Pete Hines, who led the publishing division of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Starfield studio Bethesda, is officially retiring. Throughout the span of two decades, Hines has been a notable personality at the studio, actively involved in the launch of some of their most popular games. As he steps into the next phase of his life, he notes that the “time is right” for new beginnings.
Hines became part of Bethesda in 1999, where he led global marketing and communications as senior VP, a role significant during the launch of Morrowind in 2002. Ever since then, he played an integral role in the release of Bethesda's critically-acclaimed games such as Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim, extending to various re-releases of Skyrim on multiple platforms and mediums, including VR. Hines also navigated the company through challenging times, particularly during the launch of Fallout 76 and Redfall this year.
Despite his successes, Hines' tenure was known for some controversial moments. In 2016, he planned to revoke pre-release access for all reviewers, a move he later undid. However, not all outlets received access to this year's Starfield before launch, reportedly leading to some alleged conflicts with certain publications.
In November of the previous year, Hines transitioned into his role as head of publishing. During the discussions involving the one anticipated game, Starfield, within Microsoft-Blizzard, Hines hyped it up, regardless of one's preference for incredibly extensive games, referring to it as "irresponsibly large" for its exclusivity on Xbox.
Following the launch of Starfield, reputedly the largest in Bethesda’s franchise, Hines decided to end his 24-year-long journey with the publisher. He conveyed via a statement on TwiXer that his retirement marks the start of a new chapter in his life. Hines highlighted that this decision didn't come easily, but after a fruitful career culminating with Starfield, it felt like the right time to depart.
Expressing gratitude towards the studio’s fans, Hines acknowledged his time at Bethesda as “the greatest experience of my life”. Bethesda, in its announcement, profoundly celebrated Hines. They applauded his working values of authenticity, integrity, and passion that impressed upon the company culture. Bethesda stressed his substantial contribution to the company's growth into today’s world-class studios.
In a warm gesture, Bethesda responded to Hines’ retirement announcement with a mock doctor’s note, an inside joke referring to Hines’ tradition of offering doctor’s note templates for players to use on any new game’s launch day. They humorously prescribed him a regimen of gaming, card collecting, foster dog caregiving, and community engagements.
As Hines departs, Bethesda's future game releases will miss his influence for the first time in over twenty years. Still, fans eagerly await what's to come with The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5 among the exciting lineup.
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