Fallout 76 is a technical embarrassment in 2018. Even Fallout 4 felt dated back when it released in 2015. And now Bethesda's Todd Howard has confirmed that the developer is using its same old creaky engine to power Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI. God help us all.
For those out of the loop, Bethesda's Creation Engine came into being with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but the foundations of the engine have been in play for a lot longer than that, dating all the way back to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Every Bethesda Game Studios title since then has been built using that same software on some level, although obviously, the developer has improved it over time.
The issue here is that the engine has never been very good, at least on a technical level. Last-gen titles such as Fallout 3 and the original version of Skyrim ran badly on the PlayStation 3, and Bethesda's now infamous for its buggy, glitch-ridden games. There was some hope that the studio would finally ditch its engine for its supposedly next-gen titles, but again, according to Howard, that ain't happening.
"Fallout 76 uses a new renderer, a new lighting system and a new system for the landscape generation. For Starfield even more of it changes. And for The Elder Scrolls 6, out there on the horizon even more," Howard tells Forbes, confirming that future games will indeed utilise the Creation Engine.
"We like our editor. It allows us to create worlds really fast and the modders know it really well. There are some elementary ways we create our games and that will continue because that lets us be efficient and we think it works best," Howard explains.
Now, let's not jump the gun. Maybe Bethesda will make drastic improvements to its engine with Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI -- maybe there's nothing to worry about. But given the developer's history, we struggle to find faith.
Put it this way: if we're sitting here in three, four, or five year's time, playing The Elder Scrolls VI, and the game's struggling to hit 30 frames per second, we're going to lose our minds.
well forget that then, i wont be getting ES6
Oh no, for the love of all that is holy in life and death, please don’t make ES6 a mess. It needs to come out on top, but has so much complete now. Oh please meet expectations. You could do some possibly irreparable damage if you mess it up and it doesn’t come out as one of the best things ever made. Oh for the love of all that is good just make it work or make a new freaking engine!
most trusted developer people.
i wonder if the people that voted for them are now sorry for their decision. probably not though,since most people just forget the bad things bethesda do after a few weeks because of their pc master race stance.
Oh boy, can't wait to play Elder Scrolls 8 using the same engine as Elder Scrolls 3.
I’m not nearly as excited for these games now if it’s not a new engine... they have A LOT to fix if they want to make it work next gen.
Well it gives them plenty of time for them to get used to the ins and outs of the engine so their games will be properly optimized sniggers
THEN I TOOK AN ARROW TO THE KNEE
Am I doing it right?
@Deadlyblack they will most likely just rely on the pc players to fix the game for them with mods as they have been doing since atleast oblivion.
shame for us console players though,but then again supporting a company that has been making bad decisions and even being hypocritical in some ways as of late,doesn't belong in my future to buy list anymore.
i like TES games,but i can't stand bethesta's figure heads anymore.
@jdv95 With the amount of bugs and problems that Fallout 76 has, and Bethesda saying the game is a "work in progress" on release, I wouldn't doubt if Bethesda is hoping for players to fix the game for them.
I'm also starting to feel kind of bleh towards some of the guys at Bethesda, especially Hines.
Straight up don't give a damn about the engine though, it could literally stop working like the PS3 version half way through, as long as they got Jeremy Soule on the beats it's an instabuy from me.
@Deadlyblack with fallout 76 being an online game,i don't think modding will be allowed though.
also this quote:"We like our editor. It allows us to create worlds really fast and the modders know it really well. so they are kinda saying that they keep the engine because of the modders.
so why even release these games on console then if they are going to be affected by a outdated engine that only 1 specific (huge) part of players will "benefit" from while the other half only suffers because of it. i know that not being able to mod is because of the console makers not wanting that to happen (yet) but then it is also up to the developer to either create a new engine so all parts of the players can have a smooth game or just don't release on the systems that won't be able to benefit from an outdated engine.
Don't worry the remaster will sort it out.
Give him few more minutes and I'm sure Todd will explain how this is all Sony's fault.
@jdv95 a lot of people liked Fallout 4 on PS4, and the Slyrim PS4 release was excellent. The engine is ropey but let's be honest, it's not like they are making horrificly poor games.
