According to a report, Todd Howard has neglected Fallout 76 to focus more on the upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield.
Many see Starfield as Bethesda’s chance at redemption – and Todd Howard himself seems to think so. Bethesda has long been known as a premier RPG developer, releasing one hit after another and achieving unprecedented success with 2011’s The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. However, the company’s reputation for consistently releasing high-quality games took a big hit with 2018’s Fallout 76, an online multiplayer game that was panned by fans and critics alike.
Starfield is Bethesda’s first major new release since the missteps with Fallout 76, and many are curious to see if it will repair the studio’s reputation.
So far, fans seem cautiously optimistic about Starfield based on what they’ve seen of the game. Some are excited by Starfield’s incredibly ambitious scope, while others are worried that Bethesda may have grabbed more than it can squeeze.
Time will tell how Starfield performs, but in the meantime, a report suggests that the open-world sci-fi RPG may be partly to blame for Fallout 76’s problems. The report, published by Kotaku earlier this month, detailing the messy development behind Fallout 76, claims that Todd Howard has basically neglected work on Fallout 76 in order to focus his attention on Starfield. Citing a source, Kotaku’s report claims that “Howard should have been in charge of the game”, yet he was primarily focused on Starfield. In contrast, another source described Howard as a “decent executive producer”.
It should be noted that Todd Howard was not the director of Fallout 76, so even if he were supposed to be “in charge” of the game, it would make sense that his efforts would have been mainly focused on Starfield.
While Howard is the game director on Starfield, he was executive producer on Fallout 76. Howard has been a game director on Bethesda’s most notable projects, including Fallout 3, Skyrim and Fallout 4, so Fallout 76 is a cuckoo’s egg in that respect, and it’s somewhat understandable that he hasn’t focused on development to the same extent as previous titles.
The report mentions a decision that Todd Howard reportedly made regarding Fallout 76 that proved to be one of the most significant sticking points for critics of the game when it was released in 2018. Although they have since been added to the game, Fallout 76 launched without NPCs. This was reportedly against the wishes of many of the game’s developers, but it was what the higher-ups wanted, with Howard mentioned explicitly in the report.
Regardless, updates to Fallout 76 have ensured that the game is in much better shape now than it was at launch, and many Bethesda fans are excited to see what Starfield has in store. It will be interesting to see if it lives up to expectations when it launches in 2023.