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Bethesda's Todd Howard tries "really hard to not be the Last Say Guy"

"All decisions run through Todd."

According to former Bethesda dev Bruce Nesmith, pretty much all decisions about the team's games "run through" Todd Howard, even if the studio head doesn't want that.

Nesmith recently spoke with the YouTube channel MinnMax about all things Bethesda, including when we can expect to hear more about The Elder Scrolls 6. In the interview, he explained his reasoning behind leaving Bethesda, noting it was in part due to just how big the studio had gotten. "There were a lot of changes going on and the structure of the company also was such that, half because of the pandemic and half just because of the necessary changes, you didn’t get to interact with Todd as much anymore," Nesmith explained.

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Nesmith doesn't seem to hold any kind of grudge against Howard though, saying, "When you’re running six different studios and you've got a dozen projects going on at a time, he’s only one man." While Howard might be responsible for a whole lot more than he used to, that doesn't mean he isn't overseeing most of the creative decisions being made. "All decisions run through Todd. He would hate, hate, hate me for saying that because he doesn’t believe it’s true. But unfortunately, it is true."

Though, Nesmith also clarified that this isn't something Howard necessarily wants: "I will give him credit: he has tried really, really hard to not be the Last Say Guy… it’s not something he wants intellectually." Nesmith noted that Howard "was able to put himself in the seat of your everyday player to a far better extent than the rest of the design team," which is part of why he ended up becoming that "Last Say Guy." Of course, even if Howard does have the last say, it is important to note that a huge number of people work at Bethesda, so don't go thinking the quality of the game is all down to the Starfield director.

Unsurprisingly, Starfield has massively boosted Xbox's gaming revenue, though on the flip side hardware revenue is down.

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In this article

Starfield

Xbox Series X/S, PC

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

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The Elder Scrolls VI

Video Game

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Oisin Kuhnke avatar

Oisin Kuhnke

Contributor

Oisin is a non-binary writer based in the UK with bylines in Polygon, Fanbyte, Uppercut, Rock Paper Shotgun, GameSpot, and many more besides.
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