I am back, once again criticizing Bethesda’s marketing, or lack thereof, for failing to tell me and a whole lot of other people that a major game was on the verge of release. Thanks to SkillUp, today I learned that Wolfenstein: Youngblood is actually out six days from now on July 26. As a video game journalist who spends probably 16 hours a day on the internet, this is genuinely the first I’m hearing about Youngblood since probably E3 itself a month ago.
If all this sounds familiar, it’s because I wrote a similar piece about a revelation for Rage 2, a conflict that got me into a Twitter roast war with the official game account itself which has become my very own internet meme.
And yet once again, this is another Bethesda game that is releasing under the radar, and I’m just not clear on why these titles keep launching with so little buzz attached to them.
Last time this happened with Rage, I was accused of simply not following the proper social media channels to see release info, but uh, Bethesda has not tweeted about Youngblood at all recently, as its feed is all Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Blades. Neither has Arkane, who is working on Youngblood. Rather you have to follow Machine Games, the other dev on it, or literally the Wolfenstein account itself to see any Youngblood info. The same goes for YouTube, where Bethesda’s last uploaded video was for Elder Scrolls Online two weeks ago.
I am unclear why this keeps happening with Bethesda releases specifically, but here we are again. And the last time this happened, it didn’t go so well for Rage 2, which ended up launching and underselling Rage 1 at release, which was not exactly a smash hit itself.
Like Rage 2, Youngblood is a game I have been looking forward to, but I find it weird that it’s suddenly here with little fanfare or promotion. The revitalization of Wolfenstein has been fantastic to watch over a few games now, and it seems weird that this new title isn’t building on that momentum, and is just sort of…suddenly here.
Bethesda’s big release this year will be Doom Eternal, and that’s a game where I definitely know the release date, late November of this year. But if you asked me yesterday when Youngblood came out I probably first would have said “oh right I forgot that game existed” and then I might have guessed August or something. Not six days from now.
Again, sure, fine, I’m a bad games journalist who hasn’t memorized the release dates of all games, but speaking as a pretty plugged-in consumer, this does strike me as weird, especially since this is the second time this has happened with a Bethesda game in the last three months.
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