Going Nuclear: The Story of Todd Howard & Bethesda

Bethesda Game Studios' director Todd Howard was the keynote speaker at this year’s Develop:Brighton online conference. During his fireside chat-style presentation, Howard spent over an hour talking about Bethesda’s long-running The Elder Scrolls series, the studio’s acquisition of the Fallout IP, and its hopefully bright future with projects like The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield poised to elevate Bethesda's formula to a new level.

You can watch the entire thing below, or check out the GamesIndustry.biz article linked above for the highlights:

A few quick paragraphs regarding Bethesda’s future:

The arrival of the next-generation consoles and advances in PC hardware steer the conversation towards the future of both series. Fallout 76 runs on the same internally-developed engine as Skyrim, itself built on the codebase for Fallout 3. The tech running Bethesda's games has long since been highlighted by critics as needing a refresh, so could PS5 and Xbox Series X/S give it the boost required?

Howard says his team refreshes the engine with every game, but acknowledges that it "needs more work than it has in previous times." Which is why Bethesda has been investing heavily into improving it, with "more people doing engine work now by a factor of five than we've ever had."

"The overhaul on our engine is probably the largest we've ever had, maybe even larger than Morrowind to Oblivion," he says.

"There are things we do that we still like, the way we build our worlds, the way people can mod it -- these are things I think are fundamentally good about our tech stack. But from rendering to animation to pathing to procedural generation... I don't want to say everything, but it's a significant overhaul. It's taken us longer than we would have liked, but it's going to power everything we're doing with Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6. When people see the results, they'll hopefully be as happy as we are with what's on the screen and also how we can go about making our games."