During a February speech, Fallout 4 director Todd Howard said Bethesda Game Studios had three “big and crazy” projects in the works. As it turns out, this is not exactly accurate. He tells GI.biz that he wishes he hadn’t shared this number at all, as it doesn’t provide a very clear picture of what’s actually happening inside the studio.
“I should have never said a number because we have so many things. You could add it up in different ways,” he said. “You could say it’s bigger or smaller. They’re a long way off. I think the larger point was, no one should expect to hear about those [games] anytime soon. We always overlap projects. We just have more going on now than we had before.”
Howard mentioned that Bethesda recently opened a studio in Montreal that is focusing on mobile, console, and PC game development, though it is unclear exactly what the office is responsible for. Whatever the case, Howard said Bethesda is in a good place right now.
“We feel we have a pretty good footing and we’re in a particular place and time where we can try some new things and be confident that they’ll find some success,” he said.
Following the big success of mobile game Fallout Shelter, Bethesda plans to make more mobile titles in the future. Looking further out, Howard said previously said he has “lots of ideas” for what might come next after Fallout 4. Another area that Bethesda is looking at is virtual reality, though Howard made it clear that it is still very much early days and it remains to be seen how much attention Bethesda will give to it.
“We’re exploring some things [in VR]. We’ll see where that heads,,” he said. “We don’t want to talk about it quite yet until we’ve figured some things out.”
Howard also talked about how Bethesda looks at competing games, especially those from Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar Games, to help make its own games better.
“I met [the Rockstar] guys a few years back. I think their stuff is amazing,” Howard said. “We look at their [games] more than anybody’s in terms of how they make the world around you alive in a way that you can appreciate and play with. When it’s just for show it doesn’t matter but they do a really good job of not just the scope but letting you interact with it in ways that really pique your curiosity and make you feel that you have agency in that world.”
Next up for Fallout 4 is the game’s first paid expansion, Automatron, which is scheduled to launch in March for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. As for Howard, he will receive a Lifetime Achievement award next week at the Game Developers Conference for his contributions to the industry and specifically 3D role-playing games.