition product with only 500 being printed, are individually numbered and comes in at a whopping 37×16″, weighing the same as the standard edition. The pricier version is limited to three per customer, with both editions estimated to ship on 10th September.
Fallout 4 is set to release 10th November 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, so there’s plenty of time to get your room decked out with all the Fallout 4 arty goodness you can get your hands on before it lands later this year.
The announcement of Fallout 4 didn´t really come as a surprise for anyone, we all knew that the game was in the making and that it would be announced soon, and then it did. But there are more ways to play Fallout then you might think of, it is with time even going to be possible to explore the wastelands in Minecraft
The Minecraft mod “Project Wasteland” I now being developed and looks really great, capturing that Fallout magic in Minecraft, opening up the amazing world of Fallout and its wasteland to a bigger audience then any Fallout game have at this moment.
The mod comes with its own Pip-Boy and UI that you know and love from the games. But the progress on the mod is going slow, which might be expected by something of this magnitude, so there is no release date given for the mod yet. But when it is available, it will be downloadable from mincraftforum.net.
Take a look at the video below and be amazed by how different the Minecraft experience can be when mods like this appear:
What do you think about the prospect of playing Fallout in Minecraft?
Of course, since E3 and everybody is waiting for Fallout 4’s release but some people such as imgur user smashpro1 who entertained himself and decided to sink into Fallout 4’s waiting game by gathering pics, locations and the purpose of each Vault ever featured in a Fallout game.
According to the number of pics, there is more than 30 vaults featured in the Fallout franchise and some of them were built for weird purposes like Vault 77, found in Penny Arcade’s official comic, was built “Populated by only one man and a crate of puppets.” as the pic’s description states and Vault 21, found in Fallout: New Vegas, was populated by gamblers and gamblers only which resulted in settling every matter through gambling despite this, Vault 21 is “one of few non-control vaults to not fail.” Bethesda had some interesting Vaults thrown here and there in the Fallout franchise so make sure to take a look at them.
The user made sure to include the Vault that was featured in the Fallout 4 reveal but no details are written under it. Fallout 4 will release on November 10 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Take a look for yourself and tell us if looking back to where this game started and where it is now, made you even more excited for Fallout 4.
After a re-install of the classic Fallout 3 and 18 hours into the game already – loving every second of my adventure through the Wastelands – I can honestly say that Bethesda’s take on the post-apocalyptic genre is one of my all time favorite games and probably one of the best RPG games ever made. And I am saying this while having another Bethesda game that ranks high on my “top games” list waiting for a complete replay consisting of tens of hours of gameplay and arrows to the knee: Skyrim.
But now, the announcement that we’ve all been waiting for, the announcement of a new Fallout game is coming. Bethesda’s teaser site has just a few hours left before the reveal that will surely take the world by storm and I am sure that Fallout 4 will be bigger and better than Fallout 3 & Skyrim combined. In other words, it should be a masterpiece. And below you have the reasons why and what should Bethesda do to make sure that they live up to the expectations and deliver the game that we’ve all been waiting for since 2008: Fallout 4.
Fallout 4 should be completely next gen
There are already rumors regarding the release of the still unnanounced game on Xbox 360s and PS3s and people are worried that this might mean that Fallout 4 will be a last gen game. Hopefully that’s not true and even though it makes sense from a financial point of view for Bethesda to offer the game on as many platforms as possible, if they really want to score big, they should have the next gen version up and running, taking advantage of the extra processing power that the latest consoles and technical advancements offer.
Fallout 4 should stay true to its origins
I’m all about innovation in video games, but sometimes if things are not broken, they shouldn’t be fixed. One of my greatest fears is that Bethesda will decide to drop one of the most important gameplay elements from Fallout 3: VATS. That shouldn’t be done because there’s really no other way to play a new Fallout game than with VATS. An improved, better version of the old wasteland-cleaner aiming system, but VATS nevertheless.
Make the people matter
The biggest problem of most RPGs – Fallout 3 and Skyrim included – is that most of the characters that you meet in the game are just “those people” that send you to point A to collect an item and deliver it to Character B. It’s the Wastelands we’re talking about, it’s people who managed to survive some of the most difficult years humanity has ever seen, it’s people who definitely saw and did things that would give you the chills for three whole days. Make those people count, make their stories important, make us care about what’s happening with them and the towns they live in. I still remember playing an old adventure game called Syberia – I actually ended up caring a lot for the main character and the one I was supposed to find, loving the relationship that was built with the automaton she had partnered with. That’s what successful games have to do: work on our emotions too and make us care.
