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Talking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Bethesda's Todd Howard (game director on Skyrim and Fallout 3) revealed that it might take a while before we hear about what his team is working on (which many, including me, strongly suspect to be Fallout 4), and also offered a comment on the fake Fallout 4 announcements that have been popping up in the news lately:
(The ARG was very, very well done,) he chuckled. (It's a testament to our fans. And they're doing that stuff and making mods. The stuff they do, we often look at and go, '˜Well, why don't we just do that? That's really great.')
But surely an announcement is just around the corner, right? Right? That's where things get strange. While one might expect Bethesda to be gearing up for a big reveal, Howard sure made it sound like very little is on the horizon for the time being. Things, he seemed to suggest, are still in a rather experimental phase.
(We don't [have a timeframe for our next game announcement],) he said, (but I think it's gonna be a while.)
(We've gotten fairly used to all the questions and curiosity over the years. Everyone wants information. Right now, we're just trying to figure out which of our ideas are going to stick and finding an appropriate time to talk about it.)
While Howard's words make it sound like the game is really early in production, I'd point out to his 2012 DICE Keynote where he explains Bethesda's method of design, which prioritize constant playtesting and iteration over a long design phase, and note that there have been various signs pointing out that the game is deep into production, including this GDC talk on modular level design from Joel Burgess and Nate Purkeypile.
Aside from telling us to not expect news in the near future, Howard also seems to be pretty happy about the new consoles and Skyrim's PC sales:
(PC is resurgent,) enthused Howard. (Skyrim did better than we've ever done on PC by a large, large number. And that's where the mods are. That feeds the game for a long time. And it's exciting that the new consoles are very PC-like. That opens up avenues for us going forward to do things that we've wanted to do in the past. There are kind of random ideas we're working on right now, and it's like, '˜Wow, I think there's potential here to do some really cool stuff.')