Bethesda CEO Todd Howard spoke about his partnership with Microsoft, gaming exclusivity and left the doors open for the future with Sony
Now that Bethesda is part of the Microsoft family and the company's next big game unveiled at E3, Starfield, will be released exclusively for PC and Xbox, Bethesda CEO Todd Howard spoke to the site Telegraph on what this means from a game development standpoint and a brief answer on what Sony console fans can expect from this new partnership.
“By focusing on these platforms, you really start to focus a lot on making them the best they can be for these systems,” he said. That's not that strange to think, as developing PC and Xbox games means the team won't have to ensure that their game fits PlayStation hardware, although Todd Howard doesn't specifically mention Sony's console in the statement.
“Hardware definitely helps us do a lot of things with charging and fidelity. But, you know, graphic fidelity is graphic fidelity. I don't want to give the impression that graphic fidelity is a barrier, you know what I mean?” and he continues, “It's really a matter of focus is what I would say. It's nice to set the goal high obviously, but it's great to be able to focus and say 'this is what we're creating, and here's the barrier.' Often this is guided only by where you are and the hardware is. We are very lucky to be able to set the goal very, very high.”
The way Todd Howard said that when mentioning game development definitely raises quite high expectations for Starfield, as we haven't seen any screenshots of the game itself yet. But beyond the hardware resources (and a huge amount of money), the partnership with Microsoft for Howard is more than just a grandiose sci-fi game.
“Since (The Elder Scrolls III) Morrowind, all the games we've made, we've had a very deep partnership and we've developed technology together, among other things. We thought a lot about where we'd like to go and talked for a long time with Microsoft about the potential of doing something like this. We really love your platforms and the people there. We have many deep friendships. And in the end, I think this will allow us to do the best we've ever done.”
Todd Howard and his relationship with Microsoft
Xbox's media strategy, including the first-day Game Pass releases that can also be made via the cloud, is part of why Todd Howard seems pleased with the Microsoft / Bethesda partnership. “We really believe in all the paths Xbox and Microsoft are taking to bring games to more people. Whether it's PC integration, which is very important to us, or cloud streaming and all that stuff. So I think it's a long-term view.”
As a result, the Starfield deal will only be released on Microsoft's home consoles, and Todd Howard said he had some reservations about being effectively forced to choose sides in this way, responding in a way that raises expectations for future releases, though in the end, it still hasn't closed the door permanently for Sony.
“'Choose a side' what does it mean… PlayStation? You mean it? Well… a little. You never want to leave people out, right? But, at the end of the day, your ability to focus and say, 'this is the game I want to make, these are the platforms I want to make it on', and being able to really lean on them will improve products. ”
Taking all of this into consideration, his answer when asked if he will regret not having any more PlayStation games is the most striking: “Well, we still are… I'll just say that I want everyone to have the ability to play games in some way. ” Whether that means Starfield, and the rest of Bethesda's future releases, such as a distant Elder Scrolls VI, made it to Sony consoles, only time will tell.
Now, count there in the comments: Excited for Starfield? Sad to hear that it will be exclusive to Microsoft? Hopes it's a temporary exclusivity? Take the opportunity to read more about game releases on Our site.