Skyrim: Why Bethesda wants to keep The Elder Scrolls an in-house affair

In an interview with Edge, game director Todd Howard explained why Bethesda prefers to develop the Elder Scrolls games in-house. Howard should know, since he's also been on the teams that created three other Elder Scrolls games: Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion.

It's not that Howard sees it as something that will never happen, since Bethesda did allow Fallout: New Vegas to be developed by a third-party. But there were two reasons why that was an exceptional circumstance. Bethesda really wanted to develop something through Obsidian, and Obsidian already had experience working with the Fallout universe, since it was founded in 2003 by many members of the team that created Fallout 1 and 2, Black Isles Studios.

As for future Skyrm intellectual properties, Bethesda will “kind of take it bit by bit” according to Howard. So maybe with enough time, if the right pitch comes along, they'll let another developer take a crack at their universe.

Above: When it comes to cat people, no one does it better than Bethesda

They'll probably be checking our comments, so if you happen to have a pitch for Skyrm expansions you should leave it below.

Yesterday's full interview with Howard gets his opinion on id Software, the role culture will play in Skyrim, and the kind of humor that's appropriate in Elder Scrolls games. It's one half of a two-part look at Bethesda. The second interview was published today and is with Bethesda's president of marketing Pete Hines.

Jul 19, 2011


  • Brett35 - July 26, 2011 3:15 a.m.

    I just wish there was a horde mode type of thing online ... like put 4 online players on a team in cloud ruler temple with NPC's and defend wave after wave of things like mages then battle mages then keep upgrading the computer as waves increase
  • TheRandomFool - July 25, 2011 5:02 a.m.

    So long as there is a BloodMoon-esque expansion, (with playable werewolves) I will be satisfied. Who needs Vamps anyway?
  • Dauntless - July 23, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    I wish you'd consider putting in companions like yuo did with Fawkes in Fallout 3 and the numerous people in NV. Maybe they could help your weaknesses or just add on to whatever your good at. And if your looking for something for DLC, maybe you could have a settlement go silent and some mysterious plague had poisoned and killed the residents or something. You could find the cure, and keep the plague from spreading. Theres that and tons of other ideas;)Idk just throwing something out there. Still cant wait for this game, looks great!
  • Salemsjoke - July 23, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    In Morrowind, there was a great social nugget about the rivalry between Nords and Dark Elves. However, with the Solstheim expansion there was almost nothing made of it. In Oblivion, again, nothing. In the Skyrim DLC, I'd love to see some kind of expansion that allows players to involve themselves in that conflict.
  • tongansk8lad2428 - July 23, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    hmmmm just my 2 cents perhaps dlc for a co-op mode since everyone was crying about it taking away from singleplayer if the developed it with the standard game and also maybe something to do with your horse because personally mine always died in oblivion and annoyed the hell out of me, stronger, able to attack from, or store stuff on your horse for those long dungeon seiges.
  • Caz - July 21, 2011 12:01 a.m.

    i respect the fact that they are tryin to protect the integrity of the elder scrolls franchise. not a very common thing in the industry these days
  • lionmaru - July 20, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    I love elder scrolls, I have the games both on pc and xbox/360. but I really like fallout more... I expect the same respect for the franchise, than the last bug-ridden games (wich I shamefully have to say that I've played the hell of them all (200+ hours each)).
  • ZigzMagoo - July 20, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    @Doomzer The article said that he has been on the teams of the LAST 3 games, not ALL 3 games.
  • GamesRadarPaulRyan - July 20, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    @Doomzer don't forget Battlespire (between Daggerfall and Morowind). Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm if Howard had been on that team or the Arena team.
  • jackthemenace - July 20, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Didn't they do Oblivion in-house as well? Because, personally, kinda prefer Oblivion to Fallout. Just Sayin'...
  • FlyinMachine - July 20, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    Take us to any of the Western Provinces! Summerset Isle sounds nice? Or throw us in HUGEEE underground dungeon full of bloodthirsty Khajiits and Argonians that've gone feral and carnivorous! Naww.. Stick to Summerset Isle, on second thought. That'd be sweet
  • ZigzMagoo - July 20, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    I would like something with the Akaviri. Also possibly something with full pitched battles. Like hundreds of warriors fighting at one time. Also how about something with the Daedric Gods, as well as dlc with references to Oblivion
  • ninjastrike34 - July 20, 2011 5:22 a.m.

    Make skooma more available for me.... I NEED THE SKOOMA!
  • TheDeathishRainbow - July 20, 2011 5:02 a.m.

    For an expansion, I'd really like to see Akavir in some light. Even if it's just a tiny glimpse, I'd be happy. :D
  • Gameguy94 - July 20, 2011 4:49 a.m.

    In house. Unless Bioware made an Elder Scrolls game its best to play it safe. New Vegas was boring, but Obsidian did a good job. Just PLEASE no obnoxious glitches.
  • ObliqueZombie - July 20, 2011 4:07 a.m.

    Post a comment about an expansion idea? You got it! Though I think it'd be hard to top whatever they'd have in mind. 1) Reliving battles of the old times, by looking through the eyes of ghosts. Battles that are lore-relevant, history-changing events and on a MASSIVE scale. 2) Something like The Shivering Isles, where a whole entire world if opened up to you, with dozens of new creatures, races, weapons, armours, dungeons, etc. 3) Something about a technological jump, where we introduce blunderbusses, trebuchets, and/or balistes. At any rate... I can't wait for this game. I hope my schoolwork doesn't slack behind too much.
  • Kyo - July 20, 2011 2:58 a.m.

    Wow if that's a Khajiit then I hardly recognize it at all lol it looks so much better it's ridiculous really.. That is my favorite class in Oblivion so I hope they're even better this time around.
  • macabredeath - July 20, 2011 2:36 a.m.

    @jedipimp the level cap goes beyond 50 but at a much slower rate. As for DLC i say definitely go for another daedric god's realm like shivering isles, maybe Vaermina's quagmire, dreams and nightmares would definitely make for a lot of fun just like shivering isles. Keeping it short and sweet lol @alienhunter
  • AssBugers - July 20, 2011 2:35 a.m.

    But do the stupid cat people have their old messed up, non human boot wearing, feet again? Make this a dumb PC game again.
  • AlienHunter117 - July 20, 2011 2:06 a.m.

    Ok Betheda listen up because I have an idea for YOU!!! Ok the dlc could consist of a tropical island with a palm trees, a volcano (Volcano Dragon), sandy beaches, jungle, you know the whole shebang. Why a tropical island you might ask, well to give a new atmosphere to Skyrim fans because that is what is looked at in Dlc the whole point of a dlc is to add something new. You should have it set where you have to take a boat to get their maybe somthing viking like with long oars and one giant sail. And have nordic settelments there that are trying to take over the island a give the people of skyrim a place to visit and stay on vacation and to get away from the harsh weather climate and blistering snow storms. The only conflict the settelers have is that there are two different types of natives that live their and both are angrey that the settelrs are taking their land and destroying their hunting grounds. Part of the main quest is to find a way to make both sided happy but at the end it leaves you with two big choices and that is to either help the natives kick away the settelers or help the settelers exterminate the natives. This was just merly a small chunk of what I think would be a cool dlc for skyrim. Let me know if you want any more info on what else i have to say about the possible dlc. Thanks

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