I can already feel the smell of dated engine like I smelled in Fallout 4 bargain bin game for me in particular because skyrim was so overrated...
Maybe Elder Scrolls 6 remaster number 10 will bring a new engine!
To be fair Skyrim's issues on the PS3 were largely the fault of the console and not the game engine and Skyrim runs great on PS4 and even the Switch. The main problem with the engine is that graphically it isn't particularly good and has a very poor lighting model indoors in particular. Hopefully some of this is resolved by then but it does seem baffling that they haven't moved on yet
Morrowind came out in 2002, move on already!
I don’t understand the outrage. Most games I play look like they are running on engines that have be iterated on for the last 10 years or so. Red Dead Redemption 2, Black Ops 4, AC Odyssey...It’s normal.
Bethesda also uses the same Todd Howard since 1994. Y'know, I'm not saying anything, just pointing it out
Get a new Todd!
@Wesker Yeah but all you need to do is look at those games and then look at Fallout 76. It might be a multiplayer spin-off, etc, etc, but even Fallout 4 looked ugly and ran badly when it released in 2015.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that since Morrowind, Bethesda Game Studios hasn't released a single game that's ran well at launch.
I already decided I was going to pass on future Fallout and ES games, and this is only strengthening my resolve. Fallout 3 and Oblivion were revolutionary when they first came out, but Bethesda has been stuck in the past development-wise for years now.
Personally, I find this outrageous and I'd be ashamed to say this to the public. They use the same engine, albeit modified, they say they are familiar with it and we still get same buggy uninspiring games. I had high hopes for their next gen games but this left me disappointed.
Such a shame very disappointing 🤦♂️
@ShogunRok I haven’t seen anything of Fallout 76, but Fallout 4 was a quality game. Bethesda are trailblazers when it comes to open world RPGs.
@Wesker Don't get me wrong, I tend to love Bethesda's games as well, but there comes a point when I just can't see the engine as a good thing, if only for the technical performance.
There's this engine capable of producing great open world games, it's called Decima. Horizon used it and Death Stranding will use it as well. Apparently it also lets you develop pretty effectively.
Bethesda, just borrow that from Sony. I'm sure they'll even let you if that means we finally get a Bethesda game with decent performance on a Sony system.
Also, I can't wait to play The Elder Scrolls 76 online with my friends. There will be no NPC's, but you can send dragons at other players to destroy their settlements.
A lot of engines - inc Unreal 4 and Frostbite 3 have core elements from previous generations - not entirely new. They are iterative upgrades with some new and/or updated features bolted on. The latest iteration of Frostbite may well have Ray Tracing support built in for example and some optimisation improvements. Just because some may say 3 or 4 after the name, doesn't mean they are entirely 'new' but more iterative. Others, like Bethesda's Creation engine or Rockstars RAGE engine may well be the same named engine as we saw 10yrs ago in games but they may also have a lot of upgrades done too.
I do agree that Fallout 4 and 76 were not that 'pretty' looking and seemed to be little better (other than higher resolution) than Fallout 3 but that doesn't mean Starfield will look bad - it could look great because the assets are all new, Elder Scrolls 6 too as the character models for example could be new with much higher polygon counts.
Keeping the same engine can be a good thing as the devs are familiar with it, its quirks etc and the performance of games like skyrim on PS3 was more down to the PS3's design than the engine as it ran well (not perfect but well) on other formats.
"It allows us to create worlds really fast" pretty much all you need to know lul
I’ve thought for years that out of all the engines AAA Devs use this has been the worst.
It struggled with ladders, correct?
What a bloody joke.
Y’all think that’s outrageous? Did you know that literally all computers are using the same binary language as they were back in 1938? Sure, there have been little updates here and there, but everything you do with a digital device is using that same language. What a rip-off!
@BAMozzy Are you lost? This here’s where people complain about things they don’t understand, not make logical arguments that take thought and reason.
How unfortunate and annoying. Imagine a single player Elder Scrolls game with a world that looks as pretty and polished as they do in Horizon or RDR2.
A more modern engine would have been great, but Elder Scrolls 6 will likely still be an excellent game nonetheless.
