Bethesda Game Studios has made some of the greatest, most beloved, highest selling, and most influential games of all time- but for the longest time, it was one small studio, with one team that focused entirely on one game at a time. While that kind of structure may have worked a decade or so ago, game development has grown far more complex in the last few years- as have Bethesda’s own ambitions.
And so, in order to keep pace with that added complexity of game development and their own vision, Bethesda has spent the last few years scaling up. They now have three studios (one’s in Austin, one’s in Montreal, apart from the Maryland one they already have), bringing up the total of people working at Bethesda Game Studios to almost 400, according to what Todd Howard told GamesBeat.
“We looked forward to Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI, what we had in mind for those games, and we realized it was going to take more people than the typical 100-person studio that we had for a long time,” Howard said.
“We’ve started to try to do that internally. We have a big monthly meeting with everybody at Bethesda Game Studios. That meeting gets streamed to the other offices. You’re looking at 400-ish people together in a meeting, and every month we have groups from the team come up and say, “Here’s what we did in the game this month. Here’s why it’s great.” We try to keep people focused in.”
Of course, scaling up usually comes with its own logistical challenges- for instance, when you have a structure that big and that sprawling, you risk the vision and intimacy of your games getting diluted and lost. That said, Todd Howard doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would compromise on his own ideas for his games at any cost- so I have faith that The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield will only benefit from this expansion. Whenever they do end up coming out, that is.