Six Times Bethesda Was Massively Incompetent (The Jimquisition)

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Bethesda has created some of the most enduring power fantasies of our time, and there’s a good reason why The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that refuses to die.

However, Bethesda isn’t known for stable experiences, or welcome decisions, or not screwing up in massive ways.

With Fallout 76 coming out and being rubbish, let’s look back at some of the notorious goofs from a company that goofs hard and often. By no means a comprehensive list, but a fun one!


  1. The only reason Bethesda has been getting a free pass is because all their games are still fun, Skyrim is still amazing and atmospheric with the bugs, Fallout 4 still has a fun story with likable characters even with the performance problems, but Fallout 76 is a boring lifeless empty multiplayer only game that also has the same bugs on top of all that and this time is has no redeeming qualities to make up for it, no story, no likable characters, no amazing mods from the community, Fallout 76 has none of that and I’m glad I didn’t buy it. Call me when TES:VI is ready.

  2. Coach Toolshed Gaming

    When your game is so bad that Jim needs to do a follow-up about your awfulness…

  3. Look here Jim, those 6 issues? They’re bEtTeR wItH fRiEnDs

  4. Fallout 76 should just have been a co op/single player game

  5. I figure the people who actually like Fallout 76 either didn’t pay for it, or just have to much money to even notice 60 bucks. Most of the people who had fun with the game seem to have a bunch of friends they played with and they all laughed at the game breaking bugs and glitches. 76 is fun in the way a bad movie can be fun to watch and make fun of imo.

    Thing is for a live Service game it’s only going to be fun for maybe a week or two. After that there really isn’t anything to do, no reason to make a new character or try out new builds since you can swap on the fly. The combat is easy enough for you to do it all Solo, meaning there is no real power scaling upon leveling up or need for groups. There is no end game, just a mildly entertaining start as you laugh at how bad it is.

  6. “Bethesda’s breakages are downright routine […] to be an unfunny running joke among the community” – It feels like a significant (or at least a significant *vocal*) part of the players have elevated Bethesda’s bugs from a running joke to outright meme status and beyond that. For some players encountering the various bugs (ranging from “funny” to annoying to game breaking) is “part of the authentic Bethesda experience”. For some players encountering these bugs (especially the “funny”/weird ones) are part of the *fun* of playing these broken games. For pretty much every other developer a release full of bugs would cause outrage – for Fallout or The Elder Scrolls however you get “The Top 10 Funniest Bugs And Glitches In Skyrim!” videos instead. If you see the fun in an NPC swimming up a mountain path, that’s fine with me, but this propagating bugs are “fun game elements” on a noticeable scale causes a bad bad feedback loop in which players tell Bethesda “oi, the bugs in your game are sooo funny!” and Bethesda thinks “Why spend money and time on doing proper QA if players actually love all the bugs in our games? (besides, if something really serious is broken, modders are just itching to fix it for us!)”. Both sides become complacent – and that’s bad for everybody who would like to experience FO/TES games that actually push the series forward and allow for a gameplay experience that isn’t constantly interrupted by bugs and glitches…

  7. Took me a while to get used to Jim’s personality, but over the years the subjects that he’s been discussing were so appealing to me that I got used to him, and now I fully respect Jim (not that he needed my respect or anything) for his amazing journalism. I think he’s one of the best in this industry and his honesty is priceless.

    The thing is, I don’t understand why he has to defend his ideas so much, really how difficult it is to accept that someone has a different point of view ? I mean in the example of F3, I’m not sure I agree with Jim saying he liked the changes to the fallout formula, but it doesn’t invalidate his opinions about the game or the rest of series !
    It was quite the opposite actually : I loved Fallout 2 and was really taken aback by Bethesda’s choice of turning F3 into a shooting game, but I still enjoyed some parts of it, mainly the 3D environments and the sense of freedom and world-building. I appreciate hearing someone’s opinion about why they liked a game or why they think it’s a good evolution to the franchise.
    In retrospect, it helped me understand better what I like in games and why games I dislike appeal to others. It helped me also appreciate more aspects that I undervalued, like the world building and the 3D enviroments, which are now in my opinion at the very core of the fallout experience.

    Also, if I don’t agree or am not interested, I don’t watch/finish the video. Obviously I’m not going to agree with every one of his choices and likes. Some of the games I love would be objectively judged as terrible, but because of nostalgia, or just whim I can appreciate something others don’t.

    Anyways, that was long comment, but I just wanted to express my respect for people like him who bring honest news and reviews about an industry that I love.

    Thank god for Jim Sterling

  8. You should do this for other developers and publishers.

    Six Times Activision-Blizzard Was Massively Incompetent
    Six Times Nintendo Was Massively Incompetent
    Six Times Konami Was Massively Competent
    Six Times Namco-Bandai Was Massively Incompetent
    Six Times CD Projekt Was Massively Incompetent

    It’d be pretty great as a reminder that every developer and publisher has flaws, no matter how much people love them.

  9. Bethesda, MAKE A NEW ENGINE

  10. The Engine really hasn’t aged well.

    Only mods have made their recent games tolerable for so long.
    I feel sorry for the console gamers or anyone who played witcher 3 and dark souls before going back to a vanilla version of skyrim.

  11. The fact that CDPR, a significantly smaller publisher than Bethesda, is willing and able to create a new engine for CP2077 while Bethesda hints at using what is effectively Morrowind’s engine for ES VI is downright comical and emblematic of Bethesda’s laziness/incompetence.

  12. Fallout 76 is so forgettable that Jim started the video with a rant about it, but by 10:54 I was scratching my head trying to figure out what Jim was talking about. Wait, did they release another mobile title like Fallout Shelter this year? Maybe a Facebook game I forgot about? Oh wait, no, he’s talking about Fallout 76. Silly me.

    Fallout 76: the Wii U of Fallout games.

  13. It sounds like Bethesda deliberately tried to sabotage the development of New Vegas. People were constantly complaining about Fallout 3 and how it bastardized the Fallout series. So they got the original creators back together and forced ridiculous constraints on them to try and get them to make a worse game than Fallout 3. That way, they could just point to New Vegas and say ‘See? Brian Fargo himself couldn’t do any better, so shut up and buy Fallout 4, you sheep.’
    And then New Vegas was great.
    So Bethesda announced that they weren’t going to be letting third parties make Fallout games anymore.

  14. Well said Jim… Don’t worry the internet is an angry beast. And…………. Skyrim in VR is amazing!

  15. Can we take a moment to appreciate Obsidian. I mean they only had 18 months and made they Fallout: NV. That is some God tier game development. That’s not even mentioning the DLCs they made for that game.

  16. What kills me about that whole Bethesda engine/framework debacle is that they’re owned by ZeniMax, that also owns the legendary id Software. You’d think Bethesda could just use id Tech, something far more stable and technically competent than the Creation Engine, but here we are

  17. Six times? Not seventy-six times??

  18. “Six Times Bethesda Was Massively Incompetent”
    I’m pretty sure you could easily make such a list on just Fallout 76 so far.

  19. Fallout New Vegas is what happens when another dev team is allowed to make a “mod” of a previous fallout game.
    Fallout 76 is what happens when Bethesda makes a mod of their own game.

  20. Just saw someone on YouTube launch three nukes simultaneously in Fallout 76 and crashed the server. I’d say that’s Bethesdas peak technical performance right there XD

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