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Todd Howard’s next game looking “awesome,” don’t expect news on it anytime soon

Thursday, 13th June 2013 18:58 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Just because The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to consoles, doesn’t mean Todd Howard’s team at Bethesda is involved: so don’t worry – he hasn’t stopped working on what he’s doing to help out with the MMO.

Speaking with OXM, Bethesda’s Pete Hines said what Howard and company are working on is “already really awesome,” but don’t expect it to be talked about soon.

“Zenimax Online Studio is an MMO shop,” said Hines. “They’re making an Elder Scrolls MMO and that is 100% unrelated to [the single-player series]. Todd Howard, at this point, has earned the right to do what the hell he wants; nobody gets to tell him different and nobody gets to dictate to him what he gets to do.

“You’re laughing because you know it’s true. He gets to do whatever he wants. Him and his team are moving forward with the stuff that they want to work on and where they want to go next in making games. I get to see it and it’s already really awesome, but it’s probably helpful to note that anyone who thinks that what he’s working on next is going to be talked about soon doesn’t understand game development.

“Give these guys time and space: expect it never and be surprised if it’s any time before then.”

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20 Comments

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  1. deathm00n

    Please, be the next Fallout.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Edo

    This is all sorts of informative…thanks Steph.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Moonwalker1982

    I hope expecting this one at VGA’s this year is a realistic expectation?

    #3 10 months ago
  4. absolutezero

    Don’t believe his lies.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Erthazus

    Todd howard is such a shitty game designer.
    Every publisher should make a game on the formula these guys are doing. It’s the most simplistic formula ever in RPG.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Moonwalker1982

    @4

    Lies? You think it’s much further along then he claims?

    #6 10 months ago
  7. KAP

    What is Todd Howard’s twitter?

    #7 10 months ago
  8. OnionPowder

    @6 of course it is. Before the announcement of Skyrim he went as far as saying that they’re not developing a new Elder Scrolls and to not hear anything from Bethesda anytime soon. This post is basically screaming “We’re announcing something soon”

    #8 10 months ago
  9. TheWulf

    @1

    Fallout 4 was exactly what I was thinking, to be honest. I think Bethesda want to try and save face by developing something incredible on their new engine for Fallout after the fiasco that was Fallout 3 versus New Vegas.

    I think, at this point, damn near everyone — except for some insubstantial hipster contrarians — realises that New Vegas was the true Fallout 3. I think that left Bethesda in a very awkward spot with the Fallout series, and that’s going to be hard on the egos of some of the people involved in Fallout 3 (hello Todd!).

    It sounds like Todd is egotistical enough to be bothered by the success of New Vegas. (And they were certainly spiteful enough to deny Obsidian their royalties.) So… I’ll be watching this with no small amount of amusement. After their recent bullshit though, especially with Prey 2, it’s going to take a lot for me to be interested in a Fallout 4 from them.

    To be honest, I don’t think anything short of the resurrection of the talking deathclaws done well and properly would do it, and we all know that that’s not going to happen.

    As such, I have no need to feel bad about the inevitable.

    (Edited for typos. Damn those similar company names.)

    #9 10 months ago
  10. mightyhokie

    @5 seriously? this guy is a wizard at the top of his craft. ask tim schafer, ask ken levine, ask the Dr.s from Bioware, what they think of todd howard. i don’t mean to sound personal because i don’t know you but this comment is complete idiocy. todd howard is incredibly talented. Oblivion = 300 hours (plus sold me on the 360), Fallout 3 = 370 hours, Skyrim = 450+ hours. yeah…terrible game maker. sheesh

    #10 10 months ago
  11. mightyhokie

    @1, i LOVED LOVED LOVED Fallout 3 but I do agree that NV was probably the truer Fallout universe game. I def LOVED that one.

    But go to listen to the interview Ken Levine has with Todd Howard on the Irrational Podcast…I think that will change your mind about him. After that interview I thought ‘dude I was wrong about him’. He is reserved and all that when in certain settings but in talking with Ken he was relaxed and just a normal and funny guy. Check it out.

    Oh, also DEF check out the two part interview with Del Torro…man…that is a masters class in awesome.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. TheWulf

    @5

    I don’t normally agree with you, but here I do. When you compare New Vegas against Fallout 3 it becomes fairly obvious. The problem is is that he’s just not creatively minded enough to do anything really fun with the settings he has. He’s afraid. He’s afraid of doing anything interesting.

