Pete Hines says Bethesda “embraces” some of the bugs in its games

by Danny Craig  · 
Pete Hines says Bethesda “embraces” some of the bugs in its games

According to Pete Hines, Bethesda's head of publishing, the studio's approach to bugs in its titles is to prioritize freedom and fun, with a focus on fixing the more "annoying" issues.

The details:

  • In a recent interview with, Hines was asked how Bethesda approached Starfield in terms of bugs, given the company's history of notoriously janky releases, as well as many recent major releases encountering various issues. While Bethesda has a "reputation for things that happen in their games," the executive responded that the developer prefers to "embrace chaos" by intentionally keeping the more fun bugs in its titles.
  • Hines explained that Bethesda could make a "safer, less buggy, less risky" game if it wanted to, but instead prefers to focus on player freedom. “Yes, there's going to be some little things here and there where your companion might stand a little too close to you sometimes, yet the freedom you get, and the things that happen because of that, we absolutely love and embrace,” Hines said. “Of course there are bugs. But does it take away from your experience? Or do you have a consistent, fun game that you just can't stop playing and experimenting with?”
  • The company veteran then shared a personal experience that the team had while testing the game, which involved a shark getting stuck in an elevator and wreaking havoc in the city of Neon, prompting him to request that the bug remain in the game. “On Neon, a planet covered entirely in water with a city that sits on top of it, we had a bug where a shark was able to get on an elevator,” Hines shared. “Then the elevator doors would open on a street level and the shark would come sliding out – everybody screams and starts running in every direction. I'm laying into it with weapons, people are screaming and guards are running.”
  • Despite the studio's reputation for releasing games with a mix of game-breaking and hilarious bugs, Starfield appears to be Bethesda Game Studios' least "broken" title to date. This is somewhat surprising, but Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty previously stated that this was expected, with a massive QA team tasked with tackling bugs before release to ensure the game did not turn out like Skyrim's PlayStation 3 release.

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