Though much of his efforts are currently focused on Fallout 76, a multiplayer-focused survival game that serves as a prequel to other Fallout titles, director Todd Howard is also involved with Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6. Both games were highly rumoured heading into E3 2018, but we never really expected to hear of them, especially in the case of the latter, which, by no coincidence, is bound for next-gen hardware.
The commitment to single-player experiences even with Fallout 76 coming is obvious, then. That said, Howard and Bethesda VP of public relations and marketing Pete Hines want players to be patient for these games because they will “take a while”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Howard stated, “We’ve been talking about it for a decade, we started putting things on paper five, six years ago, and active development was from when we finished Fallout 4, so two and a half, three years. Everyone should be very patient [for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6]. It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out.”
Hines further reiterated that “Single-player is still a thing; it might continue to grow or evolve, but it’s part of who we are, and we still think there’s room to be successful. That doesn’t mean that we should keep doing things the way we did five or 10 years ago–we’ve got to continue to change how we approach it.”
Howard also understands the concern over single-player games being given less importance as time goes on. “Games have gotten so big and interesting that they’ve moved beyond the toy/entertainment space. It’s not just a diversion from their regular lives; for a lot of people, it becomes an important part of their lives. I think we see that across a lot of games now, where people are getting joy and personal pride out of the time they spend in them…
“Games are unique in that. They can put you in a place; they transport you. That’s why we’ve always done big, open-world stuff: it’s what a game does really well. We like technology, we like storytelling, we like art. But saying, ‘Hey, look what we made the game do’ – that is, on a day-to-day basis, on a week-to-week basis, the most rewarding.”
Even with its multiplayer focus, Bethesda has promised single-player servers after launch along with mod support and private parties. Fallout 76 is out on November 14th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.