I would have more faith in future Fallout and TES games from Bethesda if they had ever fixed the performance of Fallout 4. After 3 years the frames still drop in various city locations, and FAR Harbor still has very bad frame rates while in many outside locations.
The mods for clear weather, no fog, and no god rays do improve the look of the game, but even with that Far Harbor has frame rates in some locations that make me dizzy.
Nuka World has good frame rates so why not with Far Harbor. I don't know why, and it appears that Bethesda also does not know why.
Everyone complaint about technical issue on Skyrim & Fallout 4 but still played & addicted to them... lol
I'm sure TES6 & Starfield will be the same.
Whew, two games I can definitely cross off my list until they go on sale.
bethesda is the only developer on earth complacent with its shoddy engine. i don't understand it and never will. a company that can't be bothered to improve and is fine treating its fans like crap every chance it can get (broken games on launch, bugs galore that never get patched, poor performance). wow, glad i'm not someone who needs to deal with that. not being a bethesda fan is great!
@Imagremlin hey, i thought i got rid of you gremlins!
Anyone who finds this news a surprise, hasn't been paying attention. Bethesda is a dead man walking.
"our modders know it really well" - translation, "we are too lazy to actually develop a new engine"
This studio is traaaaaaaaaash!
My God, please get a clue Bethesda!
It doesn't just work! FFS!
@Salt_AU Are you suggesting Bethesda's games aren't a mess on every platform?
GTAIV, RDR, and GTAV were not bug riddled, clunky, ugly, outdated messes!
Rockstar's engine holds true to the adage "If it ain't broke; don't fix it". They actually know what they're doing. They care about putting out a quality product. They have respect for their craft and the work they put in.
Bethesda's modified Gambryo engine is broken! It's an absolute mess, and to suggest otherwise is completely intellectually dishonest! They should absolutely ditch it for something else.
I've heard this before and it's true, if Bethesda made cars they'd be out of business and have dozens of class action lawsuits. If they made literally anything else, they'd be done.
Why do people let them get away with pushing out shoddy products in the AAA gaming industry?
Because people like to shill them.
Hmmm.... Where is this happening I wonder?
Many if not most developers use the same [base] engine for many years, like Codemasters, Rockstar and Ubisoft for example. So it's nothing unique for Bethesda to be doing this, although they do seem to hang on to the same engine for much longer.
The issue for me, is that Bethesda always gets a pass by the media, on issues that are seen as game-breaking in other franchises and games, like Assassin's Creed for instance. The Bethesda games have usually been OK to me, never 'great' or 'very good' ... just 'OK', apart for a game-breaking bug in Skyrim on the PS3, which literally prevented me from finishing the game.
@FullbringIchigo I bet you do
Combining the buggy engine with the bored and uninspired voice acting of so many of the NPCs you bump into in these games and I become less and less excited for each announcement.
Quite a contrast to their more linear titles such as Doom and Wolfenstein which are of a much higher standard.
I find it funny he would mention "modders" in the same interview he mentioned Fallout 76, because we all know that game won't have fan made mod support.
@kyleforrester87 Lets be honest the games they bring out are so buggy it a joke.
@Salt_AU Removing the mist to instead of fixing it. It looked ok nothing special less options in the conversations. They dont know the word polish when it comes to game design. Oh i forgot patches of 25GB plus on day one. 😔
Elder Engine would be the perfect name.
The first Elder Bethesda game I bought was Skyrim on Switch. What a deception! It has the same bugs as the vanilla version. The game is uninteresting. And I won't be buying another Bethesda game any time soon. Also fans and critics can't be trusted since everyone idolises Bethesda's games for no reason.
I mean we already know that, no reason to waste money and resource developing a new engine when you can still use the same 20 years old engine, dumb fans will buy it anyways lol
just look how many times they re-released skyrim..
Glad that none of Bethesda's game interest me
I was actually interested in Starfield but nope
Quality Control at Bethesda
@Salt_AU Now I'm questioning whether you've even played Fallout 4 on PS4.
Comparing Rockstar and Bethesda's engines is laughable. Rockstar's engines have bugs but nowhere in the same ballpark that Bethesda's dinosaur engine does.
Even when the engine was good it was rubbish.
