Put the Public in Bethesda's Public Relations: Remove Pete Hines, or Remove Creation Club
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We love Bethesda. We love their games. We support them by buying their games, telling our friends about them, and even making mods. Bethesda has become synonymous with "creative freedom."
Until recently. With the advent of Creation Club, Bethesda has shaken our trust in them, and may be near dissolving it completely. And why? The actions of one man: Pete Hines, Bethesda's Vice President and Head of Public Relations.
Modders have been creating content for each new Bethesda game for over a decade, for free. They invested personal time and skills to adding on to a world given to us, to aid in shaping it to their own desires. Bethesda allowed it, and even supported it. This kept Bethsda games at the forefront of the modding scene, symbols of creative freedom. Bethesda handed us a canvas and paintbrushes, and let us add to their creation.
When they tried to push paid mods, the community reacted violently. So great was this backlash, that the concept was pulled down in a week. This, we thought, was the end of it. Unfortunately, it has happened again. Creation Club set out with a goal: make mods that were hand-picked, curated, and polished by Bethesda to work seamlessly with your game. Bethesda would even bring it the most respected and skilled modders from the community, and pay them for their contributions. It was a golden opportunity, for them to have a hand in shaping the games they loved, with the approval and support of the developer. Creation Club would feature "mini DLC," addons featuring new characters, dungeons, maps, the sky's the limit. Unfortunately, this is not the case. When Creation Club launched, there was a meager handful of skins and equipment, and each one costing real money. Not only that, but the pricing system is insane. It's set to where you have to buy packs, each worth just enough points where you can buy some things, but come up just short for others. Without modders, do you think Skyrim, let alone Fallout 4, would still be relevant today? No, they wouldn't.
How does this pertain to Pete Hines? Well, he has been adamantly defending Creation Club. When a couple of items that had been on the Nexus for months (in one case, the other was more recent), showed up on Creation Club, fans were quick to point out that Bethesda broke one of its own rules. "No preexisting mods would be featured on the Creation Club." Yet here were two, plain as day. He even said that "modders couldn't call 'first' on them, since Bethesda originally created them for Fallout 3." The problem was, modders weren't calling "first" on creating them as a whole. They just made the mods to put into a game that was a direct sequel to Fallout 3, yet this content was omitted. Still, the point remains: these mods were available for free, and of greater content and quality that their Creation Club counterparts. He has also said that the content on Creation Club is no longer called "mini-DLCs," swapping it out for "Creation Club Content." Would that not make it automatically available to people who bought the Season Pass?
The manner in which Creation Club makes itself known is an affront, as well. Creation Club was launched alongside a recent bug fix patch, so it was not optional to download, nor can you opt out if you don't want to use it. Not only that, but it also downloads every mod on the Creation Club onto your hard drive, whether you purchase them or not. I call that invasion of privacy, not to mention "illegal." Nowhere in the EULA did I recall agreeing to my hard drive being invaded.
There appears to be a disconnect between him and his development team. Community Administrators on the Bethesda Forums say the preloaded files are a bug, but Pete Hines says it's intended. He also says they will not ever support F4SE or LOOT, when their people on the forums say they are willing to work and see it fixed.
I think the evidence is clear. How Pete Hines was made Head of Public Relations is one of the great mysteries of the universe. There is nothing PR about him. It seems he is simply blasting at everyone who calls him out on double-talk. I'd hate to see him become a medical professional, because if this is how he treats the community, I'd hate to see his bedside manner.
Thus, I propose we replace Mr. Hines as Head of PR with someone who understands the community more, who will work with us to resolve issues, who understands us. We want to keep playing games we love, and we want Bethesda to continue delivering these epic worlds. I implore you: stick to managing the company, Mr. Hines. Leave the community to those who understand it.
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