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Sometimes, the best way to promote your product is to not attempt to promote it at all. Lately, Bethesda's Pete Hines seems to have found himself in the shadow of EA's Peter Moore and Frank Gibeau, when it comes to PR talking points. In a recent interview, the PR frontman for Bethesda talked up a number of things regarding recent and upcoming games from the company, including how they handle value versus content.
Now Gamer cherry-picked two very inflammatory comments from the Gameindustry.biz article, where Hines states that...
“So you can look at something like horse armour,"... "The reaction to horse armour wasn't just about price; it was more a lesson on when you're going to ask somebody to pay X, do they feel like they're getting Y in exchange. If they don't feel like they're getting their money's worth they're going to bitch."
Hey guess what, the headline to this article isn't even sensationalized, it's the freaking truth! Ahaha.
But here's the thing, Hines is right. Despite his somewhat patronizing tone, the reality is that gamers don't want to be screwed over, at all. $60 is a lot for a piece of entertainment that could ultimately suck, and $4.99 or $19.99 for DLC that may or may not be good can ultimately result in gamers feeling like they've been screwed over. I've bought my fair share of noteworthy DLC and quite a bit that made me regret putting money into the coffers of the publisher, usually in result of realizing the DLC was petty or simply not worth it.
However, Hines goes on to say something that doesn't quite mold as well with where the company stands at present with PS3 gamers, saying...
"It's not about the amount of money; it's about are you giving them really good value for what you're making them pay for. That's not an Elder Scrolls specific philosophy; I think that's a philosophy for us across everything, whether it's a game or DLC or an MMO or whatever. We have to make sure we're providing enough quality for what you're paying for, whatever you're paying for, so that the customer feels satisfied that, 'I got good value for my money.'"
There are a lot of angry, pissed off PS3 gamers who have every right to be regarding the past and current situation of Skyrim. The thing is, even though Bethesda entered the 30 day exclusivity deal with Microsoft for the DLC, it was pretty much standard knowledge that the Skyrim DLC would be multiplatform. The problem here is that Skyrim has been plagued with issues on the PS3 since it launched. And now PS3 gamers are wondering if they'll even have access to new skills, quests, enemies, items and house-building like Xbox 360 and PC gamers given that Dawnguard is stuck in development limbo.
From the perspective of a consumer, if you didn't know that the PS3 would be getting the short end of the stick you would probably not have purchased the game to begin with for the PS3. You basically bought into the short end of the stick. This platform conundrum soon became a running joke within the gaming community where everyone's solution for PS3 gamers to fix all the problems with Skyrim was to “buy an Xbox 360”.
Bethesda isn't anywhere near in the same league as EA, Activision, Capcom or Ubisoft when it comes to taking a crap on their loyals, but they really do need to iron out their coding and QA. As a PS3 gamer it's going to be a really hard sell for the next Bethesda game (i.e., Dishonored) if compatibility and functionality is called into question, and at that point Hines' comments will ring true once again because there will be plenty of whining, crying and Bethesda-bashing if gamers feel they didn't quite get their money's worth out of the product.
You can check out the rest of the interview with Hines over at Gamesindustry.biz.