First cab off the PAX rank this year was Pete Hines, VP of Bethesda, who has worked for the company for 15 years and shared with the Melbourne crowd some of his stories and experiences during that time. With a career that previously included working as a DJ and being one of the first contributors to the site Adrenaline Vault, he has a world of experience that seems to complement his current role well.
Bethesda are big fans of Australia; Pete mentioning their games do well in this region. He also joked of his envy of the view from their Sydney offices. A nice gift announced during his keynote is that the beta for their new game Battlecry will launch first in Australia and new Zealand.
After that he talked about memorable moments over the years. One involved the Xbox version of Morrowind where none in the industry believed that the game could run on a console. That was followed by a tale of his travels during the creation of the guide for the same game.
Of course, no talk about Bethesda’s games could be complete with mention of Oblivion and horse armour; a running joke that continues to pay off for them in way even they had not anticipated.
Finally there is an immense amount of pride when talking about how they had taken on Call of Duty in 2011 with the Skyrim launch (and smashing out 20 million copies sold in the process) as well as the collaboration process with Arkane Studios during the development of Dishonored.
A video at the end joked about marketing having to deal with selling people on a sequel to Rogue Warrior… We all know how that would work out. But with the company now consisting of a number of talented studios you think that kind of situation is well in their past.
After Pete left the stage he was soon replaced by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade.
Instead of taking questions from crowd like last year, this time it was from a collection of submitted prior to the show.
I wonder how much criticisms levelled at them last year have affected their approach as they were both much more measured in their handling of answers. Mike was quite honest at times and showed at lot of heart in talking about his own experiences.
If that is the case then this Q&A is a good sign that shows these guys genuinely care about what people think and are willing to change their approach for the good of PAX.
Tomorrow will be a second session with the guys involving a comic strip being drawn up on stage; looking forward to it. 🙂