Fallout 4’s map should be EPIC
Fallout 3 had a ton of ground to cover and many hidden secrets on its map. Skyrim came with a huge map and even more secrets and events for travelers so everything was already better. Just like girls after midnight, gamers like it big. The map they’re exploring, that is and the new Fallout should actually come with a MEP (Map of Epic Proportions). What would really make it stand out and give use the WOW factor? More than one area to explore, with fast travel between them. They already showed in previous DLCs released for Fallout 3 that it’s doable, hopefully they will take everything to the next level.
Fallout 4 should understand Karma & permanent effects
Most games that come with a Karma system fail miserably and the previous Fallout was no exception. You could nuke up an entire city and kill all of its inhabitants, you could suck the blood from unsuspecting victims and slaughter innocent people and rebuild your character into a holy angel by feeding tons of purified water bottles to beggars. That’s not how things should work and at least some actions should have a permanent effect.
Skyrim did that a little (think of ghost towns and more) but Fallout 4 should take it to the next level. If I blow up an entire city, then everybody should remember that and nobody should forgive (well, nobody except those who actually wanted the city to be blown up in the first place). Then make our actions change the way the story unfolds. I still remember that early on in Fallout 3, when still in the Vault, I had the option to either take a pistol from the girl (forgot her name) or leave her the gun. If I gave her the gun, she would shoot her father and you’d escape with a clean conscience. Otherwise, you would have to do the dirty work and upset a friend. Do this more often and make your actions stick and have a major effect on how the game unfolds from that moment on.
Tune up the dystopian craze
The fact that I have recently watched the new Mad Max movie makes me think that some of its elements could and should make it to the game. We had horses in Skyrim and I think we should have some insane retro vehicles in Fallout 4. Spikes and limited gas, more insane weapons and armor and definitely a ton more crafting in the game. Fallout 4 will be and should be completely over the top and it has to deliver a lot more than Fallout 3 to actually matter today.
I am sure that Bethesda has a ton of surprises for us and hopefully we’ll get to enjoy all of them. We’ll find out more about the upcoming Fallout 4 in just a few hours – but until then, it’s still time for speculations so don’t hesitate and share your thoughts with us: what should the new game do to be bigger and better than Fallout 3 & Skyrim combined? And most importantly: will it manage to actually tick this seemingly impossible achievement on its checklist?
Games orientated around a post-apocalyptic story are becoming a superior genre of game. With next-generation capabilities, we see these games brought to life in development that makes the game feel so realistic that it almost makes the player feel as if they themselves are being bombarded by infected, or scavenging for goods in what remains of civilization. The demand for such games has become increasingly potent since the release of The Last Of Us especially, the post-apocalyptic wonder that snapped up at least 200 Game Of The Year Awards. With a mass of games slotting into this genre it is hard to determine what exactly are the key elements in making them so enjoyable and memorable. Well let’s look into that.
Obvious, I agree but it is a fact that the success of a post apocalyptic game is partially derived from an array of terrifying enemies to war with. It wouldn’t be as thrilling or exciting being thrown up against a score of infected bunny rabbits. Over the years we’ve seen the opposition come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be a mutated mole rat or an infected human splattered in blood. Alarming enemies generate an initial and fundamental line of fear within post-apocalyptic games and a good enemy will make your blood-curdle and your spine tingle as you consider confronting them.
Dying Light (Techland) is plentiful in a span of such enemies. Although, sluggish zombies linger in the streets throughout the day, after sunset, players are left to deal with the agile terrors of the night, Hostiles.
These terrifying goons are brilliant for upping the fear factor within the game. As you flee before them you can hear them huffing and puffing behind you as they close in. It’s really effective for generating the intensity that makes a great foe.
Furthermore, enemies can possess the scare-factor for an array of reasons. Taking the Fallout series as an accurate example, the games are set after the occurrence of a nuclear apocalypse, causing various creatures and humans to become mutated due to being consumed by high levels of radiation. Subsequently, enemies are larger and more frightening in terms of their alarming and unusual appearance. I mean, I’m not particularly fond of being harassed by a mob of Giant Scorpions or the misfortune of bumping into a Deathclaw. The enemies are out of character and creatures who’d usually not bat an eyelid at your presence become enemies. This unpredictability generates fear as a result.
