Home Gaming Bethesda’s Todd Howard on Skyrim, Switch and the failings of their open worlds

Bethesda’s Todd Howard on Skyrim, Switch and the failings of their open worlds

2 min read

Todd Howard talks Nintendo Switch

Bethesda and open-world RPGs are still synonymous with each other, and at the heart of it all sits Creative Director Todd Howard. The delightful face that graces stages at E3 to show off the likes of Skyrim and Fallout 4 has had his hand in crafting the legacy of Bethesda and their RPG staples, and recently had the chance to share some of this with Glixel. Howard understands just how strong Bethesda is with his RPGs, but also realises many fall short of where they could be.

Speaking specifically about Skyrim and the potential for the next Elder Scrolls entry for most of the interview, Howard reflected on some of the features in their open-worlds that he wishes they could improve. Citing that there would always be something the team felt could be done better, Howard singled out NPC interaction as a big focus going forward.

I think if you look at our worlds and our environments, they’re really rewarding. I think on the character side, how the NPCs react to you is still not quite where we want it to be.

Taking the idea further, Howard was asked whether Bethesda still has a problem balancing the urgency some of their main narratives simply through their writing, and how it conflicts with the open nature of their worlds. In a few words, Howard simply stated that they “haven’t quite cracked it yet.”

Shifting gears to the Nintendo Switch, Howard sort of confirmed that a Skyrim port was in the works for the Nintendo hybrid, and that the game would play the same on TV and on the go. Delving deeper into the device itself, Howard expressed his admiration for the hardware, stating the a demo at E3 might have been one of the most impressive he’s ever seen.

I love it. I got to play it. I will tell you – well, maybe that’s an N.D.A. thing. One of the best demos I’ve ever seen. Probably the best demo I’ve ever seen. At E3.

There’s clearly a lot more Bethesda might be sharing at Nintendo’s event in January, but to see one of their top designers excited at the prospect of developing for the hardware does instil some sort of hope for strong third-party support. But beyond that it’s clear Howard feels there’s still new ground to break with more iterations of their RPG series, and barriers they hope to tear down very soon.

Last Updated: November 22, 2016


  1. More unicorns, wurmpies and other weird shit…


  2. Andre Fourie

    November 22, 2016 at 09:05

    More unicorns, wurmpies and other weird shit…


  3. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    November 22, 2016 at 09:17

    But of course buggy gameplay isn’t mentioned


    • Andre Fourie

      November 22, 2016 at 09:21

      LOL. I love Homer.


      • Bruce Bielie

        November 22, 2016 at 11:19

        Marge might take offence, you hitting on her man and all…


    • Ottokie

      November 22, 2016 at 09:21

      It’s a Bethesda game, bugs are features


      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        November 22, 2016 at 09:22



    • Matthew Holliday

      November 22, 2016 at 12:51

      That is literally my fear of everything.


  4. Admiral Chief Argonian

    November 22, 2016 at 09:41

    Got the weirdest bug at the moment, Lydia does not want to go home after you ask her to do so.

    She just stands in that spot, as if she cannot get over the breakup lolz


    • Bruce Bielie

      November 22, 2016 at 11:14

      The real question is DOES Lydia want to go home to some ugly Salamander?


      • Deceased

        November 22, 2016 at 13:03

        I’m so confused – are we talking about Skyrim or The Witcher?


  5. Deceased

    November 22, 2016 at 13:01

    Time for someone to ask the real questions here…

    “Would they be developing the new Elder Scrolls entry on a PC-first approach or console-first? It’s quite simple, if they go console-first, we’d end up with another Skyrim, which looks and feels like a 19-fuck-you model game”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Elder Scrolls series ALMOST as much as I love Fallout, but as with the original Skyrim, I have to wait for mods to get the PC-port up to scratch to start playing it – and this is a lot coming from a person who just last night fired up a bit of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.


  6. CodeDisQus

    November 26, 2016 at 16:37

    Go speak to the guys in Poland, with you guys trading notes, the world will be a better place


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