Todd Howard is one of the most influential game designers, having spearheaded the development of the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, and many are looking forward to the release of a new game from Bethesda Game Studios: Starfield.
The self-taught programmer and game development veteran joined the Lex Friedman Show, where he details how he got his start in video games, his journey at Bethesda, and the development of the games he made his name with. During the two-hour, 45-minute show, Howard also talked about what he thinks about PC and consoles.
Howard spoke about his studio’s long relationship with Xbox, dating back to Morrowind, and described the “great experience” he’s had from working. Moving on to Starfield, Howard said that his studio was never a platform game, meaning a “platform seller”, and since Starfield will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms, the game designer acknowledged the added pressure that comes with it.
Howard noted Bethesda’s previous Xbox exclusive deals – such as Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim DLC (with some of them being timed exclusives) – though he also noted Bethesda’s success on the PlayStation. “I think the PlayStation 5 is just an insane machine, they’ve done a great job, we’ve had a lot of success on PlayStation – we’ve traditionally been a PC developer in the beginning,” Howard said.
Over time, the studio began to move closer to console development. The interviewer asked what is the difference between developing for PC and consoles. “It’s complicated,” Howard replied, referring to PCs and their myriad varieties of drivers, processors, and graphics cards, while consoles are more of a fixed platform. “Xbox Series X is just an incredible machine,” said Howard.
Ever since Microsoft acquired Bethesda, Howard has asked those who built the machines to show him how to “make them dance,” so players should expect Starfield to really showcase what the hardware is capable of. Howard also talked about what he prefers to play and mentioned the physical aspect. Saying that he sits at a PC all day for work, Howard revealed that he is a console gamer as he enjoys relaxing on the couch in his spare time to play games in his spare time.