It was revealed earlier this month that Bethesda Game Studios, the developer behind the Fallout series and The Elder Scrolls, is in the process of recruiting a Game Performance Manager to work on a “bleeding-edge AAA freemium game” in the Montreal office. According to the job description, this person will “envision, evolve, and operate monetization strategies”. This information was revealed ahead of Bethesda’s E3 2017 conference, and the studio had already sent out its invitations to “Bethesdaland”, which showed two projects as being “under construction.” While there was mild speculation whether one of these could be the free-to-play game, Bethesda actually revealed them to be The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and I think it’s safe to say neither of those will be free.
Aside from the revealed job description, little-to-nothing is known about this freemium game; but here is what we do know, as well as everything we can infer. Below are some highlights from the job posting:
- Work with the game design team on monetization design, strategy, and execution
- Envision in-game content and business model recommendations
- Set requirements and create specifications for monetization features
Bethesda Game Studios may be saying this future title will be free-to-play, but having a new Game Performance Manager “operate monetization strategies” could potentially involve microtransactions somewhere down the line. Microtransactions are not the most popular model in games and have to be done carefully so players don’t lose interest. While microtransactions have been a staple in the world of mobile gaming (which would’ve made it safe to assume this is what BGS Montreal is working on), we’ve been seeing this model creep up in multiplatform AAA titles as well. One of the more recent games to be subjected to this was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Bethesda is no stranger to creating microtransactions, and with the huge success of Fallout Shelter, it seems the studio even has a solid handle on it. It’s also worth noting that Bethesda President Todd Howard confirmed earlier this year that Bethesda is, indeed, working on a new mobile game that would follow in the footsteps of Fallout Shelter. Unfortunately, a project following in the footsteps of the 2015 mobile hit, doesn’t scream “bleeding-edge AAA game”.
What do you all think of this upcoming project and the possibility of microtransactions? Let us know down in the comments!
Tori is a writer and gamer originally from Vault 111, but now she resides in Chicago. She has an MFA in creative writing-fiction, runs primarily on coffee, and is an expert on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Follow her on Twitter @torithatnerd.