Appearing on GameSpot’s E3 2019 stage show today, Bethesda boss Todd Howard opened up and spoke candidly about Fallout 76’s struggles and where the game is headed. The full segment is available to watch in the video embed above, and it is well worth a watch.
In the video, Howard talks about how Bethesda was caught off guard by how widespread Fallout 76’s issues were at release. He said the issues might have been serious enough to sink the title were it not for the game’s passionate fan base that stuck with it and gave Bethesda feedback. Overall, Howard remarked that Bethesda “missed the mark” with Fallout 76 at release.
He also acknowledged that Fallout 76 was something new and different for Bethesda with its always-online, multiplayer-focused nature. He said Fallout 76 was similar to Bungie’s Destiny in that it wasn’t overwhelmingly enjoyed at launch but survived–and thrived–thanks in part to fans that stuck with the game and helped give feedback to make it better.
Howard’s main regret from Fallout 76 is that it didn’t go through enough public beta tests to give Bethesda the insight and information it needed to ensure a smoother rollout.
While Fallout 76 might not have had the best start, Howard stressed that Bethesda remains committed to the game. Just this week, Bethesda launched a new battle royale mode called Nuclear Winter, while the next free expansion Wastelanders is coming later this year.
One of the reasons that Bethesda is able to continue to support Fallout 76 is because the company has grown substantially in recent years. A dedicated team is working on ongoing support for Fallout 76, while Bethesda’s other internal teams are working on titles like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, in addition to Bethesda’s in-development mobile projects.
Howard also briefly discussed one of Bethesda’s upcoming next-generation games, Starfield. He said it’s being designed to stand apart from other sci-fi games with its own unique tone.
“There is a lot of science fiction. There’s less in games actually; there’s more in movies and television. And for us, that’s a world and IP and game we’ve thought about for a decade. It’s our first new IP in 25 years,” Howard said. “Our goal is it has its uniqueness where it stands up with Fallout and Elder Scrolls and Starfield, and it’s its own thing. We spend a lot of time on tone. Not just game flow, but how does it feel so you look at it and say, ‘That’s Starfield’ versus Star Trek or Star Wars.”
You can watch our full interview with Todd Howard in the video embed above.