Bethesda is working on a ‘bleeding-edge triple-A freemium game’

Ben Parfitt
Bethesda is working on a ‘bleeding-edge triple-A freemium game’

The terms 'triple-A' and 'freemium' still don't often go hand-in-hand, but it looks like that's a route Bethesda is intent on exploring.

IGN reports that a job listing for Bethesda's Montreal studio is advertising for a game performance manager... to join the team that is pushing the bleeding-edge AAA freemium game development”.

It adds: In this role, you will work with game team to envision, evolve, and operate monetization strategies, targeting the intersection of revenue generation goals and quality player experience. Ideally, you will have experience defining and operating online game business models, and have a deep understanding of player interactions with those models, both at the individual and community levels.”

The site adds that Bethesda boss Todd Howard has previously confirmed that the company is working on a mobile game, but that the ad makes no reference to mobile – which previous mobile game ads have done.

Other previously confirmed projects include Fallout 4 VR, the Nintendo Switch version of Skyrim and Elder Scrolls 6, the latter of which is likely still very far off. Three other titles are understood to also be in the works, two of which have been described as bigger than anything we've done before”.

As for Fallout 4 VR, Bethesda indicated in February that the game shouldn't be that far off.

"Fallout [VR] is going great,” Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard toldGlixel. There's a lot of work to be done, but it's super exciting.

We are doing the whole game. You can play it start to finish right now, and the whole thing really works in terms of interface and everything… [It] works because of the interface. The Pip-Boy is on your wrist and we've been able to present so that it works the way you expect. You look and there it is. The fact that the gunplay is a bit slower than in a lot of games has certainly helped us.”

Howard also added that the team is looking at integrating other forms of locomotion for the game, too.

Typically VR games that allow you to move have up to now used a teleport system, where players point the controller at the spot they want to go and are teleported there. This has so far been preferred by many developers to traditional joystick or joypad movement, which is far more likely to induce motion sickness.

The tide has been changing, however.

Some games, like online FPS Onward, now offer more traditional locomotion systems that have managed to significantly reduce the chance of sickness. There are also many users who claim that their tolerance of traditional locomotion in VR has improved with use, and it's now not uncommon for games that only offer a teleportation offer to come in for a fair bit of flack from the VR community.

Some titles, like zombie FPS Arizona Sunshine, allow users to choose between either control type – and it sounds as if Fallout 4 VR may do the same.

"Locomotion is definitely the hard part, I will admit. Given the size of the world and the amount that you're moving in Fallout 4 that part is tricky because you're doing it a lot,” Howard added.

Right now we're doing the teleport warp thing and that's fine, but we're experimenting with a few others. Our plan is to ship with as many as we can, because it's different for everybody.”

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