Nothing says ‘post-apocalypse’ like a lack of resources. Having to search every nook and cranny in the remains of what once a thriving civilisation, really provokes a sense of desperation, amplifying the whole ”survival” feel to a post-apocalyptic game. In resources being scarce players must use their noggin to tackle specific situations within such games as wisely as possible in order to conserve resources and to keep pushing forward. An admirable example of such a game is none other than Naughty Dogs own, The Last Of Us. The vast majority of situations throughout the duration of this absolutely fantastic game, can be tackled with stealth and a little patience, allowing the player to save resources for more hands on encounters. As the difficultly levels of the game increases ammo and food become increasingly rare to come by, having the player then assess each situation so thoroughly as not to draw attention, or a gun. Although a subtle aspect of the game, this style of gameplay is effective for deriving a sense of realism from The Last Of Us and it’s level of effectiveness is all to evident in it’s overall, mind-blowing success.
Urgency And Desperation
Post-apocalyptic related games are commonly orientated around survival of the fittest, the desperation of fending for yourself in order to stay alive above all others. Post-apocalyptic wonders to date would not be nearly as successful had we been handed the key to survival on a silver platter, relieving us of all means of urgency and panic. Instead, these games are successful as we have to fight for the gift of life.
A very underrated example of such attention to detail is indie game, Lone Survivor (Superflat Games/ Curve Studios). Although the 2D- retro styled graphics may not exactly cause you to jump or scare easy, this game compensates with every other post-apocalyptic aspect being no less than perfectly-executed, complete with and eerie original soundtrack and the most effect sense of urgency and desperation. Throughout the game players must consume food and drink regularly in order to avoid falling unconscious and then awaking in your bedroom situated in the first initial area of the game. This may not sound like any particular reason to worry but with save points or in this case mirrors being so far apart, it is vital to avoid starvation.
Another post-apocalyptic game that has a very effective way of making the player remain on their toes is The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games), but this is however for a very different reason. The Walking Dead Game is an interactive drama featuring various button sequences and decisions the player should make. The beauty in this game is it generates the post-apocalyptic panic by limiting times in which players can make decisions. In a matter of seconds a player must decide who to save between two people on the basis of who will benefit them most, what way a team of survivors should tackle a specific situation, all the while bearing in mind every decision has a consequent effect on the rest of the game, meaning a bad decision could have a detrimental outcome.
Post-apocalyptic games thrive in success thanks to finely developed settings. Not only are these hypothetical post-apocalyptic settings great for allowing the mind of the player to indulge in how the aftermath of an apocalypse could look on some realistic level, but it is also ups gameplay standards by giving the player so much to explore and do. Well-developed settings can also be very effective in adding pressure on the story of the game itself, reeling in players emotions by making the characters within the game look extremely hard done by. Again, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us is a very prominent example of this. Set in a post-apocalyptic USA, we see the only means of safety being the scattered quarantine zones. As soon as the protagonists leave the safety of these areas, then having to navigate unstable skyscrapers and office buildings, flooded underpasses and booby-trapped places of refuge, we see a lot of pressure piled onto the story. Ultimately all of this makes the story unpredictable and as vaguely mentioned prior, it draws in players emotions, all of which is obviously effective in reflection to the outstanding success of The Last Of Us.
A jaw-dropping story is such a key aspect to driving post-apocalyptic games to their success. Although it seems an obvious aspect it truly is vital. An enthralling story will give a hypothetical game a sense of realism, making it seem much less far fetched. Post-apocalyptic games are much more enjoyable when they are believable. The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games) is driven by it’s story telling, giving the player total control, almost making it as though they are the one surviving. The game is realistic and ditches the traditional idea of taking refuge in a shopping center with the rest of the survivors in your town and city. The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog) is hands down one of the best post-apocalyptic tales to date, purely because it is realistic and everything that happens within the game could happen given an infectious outbreak. It is always a winner to give the player the chance to feel like they themselves are within the game, especially within post-apocalyptic based games.
Even A Bit Of Originality
Living happily, outbreak of zombies occurs, survive. This is a traditional timeline of the chain of events within post-apocalyptic games. This being the case, it is a breath of fresh-air when a game of the same genre is released that is a little different. In this case we are going to refer to Tokyo Jungle (Sony Computer Entertainment/ Japan Studio) a game based on survival of the fittest, but in regards to the animal kingdom as mankind has strangely disappeared. In a post-apocalyptic setting you play as animals, fighting to survive long enough for the player to discover the reasoning behind the disappearance to humans. Initially this game is just hilarious, playing as animals such as Pomeranians (cute fluffy dogs), Lions and even some prehistoric creatures. However, the games success as a downloadable game was due to it’s originality and the fact it was developed from a totally different perspective on a post-apocalyptic world.
Games based on the aftermath of an apocalypse are becoming a particularly popular genre of game. With some great games already taking the gaming market by storm and with player demand for more of the genre I think it is only fair to say we can expect even greater releases from developers in this genre in time to come, all of which harnessing these very vital ingredients to the perfect post-apocalyptic game.