Bethesda have built themselves quite the reputation over the past few years for banking on dependable franchises and coming out on top. They had a masterstroke when they took over the rights to Fallout and have worked wonders with the Elder Scrolls series to bring it to a wider audience, resulting in record sales for both and no doubt absurd stock prices for the company.
But not everything they do quite sticks.
The Evil Within, the psychological thriller game directed by Resident Evil’s Shinji Mikami, had a lot of promise before release. Once the game was out, many complained about a distinct decline in the game’s tone and quality as it went on (which is accurate). It sold okay, but probably not as well as they would have liked.
Rage, on the other hand, is possibly the company’s biggest recent failure. After receiving glowing reviews from the critics, Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic shooter RPG struggled to find love from many gamers, underselling greatly and resulting in its developers, iD Software, going dark until this year’s triumphant return with DOOM.
According to an interview from Finder with Bethesda’s Pete Hines at QuakeCon 2016, players might see a return of these underdog series’ at some point in the future:
“Did The Evil Within sell well enough to warrant a sequel? Pete Hines: (Without hesitation) Yes! What about Rage? Pete Hines: I think so. So are they in the pipeline then? Pete Hines: I can’t talk about the unannounced stuff and what we may or may not do. I get myself in trouble whenever I do that. Even when we were talking about the Morrowind Remaster, if I come out and say, ‘I just don’t think that is going to happen,’ then people freak out. So I won’t confirm or deny stuff we may or may not do, as people jump to the wrong conclusions. But I do think both The Evil Within and Rage did well enough that we could make sequels. Personally I loved Rage and had a tonne of fun playing it, but we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline right now so you will have to wait and see.”
Seems promising, and the fact that Hines made a deliberate point of swerving away from a yes or no suggests that there might be some stuff going on behind the scenes. This is pure speculation, though, but Bethesda have always been more of a franchise player than a “one and done” kind of publisher. Let’s just wait and see.