Bethesda Softworks' Todd Howard answers questions about the future of The Elder Scrolls series, what we should expect from Fallout: New Vegas, the differences between Western and Japanese RPGs, and more in a new two-page interview at IndustryGamers.
IG: So when are we going to hear about another Elder Scrolls game?
TH: I wish I could give you an answer to that right now, but I honestly can't. It's a franchise that we love and it's very close to our hearts. It's a game that I can still play today, Oblivion, and have fun. One day, we hope there's another one too.
IG: The hypothetical one that will hopefully, probably, be coming... can you talk a little bit in retrospect, looking at Oblivion, at some of the things that maybe you'd like to address in that game for the next one if there is a next one? Or maybe things that got cut out of that game that you wanted to include?
TH: You always have a million of them. I think one of the challenges. see now you're making me think back to Oblivion. One of the big things in my memory that flavored that game was the move to the 360 and the new hardware. It was all so new and there was a lot of gameplay changes along with that. How are people going to experience this kind of game? There were a lot of technical hurdles, and we've gotten a bit better at managing that. I don't know how that would translate to a future Elder Scrolls. With anything we're doing, whether it's Oblivion or Fallout 3, we like to start fresh as much as possible; I know I'm going off in the weeds on this answer. You spend a lot of time trying to design a game, but then also deal with all new technology. We're trying to, going forward, find a better balance between those two, so that we're not just satisfied with something working.
IG: You mentioned Fallout, and you guys are publishing the Obsidian-developed Fallout: New Vegas. Are you overseeing that to make sure it lives up to the Fallout legacy? There was some concern about the last Obsidian developed game. I think it was for Sega, Alpha Protocol; there were some bugs and some complaints about that. I'm wondering about your relationship with Obsidian and [are you] monitoring the Fallout.
TH: No, no, no; we pretty much handed it over. I think Fallout: New Vegas really benefits because the Obsidian guys are some of the original developers of Fallout. It's a situation where they know it really well and they have the tech and everything from Fallout 3 to build on, and it was important to us. The best game is going to result from them doing the game that they want to do, and we really liked their pitch. I've talked to them. If they have questions about stuff, they'll ask our opinion. We want to make it so that they can make the Fallout game that they feel is best, and at the end of the day, they know it really well. If it was somebody else, we probably might have to [say]: (Hey, no, that's not the way it works in Fallout,) but they know it inside and out. They helped create a lot of it. It's been a really good situation.