Update: It turns out Todd Howard is just a big fan of Indiana Jones, not a cheeky executive slipping teasers under the radar. As Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines clarified on Twitter, Howard's September 2020 streaming background "is not anyone 'doing' anything," just "a lot of cool Indiana Jones stuff."
Just to be clear, this is not anyone "doing" anything. Todd is a lifelong fan of Indiana Jones. He owns a lot of cool Indiana Jones stuff. He's not displaying it for anyone's benefit or because of this announce. He's just a huge fan of Indiana Jones.January 12, 2021
The wait for the next shelf reveal continues.
The newly announced Bethesda Indiana Jones game published by the house of Skyrim and developed by Wolfenstein rebooter Machine Games may have been teased by its executive producer Todd Howard as early as September 2020.
As our own Leon Hurley observed on Twitter (opens in new tab), Howard had some conspicuous Indiana Jones merch on display when he tuned into a group interview with Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines and Xbox boss Phil Spencer following Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda. Replicas of the golden idol as well as the Ark of the Covenant, both seen in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, can be seen among Howard's collection. You could argue that the coin seated to the left of the Pip-Boy smacks of the Scepter of Light as well, but this is already a bit of a stretch so let's not stretch it too far.
If we really want to big brain this one, the Star Wars figures in the bottom left of Howard's display could be a nod to Lucasfilm Games, the newly reformed gaming division for all things Lucasfilm. Bethesda and Machine Games have partnered with Lucasfilm on the Indiana Jones project, and the game's reveal was posted to the official Star Wars website, so as far-fetched as this may seem, there is some logic to it.
Of course, it's equally plausible that Howard just likes Indiana Jones and Star Wars and wanted to display some of his favorite film merchandise, but the growing tradition of gaming executives teasing projects via office shelves definitely raises an eyebrow.
Just look at the Xbox Series S prototype that Spencer slipped into a stream in July.