    Every developer has one of these, though, even Obsidian. I hate Chris Avellone for the same reason. Avellone is afraid of doing anything with his settings, and the most interesting writing (such as the cannibalism quest) of New Vegas didn’t come from him. Some of the worst and most formulaic writing in New Vegas (Boone) came from him. People like Avellone and Howard have a pathological fear of envelopes, and thus wouldn’t dream of touching them, let alone pushing them.

    The primary difference though between Todd Howard and Chris Avellone is that Chris is a writer, and as such he doesn’t have complete creative control. And the only thing he’s had complete creative control over lately looks so painfully average and so woefully troped that I wouldn’t touch it with a nine-foot pole. (That being Obsidian’s Kickstarter game.)

    So every company has “one of those.” One of those people who’re as detached from creativity as an astronaut is from earthen soil, the sort of person who has no passion for what they do. They just do it for the money and for the job, rather than the enjoyment of it.

    But Chris didn’t head up Fallout: New Vegas (thank goodness), Howard did head up Fallout 3 and Skyrim, though.

    And you can clearly see the problem with letting someone like that have too much “creative” control. The game they crank out is invariably dull and staid, and they don’t do anything to move the genre forward (not with the story or world). Those people are best left to proofreading and game mechanics, so that they can’t limit the flow of creativity.

    Yes, Oblivion is very much the same game as Skyrim. That’s not surprising. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Fallout 4 were Fallout 3 with a fresh coat of point.

    Some developers will never learn.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. Erthazus

    In my opinion the best way to make Fallout is to make engine in Bethesda and give to do Fallout rights to Obsidian. Done and done.

    New Vegas was EXCELLENT. Problems with the game was in the engine that was first of all the biggest shit-fest and because of that there were bugs.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Max Payne

    @13 I think either they are going to use brand new engine build for next gen only or heavily modified ID tech 5.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. TheWulf

    @11

    Fallout 3 was a very mainstream game.

    Stats meant nothing, you could shoot your way through everything. The story was just a tacky parodical mess of ’60s nonsense, and didn’t really fit the tone of the Fallout Universe. The problem with Fallout 3 is that the tone was all wrong, it’s the idea someone gets if they take a quick look at Fallout 1/2 and then think they know what it’s about. But if you’ve spent time playing Fallout 1/2, then you’ll understand that the aesthetics and tone are very different.

    This is what Todd Howard didn’t understand. The end result is that, to be frank, Fallout Tactics was a better Fallout game than Fallout 3. Fallout 3 was just a big cheeseburge. Cheese because of how insubstantial and silly it was, and burger because it was focused around instant gratification. Why solve a problem when you can fill it with bullets? Why explore when there’s nothing to gain? Why talk to people when you can fill them with bullets? Fallout 3 was an average military shooter with a slight fallout veneer. The SPECIAL stats did nothing.

    Seriously. You put points into the ‘shoot well’ stats and you ignored everything else. That’s how Fallout 3 worked. Since there weren’t any pieces of content that you could only get through via non-violent means. You could use your gun for everything. I mean, Fallout 3 was as much of an RPG as Battlefield — both had experience, and that was it.

    Not to mention that Fallout has often dealt with some particularly deep issues. To be honest, I think that Tactics actually handled this best, as it was the one that tackled them most prominently. But even 1 and 2 tended to deal with some philosophical and intellectual quandaries. It was something that would make you stop and think occasionally. New Vegas had similar things involved, and it had meaningful choice and consequence to boot. In Vault 34, I think, where you can save the people or the crops, but not both. That was something that had me thinking for hours.

    There’s absolutely nothing like that in Fallout 3, at all. In Fallout 3, you’d solve all your problems with bullets and then be given a reward at the end. Fallout 3 was like an MMO without other people, which makes it a bad MMO. It definitely wasn’t an RPG. There were no meaningful or thought-provoking problems in Fallout 3. It was just an air-headed cheesefest.

    And to top it all off, you had only one companion in Fallout 3 who was essentially a meathead. He was supposed to be more, but they never elaborated upon it. He was basically like the early days of the Hulk, before the Hulk became someone. The end result was as one-dimensional as a character could be. Very flat. Very poorly written. For a direct comparison, compare Fawkes with Lily in New Vegas and the truth here becomes abundantly obvious.

