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Skyrim: Did Bethesda know about PS3 bugs before release?

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Bethesda has spoken out against accusations that it knew of game-cripplings bugs before the PlayStation 3 release of Skyrim. While the DICE summit saw Todd Howard tell reporters from Kotaku and Game Informer that Skyrim was the company's “most stable release” across the board, the developer admits his team were aware of the potential for “bad memory situations” – or, as PS3 players know them, “FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU.”

Above: At least this one isn't flying backwards 

However, Bethesda says that these issues were addressed before the game was released: the team, he says, “coded solutions that they felt would work – and in their tests the solutions did work.” But with the test-base growing exponentially once the game was released to consumers, situations arose beyond those tested for – giving rise to the previously-discussed scenario.

Regrettable new results in hand, says Howard, the team “eventually had to go to the consumer and ask for their saved game files... Fortunately we were able to fix it with the latest update.” The Elder Scrolls head is the first to sympathize with frustrated players: “[Players] have every right to be pissed off.” However, he adds, “we’re really committed to fixing everything.” The game's most recent patch, released last month, contained additional long-term PS3 fixes.

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8 comments

  • Malakie - February 16, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    BULL. I am a PC player myself but even so with a console system there is NO WAY they tested their supposed fixes in house and they worked. Why? Because every console is the same!! Same OS, Same Hardware etc etc. A fix in house on their box would work on every other box. The sad thing is that it is not just Bethesda. MANY MANY larger devs are now releasing sub standard code before it is ready for release. I have yet to buy any game this past 2 years that did not require a MAJOR patch to function correctly out of the box. The bottom line has now become the more important factor to all these companies. Not only buggy software but another change that is occurring quite fast is the content in the games as well... more and more games are being released at the same price but with half the content of old... and then you have to pay MORE for DLC's to get the content that SHOULD have been in the main release in the first place. BTW, I am not just a gamer.. I used to be a game dev. I still am a coder but not in the games market anymore so I am not just talking from someone out of the know.. I know how the system works from design to sale. And these very things I have been talking about on different sites for the last couple years especially, are getting worse and worse.. and they are charging more and more..
  • CitizenThom - February 16, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    The much-maligned Final Fantasy XIII was bug-free. Whatever other flaws the game had, I enjoyed the game very much just because bug free games just aren't the standard anymore. Saboteur and Infamous were pretty glitch free (maybe three glitches over a twenty/thirty hour span of gameplay)too.
  • larkan - February 16, 2012 6:45 p.m.

    Actually while I do agree with you, I do know that newer revisions of PS3's and 360's do have different hardware, but no more than 3 or 4 variations of the same exact chips. Either way, inexcusable on their part. I digress..... With the fact that games are being released in this fashion more and more, I've completely given up on buying games on release day that I know are not 100% reliable. I also don't buy games that have DLC scheduled for 6 months out before release, then I just wait for a GOTY or Ultimate Edition. I really do not enjoy spending $60 on a game, and then another $40 in DLC that was finished before the game was released (Borderlands I'm definitely looking at you) It's very sad that as a gaming community, we are basically paying most companies for a beta. The attitude of "release bugged now, fix later" is extremely unprofessional and lazy to boot. The reason they get away with it is due to today's saturation of media. The market gets overwhelmed with so many previews and highlights that are paid for by the companies to appear on gaming websites. I mean come on, they made RAGE look good on paper and in videos, and we all know how that turned out. I think gaming sites need to start incorporating an "is it worth full price?" rating to their scoring systems. Honestly, I paid $60 for Uncharted 3 with no intentions of using the multiplayer aspect....definitely not worth $60. While it was a good game, the replay value just wasn't there. Any game that you can beat within 3 or 4 hours shouldn't be priced above $10 (Limbo) no matter how "unique" the gameplay setting is. Until we start telling these companies how we feel with our wallets, we will continue down this path and it WILL get worse. How do you think Bethesda would've responded if this information had been leaked before launch, and everyone protested buying the game on all the systems until they fully fixed the problems? They would've lost their minds! I know very few people will read this, or even take it to heart, but please people, if you want things back to normal in terms of game quality, pricing with DLC, and overall a feeling that we're not being treated like shit, don't buy that game on day one, or even month one. Let these companies know we're willing to hold out and find other things to occupy our time that don't feel like such a huge waste of our hard earned money.
  • xarab4lyfex - February 16, 2012 6:59 p.m.

    Complete bull is coming out of bethesda right now. Fallout 3 and New Vegas on the PS3 are complete trash when compared to the xbox and pc versions. You WOULD THINK that SOMEONE in that company would be smart enough to say "o.k, well we failed on the ps3 before so let's test this one for longer to see if it really works," but apparently not. I own it for xbox, but there is no excuse for ripping off ps3 gamers AGAIN. But from what I heard they are fixing it with patches, but I doubt a lot of ps3 owners are quick to forgive bethesda.
  • D0CCON - February 16, 2012 7:44 p.m.

    If this was the first case of this type of problem on PS3, I'd be more forgiving, but it seems all big Bethesda games on PS3 are like this. I'm glad I only play Elder Scrolls on PC/360, but still, PS3 gamers don't deserve this.
  • garnsr - February 16, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    I didn't have too much trouble over 150 hours on PS3, but I didn't start until the 1.4 patch, I think. And now my system seems to be having trouble with other games, so I'm not sure how much of my trouble came from Skyrim itself. There have been so many system revisions and firmware updates that I'm not surprised so many games this generation have had such problems that may be hard to ferret out by the developers. The fact that similar problems happened to me with Fallout 3 makes me think that Bethesda doesn't put enough effort into checking out the PS3 versions of their games, though.
  • Imgema - February 17, 2012 3:45 a.m.

    Man, i miss the old days when CONSOLES were consoles and not low powered restrictive PCs and developers had to actually test their games before burning them on the cartridge or disc. Because, you know there was no going back. Now they just release their games whenever they feel like they are going to sell better and then finish the job with a few patches. Its as if modern gaming exists to make the life of the developers easier ignoring the gamer completely. And when everything goes DLC and physical media disappears things will only get worse. I won't be surprised if they start selling unfinished versions of games in order to release them the exact day they want and maybe add the missing endings, levels, characters with patches later on or, god forbid, with paid DLCs.
  • Darkhawk - February 17, 2012 6:03 a.m.

    Bull bull bull. So you can thoroughly test for PC and 360, but PS3 somehow you required a "larger test base" (read: paying customers)? F*** YOU Bethesda

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