Well, well, well. It's déjà vu all over again. It feels like only yesterday when I was writing about some possible Fallout 4 release date news cropping up at PAX East ... 2013. But here we are. It's 2014 and we're going through the motions once again. Although Bethesda hasn't confirmed a damn thing, fans have been anticipating confirmation of a Boston-based Fallout 4 game ever since Kotaku broke the news that Bethesda did some casting for the title. And now Bethesda's PR kingpin Pete Hines has confirmed they will have a booth at the upcoming Boston-based gaming convention:
@S2N_KILLER we will indeed
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) January 16, 2014
So here we are on the hype train again. And, as has happened in the past, Bethesda is in a position to make a Fallout 4 release date announcement at an event that would be the perfect forum to do so. But will they do it? Doubtful, but as Fallout 4 fans (and my loyal readers) know it's important to KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
After all, the 2014 PAX East is different. This time last year we didn't have a big, juicy Kotaku leak all-but-proving the game's existence. Sure, we had my excellent coverage, but in the scheme of things I'm just another dude with a keyboard cranking out articles on a mid-level gaming site. Kotaku is an institution. Their word is practically gospel. Bethesda takes notice when Kotaku puts news out there.
And 2013 was a year of promise for Bethesda. PAX East took place before EVERY MAJOR PROJECT got delayed. Elder Scrolls Online was supposed to launch last summer, and The Evil Within and Wolfenstein: The New Order were slated to be potential launch titles for the next-gen consoles. None of those things happened. Bethesda didn't release a single IP in 2013. You don't need to be Warren Buffet to know that can't be good for business.
Money makes the world go 'round and Forbes is predicting the world might stop spinning for Bethesda once ESO gets here. It unabashedly referred to ESO as "the biggest gaming disaster of 2014." Here's a choice excerpt from Forbes' Paul Tassi:
I'm not sure if it's arrogance, the idea that people love the Elder Scrolls so much they'll pay $60 for a box copy and $180 a year to play TESO, but it's bad business sense at the very least.
You better believe that when Forbes calls Bethesda's most ambitious project of 2014 a "disaster" that they took notice. Neither Bethesda Softworks or its parent company ZeniMax Media are publicly traded, so there is no investor panic that would force a bold business move like it would at other companies. Because if EA didn't launch a game for a year and then the biggest business publication in the nation called their first title of 2014 "a disaster" you bet your ass they'd announce Fallout 4 as fast as possible. Although I'm sure we're all very happy that EA is not in charge of Fallout 4. But you get my point.
I commented on Bethesda's arrogance before, especially with how they handled the whole Survivor2299 hoax. I really balk at the notion that fans just love Fallout so much we'll buy it even if Bethesda chooses to treat us like idiots in the run-up to the game. By not commenting on Fallout 4 Bethesda opens the door for fans to be misled again and again. Survivor2299 wasn't even the most recent hoax. A fake e-mail claiming a Fallout 4 announcement made the rounds a few weeks ago. So now hoaxers are getting into people's emails? Why won't Bethesda just stop this madness already?
It's pretty bad when EA is treating fans better than you. Because at least EA had the decency to give gamers this footage at E3 last year:
And that's all it would take, Bethesda. A twenty second video with a logo and an acknowledgement that this title we LOVE and are eagerly awaiting is on the way. Then the hoaxes stop. The harassment stops. And we can stop scratching our heads when we look at your 2014 calendar and go "this is it?"
PAX East runs from April 11-13. Keep hope alive, Fallout fans!