    See… I get that some people like their cheeseburgers. But when it comes to roleplaying games, I tend to wish for something a little more substantial.

    I want meaningful choice and consequence.

    I want my stat choices to affect how I can interact with the world.

    I want to be encouraged to THINK occasionally.

    I want problems I can’t solve with bullets.

    I want well written characters whom I form emotional bonds with.

    I want a world with depth beyond skin-deep beauty.

    I want to feel invested by the story to actually do something.

    I want to be engaged intellectually, at least now and then.

    Fallout 3 gives me none of this.

    Fallout 3 gives me a gun, a box of bullets, and tells me to have fun at the fairground.

    This is why I put Fallout 3 firmly in the prolefeed category and why I don’t consider it to be a very good game, and a horrible RPG. It’s a game which encourages you to turn your brain off. “Don’t worry,” it tells you, “we’ll do all your thinking for you, just pull that shiny trigger when you need to and laugh at the corny jokes. It’ll be fine.”

    It’s for this reason I can’t take anyone seriously when they say they prefer Fallout 3 over New Vegas, because it’s like saying that they genuinely prefer prolefeed to meaningful entertainment.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. soulburner

    @15 – Fallout 3 was a very good game, simply not good enough for the name “Fallout”. It was a great post-apocalyptic action-RPG. It was fun, it looked nice, etc. For a Fallout 1/2 fan, it was almost an atrocity. New Vegas was the “true” Fallout 3.

    Maybe Bethesda learned something from New Vegas and will use some of the better ideas in their next Fallout game? Better (and more!) side quests, more open main plot and most of all: better characters.

    I will probably enjoy FO4 even if it’s just a sequel to FO3, but will await impatiently for an announcement of a Fallout: Some City from Obsidian.

    It’s important to be aware, though, that Bethesda Game Studios may *not* be working on Fallout 4 and instead be in the process of designing a totally different game. Maybe they want to make another The Elder Scrolls since Skyrim sold so well or perhaps something new entirely…

    #16 10 months ago
  17. fearmonkey

    I knew as soon as I saw the title that TheWulf and Erth would be complaining about Fallout 3 lol.

    I loved Fallout 3 and it was hardly the travesty that they make it out to be. Fallout 3 was more like the game that came before it, Oblivion, and was more focused on exploration than story. The story was fine but not near as good as NV. NV has the Luxury of coming after Fallout 3 so they could improve on it easily.

    NV though was one of the most buggy games I have ever played in my life, and I didnt play it till 4 to 6 months after release! I literally had to wait on a patch because the game would not let me continue on the main quest until it was fixed. The game was patched later but I still had to work around a different bug and the game didnt like me end the game I wanted to. The game constantly locked up on my 360 as well.

    I never had near as many issues with Fallout 3, I had a few lockups early on but they went away after the first patch or so, and I was able to complete every questline no issues. I cannot say the same with NV.

    NV was the better game, but it was so painful to play thanks to all the bugs on 360. I got it on PC much later on Steam and havent had any issues though.

    @16 – I’d love to see them do a horror oriented game like Skyrim/Fallout 3.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. zinc

    I’d never played a Fallout game till 3 & was blown away by it. So obviously I get defensive towards any criticism .

    But as much as I love the environment of Fallout 3, New Vegas slays it in terms of story. Especially the DLC.

    Old World Blues is probably my favorite DLC period. Obsedian just nailed it.

    Completely agree with Erz here, Bethesda, please let Obsedian write it? Or at least some DLC?

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Hyperx64

    @5 Flame-Baiter.

    @10 The whole truth. I agree.

    @13 Bethesda created the modern Fallout design structure, you idiot! New Vegas was an iterative upgrade – essentially a massive mod of Fallout 3. It’s the same game man! Just with a few upgrades here and there.

    #19 3 months ago
  20. Hyperx64

    @15 So you played Fallout 3 like a shooter. Then blame the game for lack of depth. Doesn’t make sense. The oldest rule in the book for RPG’s is you get out of it, what you put into it. Play Fallout 3 like Quake and you’ll miss a hell-ova-a lot. And you did.

    Fallout 3 is the stronger game, though New Vegas has a little bit more variety. Except for the slog that was the New Vegas Strip – and the dialog in New Vegas is terrible… mind-numbing compared to the Fallout 3 script.

    #20 3 months ago