Gaming

Bethesda Not ‘Rushing’ Fallout 5, Still Working On Starfield


Fallout fans have been desperate for something new to play in the post-apocalyptic RPG franchise ever since the Amazon TV adaptation blew up earlier this year. Recently, however, director Todd Howard said Bethesda doesn’t want to “rush” a new single-player Fallout game, and went into more detail about what the team is busy with, including expansions for Starfield beyond this fall’s Shattered Space DLC.

“We give a lot of thought to franchise management,” Howard, speaking like a long-tenured NFL owner, told YouTuber MrMattyPlays in a wide-ranging interview posted over the weekend. He said the team has never stopped working on Fallout, but most of that now goes into Fallout 76, the multiplayer spin-off which just received new map expansion and story questline.

“For other Fallout games in the future, you know obviously I can’t talk about those right now but I would say sort of rushing through them or we kind of need to get stuff out that is different than the work we’re doing in 76, you know we don’t feel like we need to rush any of that,” he told MrMattyPlays. “The Fallout TV show fills a certain niche in terms of the franchise and storytelling.”

Howard continued:

Totally get the desire for a new kind of mainline single-player game. And look, those things take time. I don’t think it’s bad for people to miss things. We just want to get it right and make sure that everything we’re doing in a franchise, whether it’s Elder Scrolls, Fallout, or now Starfield, that those become meaningful moments for everybody who loved these franchises as much as we do.

A new Fallout might not happen anytime soon

That’ll be bad news for anyone who was hoping Bethesda might pivot to getting the next Fallout game out sooner in the wake of the Fallout TV show’s wild success and breakout popularity beyond the existing fan base. Fallout 5, or whatever the studio decides to call it, is currently slated to go into production after The Elder Scrolls VI is complete, which is likely still many years away as well at this point.

The recent boost in popularity, including Fallout 4‘s next-gen update making it one of April’s most-downloaded games, renewed speculation about whether Bethesda would be willing to hand-off the franchise to a third-party again, like it did with Obsidian Entertainment for Fallout: New Vegas. Given that the studio is now part of Microsoft, there’s a lot of other internal teams it could partner with to potentially put out a smaller spin-off based in that world in the short-term.

But nothing Howard said in the interview suggested that’s currently one of Bethesda’s goals for the franchise. It doesn’t sound like remasters of Fallout 1 and 2 are on the table either. The CRPGs developed by Interplay Entertainment before Bethesda purchased the license are isometric and more punishing. They’re great but much harder to get into in the year 2024.

An astronaut approaches their ship.

Image: Bethesda

Howard suggested modernizing them or porting them to console wasn’t really where the studio wants to put its resources, and also that he’d prefer for players to experience them in their original form (both are easy enough to download and play via GOG and Steam). He didn’t directly address rumors of Fallout 3 or The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion remasters, so it’s unclear if the studio would feel similarly about modernizing them.

Instead, the director talked about how the team is trying to support existing games for longer. We’ve obviously seen that with Fallout 76, which is now in its sixth year, in the best shape it’s ever been, and is gaining players rather than losing them. Even though Starfield is a single-player game, it sounds like Bethesda might be taking a longer view with its offline RPGs moving forward as well.

Starfield could be supported for years to come

For example, Howard said he’d wished the team had supported The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim for longer given how long it kept selling and being widely-played for. Starfield is currently set to get its first expansion, Shattered Space, later this year, but it won’t be the only one. “We’re planning for the one after this, so there will be another one,” he confirmed in the interview.

It also sounds like the currently announced DLC will address some of the bigger criticisms of the base game, namely how empty, scattered, and repetitive it began to feel due in part to its procedurally generated worlds. Shattered Space, on the other hand, sounds pretty hand-crafted, focusing on a particular city and questline.

“Content wise, we’re looking at what we did with Far Harbor on Fallout 4,” Howard told MrMattyPlays. “This is a scope that works for our development in doing this annual story expansion type of thing. So really excited about that, and it lets us do some things the way we would in previous games and give people not completely that experience because it’s still Starfield, but this new kind of alien world that you’re able to explore and it takes place there.”

Shattered Space still doesn’t have a release date beyond fall 2024, but the expansion looked great when shown during Microsoft’s recent Xbox showcase. It might be exactly what the sci-fi RPG needs to win more people over. The DLC will also be available on Game Pass once it’s out.

     



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