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Bethesda VP: used games are "absolutely" a concern

Bethesda walks to the beat of its own single-player drum

In the past few years, Bethesda has succeeded with single-player titles like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Dishonored, while the rest of the market pursues microtransactions and online game modes. In an interview with Destructoid, Bethesda Softworks vice president of public relations & marketing Peter Hines said that the company is still concerned with the secondhand market, it just has a different way to combat it.

"Absolutely it's a concern. We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that's worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further," said Hines.

"Games are not cheap to buy because they're expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable. I'm not sure anyone has figured out a solution that works for everyone, and there simply may not be one until someone figures out how to include developers and publishers in the loop on used games sales instead of keeping it all for themselves."

Hines explained that single-playing gaming is nowhere near dead, and assertions to the contrary come from developers in other markets.

"Single-player games aren't going anywhere," said Hines. "Bethesda Softworks has been making single-player games for all of our 25+ years in the industry. We're still here, we're still making them, and people are still buying them. Dishonored was single-player and people really loved it, and it sold well. Skyrim was a complete success. A single-player RPG. There's practically a cottage industry dedicated to talking about how that isn't possible or why that won't succeed. Console fans won't get a game like that. Has to have multiplayer of some kind. PC gaming is dead. It's gotta be a shooter. RPGs are a niche."

"It's important to note that quite a few people who tend to say those kinds of things do so because it's not what they're doing. No publisher or developer making single-player games ever comes out and says single-player games won't work. Guys that do mobile games predict that console gaming as we know it is dying. People that do console-only games proclaim that PC is dead. Funny how people don't predict failure for the thing it is they're making or doing. They make those statements to build up or defend what they're doing and tear down what they aren't doing," he explained. "Or, they just don't know what the hell they're talking about."

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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