Announcing a foray into the MMO universe with The Elder Scrolls: Online, exploring the dystopian depths of Dunwall with the riveting Dishonored, reviving Doom 3 with the release of its updated BFG Edition last October: The developer/publisher blipped about radar screen last year, but never did it replicate the resounding success and acclaim garnered by 2011’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — despite furnishing two admirable expansions for the game in Dawnguard and Dragonborn on the PC and Xbox 360.
But the tempered tone only lends more intrigue to 2013. With the next generation looming and E3 2013 just two months away, Bethesda, which presides over a triumvirate of triple-A franchises (the aforementioned Elder Scrolls and Doom, along with Fallout) and has pursued its share of new endeavors recently (publishing Arkane Studios’ Dishonored in 2012 and id Software’s Rage in 2011), may well be aligning itself for a lively year.
At least that’s what Pete Hines, Bethesda’s PR and marketing VP, hinted at this week. Speaking in the latest OXM Podcast on his firm’s upcoming plans, Hines wouldn’t divulge specific game details, but promised that some eye-raising announcements were fast approaching:
“I think you’ll hear us making considerably more noise this year than we did last year, as a publisher. Obviously The Elder Scrolls Online is out and we’ve got the Dishonored DLC, but we will be announcing new stuff and making some noise, and I think when we get the chance to show you guys what we’re up to, that you’ll sit up and take notice.
Hines goes on to express pride in the way Bethesda is “continuing to push the boundaries” and “reinventing” the way it cultivates new talent:
“I think we’re continuing to do the stuff that we get excited about, and people will get really excited about when they hear what we’re up to, which is continuing to push the boundaries, reinvent – find really smart, passionate teams who know what they’re doing and have an idea that they really want to do and do well.”
It goes without saying that Hines’ foreshadowing is… superficial, at best. But much of the conceivable “new stuff” in Bethesda’s future has been rumored for quite some time.
If the publisher were priming a new game announcement for the coming months or E3, a Fallout 4 reveal would coincide with rumors of Bethesda scouting prospective locations for the game last year (not to mention Three Dog voice actor Erik Todd Dellums’ curious comments from January). id Software’s Rage 2 was confirmed to be cancelled last week, but the developer, under the scrupulous direction of John Carmack, has channeled its full efforts back into Doom 4. MachineGames, meanwhile, is believed be conjuring up a new Wolfenstein game with the powerful id Tech 5 engine. And out in the Bethesda boondocks Human Head Studios has yet to renounce its dedication to the beleaguered (but “in limbo”) Prey 2.
Furthermore, it was discovered this February that Bethesda was soliciting talent for next-generation production. That could pertain to any future project at this point, considering Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles both look to be on shelves by the holidays. That said, come the end of the world or the ends of Tamriel, we’ll be waiting for what the company has in store.
What do you think Bethesda is working on for 2013 — and beyond?
Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.