Skip to main content

Todd Howard doesn’t want games to get bigger for the sake of it on PS5/Xbox Series X

An image illustration of Bethesda's Todd Howard before the Starfield.
(Image credit: Future)

Bethesda's Todd Howard has given a few comments on what he'd like to see from the new console generation when it comes to world-building.

"I’d like to see more reactivity [in game worlds], more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with," Howard told The Guardian in a recent interview. "I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal."

That's an interesting view from Howard, with two open-world titles in development at Bethesda Game Studios. Both The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield are self-proclaimed open-world games, both set to release at some point presumably on the current console generation. If we're taking Howard's comments at face value, then perhaps we shouldn't expect either game to feature an absolutely gargantuan map.

Elsewhere in the interview with The Guardian, Howard talks about what else he wants from the brand new console generation. "For me, it’s more about access than clock cycles. Just the time it takes to even turn [a console] on and load up some of these games is a barrier – it’s time that you’re not enjoying being in that world," the veteran developer says. "The kind of games we make are ones that people are going to sit down and play for hours at a time. If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about."

It's an exciting time for Bethesda-related games. After being purchased by Microsoft in a blockbuster acquisition earlier this year, there's a fair bit of uncertainty surrounding Bethesda titles, like Starfield, coming to the PlayStation family of consoles. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reassured consumers that Bethesda will run "semi-independently" from Microsoft following the acquisition next year, however.

In news that definitely will impact both The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, Bethesda is overhauling its game engine for the latter title. Additionally, Starfield features an entirely new animation system for its characters, and you can expect both the upgraded engine and animation system for Starfield to have an impact on The Elder Scrolls 6, which is scheduled to launch at some point after the spacefaring RPG.

For a complete list of upcoming games, both with and without release dates, head over to our new games 2020 guide for more.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.