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Todd Howard says Bethesda wants to go "deeper" with next Elder Scrolls

Howard says Bethesda wants to go deeper with its massively wide game systems in the next Elder Scrolls game.

Bryant Francis

November 9, 2021

1 Min Read
The teaser image for The Elder Scrolls VI

Bethesda's next game is the science fiction adventure Starfield, but game director Todd Howard seems to be willing to talk about what's going on with The Elder Scrolls VI, the confirmed next game in the company's long-running fantasy adventure series.

As he tells the team at IGN Unfiltered, even though the game is still in the design/prototyping phase, there's already some clear decisions being made about the game's direction. Howard says that Bethesda knows what it wants to improve on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and a lot of that is depth that matches breadth. 

"There are a number of parts of [Skyrim] where we don't go deep enough, where it's a veneer in terms of its interactivity," Howard explained. "When we think about games and what we would want to do going forward, it's okay...whatever that system is...how deep can we make it?"

Howard also said that the Elder Scrolls VI team is interested in improving interactions with NPCs and the game's artificial intelligence. That might be one immediate area where the team looks for depth--there's been plenty of improvements in game dialogue systems and AI decision-making since Skyrim's debut. 

Of course, The Elder Scrolls VI is still years away, but other developers might empathize with why Howard and the team deliberately pushed it off. He also told IGN that Starfield felt like the last chance to work on an original game idea for some time. "We'd been wanting to do something else for a long time and play in a new universe, so if not now...when?" he said.

"It felt like, if we didn't do it then, the 'when' could be 'never'."

If you need more nuggets from the mind of Todd Howard, you can find IGN's full interview with Howard right here.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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