@NintendoFan4Lyf Whilst I do agree in part, it can also depend on what work they do on the engine and whether or not they iterate on the parts that maybe causing the issues. They may make the engine better optimised and fix the frame pacing issues and thus fix one of the big problems they have had.
Fallout 4 may well have be built on Fallout 3 using some assets etc that were not well optimised maybe not looking to deep into the engine refinements either as the game may well be built out of Fallout 3 which then had some assets replaced and new scenery dropped in which then had a similar build process for Fallout 76. More minor iterative tweaks - like bolting on something to handle base building, then bolting on something to help the MP with minor tweaks to the lighting part of the engine - but because its built on top of Fallout 3, the same issues persist.
Those issues may not be present at all on a game built from the ground up with all new assets etc - even if the engine is basically the same. If the issues are related to the way they built Fallout 3 for example, just replacing the newer assets and a different environment probably won't fix the game. It could be a line of code that has persisted throughout that's caused the problem but because the game is different, built from the ground up today, that code won't exist and so the engine may well perform perfectly well.
Same engines can be used to make a lot of different games and some of those games will perform very differently. You also have to factor in that the PS3 was notoriously difficult for multi-platform games. The games that were purpose built for PS3 could be tailored specifically to maximise its advantages and minimise its weaknesses. If the necessary RAM to render the scene was too much for PS3's 'split' arrangement, Devs can change that scene to reduce the RAM - something they can't really do for multi-platform games.
It might not be the 'core' part of the engine at fault - maybe a mistake by the developer that has persisted through several sequels because the game isn't 'entirely' new but built on top of the previous game. That foundation can also be improved, updated and be better optimised as well.
@ShogunRok he either did and just doesn't care if it's a buggy game since he comes accross as the typical fanboy with the way he just can't handle vallid critisism towards Bethesda (or is atleast acting like one) or if we are to take his username as a hint,he just made this account to post controversial post in order to get some attention.
Either way it's clear that you can't have a nice civil discussion with that user because of his stance regarding Bethesda or any goal he's looking for,so just leave him rambling on.
As a mod user (and pc gamer) I am ok with this. I think if I played on console though I'd be upset. I've heard some horror stories.
sounds like a really good idea on acid I guess
My biggest gripe with games developed on this engine is how physics are tied to framerate, so running these game at anything above 60fps essentially breaks the game, so if you have a beefy pc you can't even put its full power to use.
@johncalmc bacon fries are good but scampi fries are heavenly
I made an account just to say this is the biggest journalistic crock of crap i've heard in a long time. Suddenly someone using the same Fundamental Engine is this massive crime yet Unreal can do it every couple of years and get heralded as innovators? Get over yourself.
Bethesda have made their own, In-house engine with the tools to improve. Gamebryo =/= Creation Engine. They can constantly make the engine better, without having to wait for Unreal or Gamebryo or whoever to release the next version, they have more, total control over their games design process and you give them gruff. What a tool. honestly.
@jdv95 "because of the console makers not wanting that to happen "
Not quite the reason.
Consoles are based on integrated technology, which limits the amount of capacity parts have. Modding on consoles is limited to mods that do not affect this capacity. And it will not expand as long as consoles will be a closed environment.
The component capacity on PC hardware is much bigger giving it headroom for modding even those parts of the game that does increase the hardware usage.
About using the same engine - the engine itself isn't the problem. The dx9 version of the engine, had much more possibilities than the dx11 version. However the dx11 version was much more stable. What and how it will work, will depend on the edits on it. Will they do some work on the engine or will they just put in the same crap as in F4 and SKSE? ...
Never buy a Bethesda game on release. Wait 6 months until the console-killing bugs have been fixed. Better still, wait until the GOTY edition comes out.
@Nithcraal As per community rules
Do not use profanity; Use of unsavoury language including profanity and swearing is not acceptable, please remember that this website has users of all ages.
So let's watch the language please
Thanks for understanding
Sounds like a normal day at Bethesda, move along nothing to see here haha...
I struggle to see the point in making next gen games using this engine. It would be outclassed by existing games from other studios even now, let alone whenever they plan to release ESVI. Shame, I loved Skyrim, but it was a pain in the neck for Playstation users; don't want to go through all that again!
Are they all mad...all their games are janky bugfests
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