Mobile Gaming enthusiast, Todd Howard (what, you guys don’t have mobile phones?) has just taken what could have been the biggest gamble of his career. And that’s really saying something. The Bethesda sell-out just conducted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on social media platform Reddit. For the uninitiated, this is where a person of note takes to the platform and invites the world at large to literally ask them anything.
Of course, we gave you a heads up about what might have been the most glorious car crash in Reddit’s history since Steven Seagal’s fabled train wreck way back when. Which you absolutely must check out, btw, spoilers, he’s an asshole). But in the wake of the Microsoft deal, that mobile game, a tired old engine that refuses to die and the fallout (sorry not sorry) following Fallout 76, I’m sure there were more than a few sweaty palms in the Microsoft/Bethesda HQ last night.
But to our surprise, this was not the colossal roast it could have been. Sure the jokes came thick and fast, but for the most part we got some pretty decent, game-focuses discussion. Discussion in which Howard revealed more than a few choice details about Bethesda’s upcoming releases.
And because we’re just the nicest folk here at ABG, we’ve distilled his truth-nugs into bullet points, with a sprinkling of salt thrown in for good measure. Enjoy.
The game will (sorta) have robot companions. When asked if there will be any robot companions in Starfield, Howard replies simply “Yes, kind of”. Androids then? The enigmatic devil.
You can pick skills and a character background story at character creation. Howard seemed rather pleased that Starfield goes into Obsidian-esk detail here. Intriguing.
The Creation Kit Engine 2 used in Starfield will feature “full mod support”. Howard nodded to the modding community and its contribution to the Fallout / Elder Scrolls series over the last 20 years. Well someone will have to fix the bugs, wont they?
You can pick pronouns (he, she, they) and the studio recorded all the relevant dialogue to support your choice. So, you know, that’s great.
Will be shown again next Summer. Todd Howard remarks “We prefer to just show it, which should be next summer. We’re happy with the advancements we’ve been able to make, some of which you can see in the trailer shot in-game.”
Finally, Todd certainly seems confident about the release date. So watch this space.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition
The 7041st released version of Skyrim will run at 4K and 60 Fps on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It also runs at 60 Fps on Xbox Series S, but at a slightly toned down resolution. Ok.
The Elder Scrolls VI
Not a lot of interaction from Todd here despite a slew of questions from the community. Suggests it’s still very far away. Hilariously comments that his son sent a Father’s Day card asking “Dad, where is TES VI?” Sure he did Todd, sure he did.
He admits it wasn’t without it’s teething issues but cites it as Bethesda’s “most played game” with over 11 Million People having had a stab at it. But how long did they stick around?
More Modding and Customization Tools coming, naturally.
The good news is that he does at least admit that the backlash was a big deal for Bethesda, and has helped them learn. Or at least that’s what his PR team want us to believe.
Bonus detail – Vault 120 was “ unfortunate cut content. Bioshock style Vault. With massive sentient octopus living outside it”. Modding community, you know what to do.
Other Todd Howard comments of note
Howard On bugs
When asked what happens when it just doesn’t work Howard replies “Long time ago, during Redguard, the lead programmer made all the buildings hop up and down after you played for 10 minutes just to mess with me.” If this is true, it’s golden.
Howard On the Amazon Fallout Series
Seems this is still going ahead. Howard says “Really excited to be working with Jonah, Lisa, and Amazon on it.”.
Howard On Tone
From Howard, “Tone = world. What place would you want to explore? Why? Who would you be? What would you do? How does that pique your curiosity? How is that curiosity rewarded? We like mixing places with elements that you feel comfortable with or can relate to, alongside the fantastical.”
So there you have it. Whilst there are plentiful jokes to sift through we actually got some decent info from the man, the legend Todd Howard. More to the point, he seems to have escaped without alienating the Reddit hive mind, which given his track record, will be more remarkable than Starfield releasing this decade.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020