I have no clue how Bethesdas marketing works, though Marketing should be there to decide on how to promote the game and creating good strategies on how to sell the finished product. Not to tell you how to create the game. Knowing your target audience is absolutely important no doubts about that. However as the game/creative director you have to follow a creative process and motivate your team. Once a director nailed down what he want's to achieve, it's up to him on making sure that this vision becomes a reality. Having constantly people talking in your design process is not only frustrating but also often enough creating problems. I experienced at first hand what happens when you have clueless marketing gurus without any design knowledge interfering with your creative work - since they believe creating content is just pushing buttons on a keyboard. The famous case where they demand from you to squeze a square peg in a round hole ... This excellently explains in a very humorous manner what kind of ... people you have sometimes in front of you. The kind of people that will tell you, Lightsabers are popular, liked and melee weapons so they should be used any time and in every movie where a sword is drawn!. And FPS/real time combat is pretty much Bethesdas Light Saber to the Fallout franchise. Turning the whole franchise basically in a first person shooter. Actually I believe gamers are very bad at communicating what they want, they usually know very well what they don't wan't though. That is why it isn't simply enough to open a gaming forum and just read the suggestions topic all day. But no one can demand that anyway, since gamers are consumers, not designers. And like others already said, reviews are a very bad metric and source to look for. If you're already knee deep in the design process than you should have a rough imagination of your player base and target audience anyway. The main issue isn't AAA content or content created for the mass market appeal. I can totally enjoy my MC Donalds Burger next to a Filet Mignon. Having as much fun in a CoD game as with Deus Ex. What we are facing right now though is a bastardization of a known and well defined franchise in favour for sales figures - I guess. Instead of taking the time to create a worthy Fallout sequel Bethesda has simply applied their Elder Scrolls/First Person Shooter formula on the Fallout franchise. Now what ever if that is because of Marketing (shooter sell millions) or if it is simply because Bethesa is a one-trick-ponny, is a different question. But as far as Fallout goes, Imagine a recoloured, remastered, digitalized and simplified version of Citizen Kane created for the DVD on demand (mass) market.