Todd Howard talks about 15 years of The Elder Scrolls


A little while back, the guys at Planet Elder Scrolls pinged me about doing an interview in celebration of The Elder Scrolls’ 15th Anniversary. After locking Todd in the Imperial City Prison (i.e. his office), he emerged with answers to their questions. Here’s a snippet:

Has any the community had an impact on the creation of The Elder Scrolls games?

Todd Howard: Of course, absolutely. How people feel about the games, what mods they create or play with, all of it matters. We see most of it, and talk about it in the office, and it has a dramatic effect on what we do.

You can find the rest of the interview here, as well as a look back on The Elder Scrolls Series written by the Planet Elder Scrolls team.

Reader Comments

  1. [quote]How people feel about the games, what mods they create or play with, all of it matters.[/quote]

    Then, probably, the next game would be like Final Fantasy 🙁
    Which is good for many…

  2. I have a question to Todd Howard, my friend, what about The Elder Scrolls 5?
    I would really like it to happen, And you guys have not said anything about it, only the “..2010 release…” :(.

  3. @tj1182 Seriously…. I wish they would release some screens or something! I mean really… Who cares what this guy has to say… Whats his name? Todd Howard? Pfffttt…. Who is he anyways?!

    Lol, Kidding of coarse… That was a good and interesting read. I bet it is really interesting seeing the different mods and skins people come out with after a night of playing with your tools (Not supposed to sound dirty)

  4. I’m sure that they are keeping it under a tight lip so that if/when they do announce an Elder Scrolls V, our eyeballs will explode in amazement.

  5. Happy 15th TES!

    Here’s to the gaming series that not only made me a PC Gamer, made me become a member of a forum (which I normally loathe), but also made me respect modders as imaginative aficionados and not hackers and thieves.

    The PES interview was a treat. I’m glad he enjoys the communities efforts with mods.

  6. Congratulations on your 15th anniversary Bethesda! It feels like yesterday i picked up my first two pc games after years being on the Commodore Amiga 500 one being ARENA and the other RAVENLOFT STRAHD’S POSSESSION. Plenty of fun creepy times 😀 Thanks for the happiness!

  7. All i can say is that after releasing fallout, i am not going to be satisfied roaming around in an RPG environment without the ability to hack people into bits with my sword, or cue up magic attacks like in VATS.

    I want to see burn marks and flesh scorching, and heads lopped off.

    I chopped a dude in oblivion for 30 minutes and he didn’t have a scratch on him????

    j/k, but seriously though… need realism in TES. can i get an amen?

  8. Huge congratulations on making it to 15! Here’s to the next 15!

    I especially appreciated the positive words about the modding community. I’m sure a lot of modders will appreciate it as well.



    Daniel: well-said!

  9. Congrats on 15 years Bethesda!
    One of the first games that made a huge impression on me was: The Elder Scrolls: Arena! I kept going on about it to my friends in school and I eagerly awaited news of a sequel, so much that when the demo of Daggerfall was released I downloaded and had another WOW moment!

    It was after playing that game that I really got hooked on computer-games… I had played other games (Commander Keen, Prince of Persia and other such games) but they didn’t quite grab me like TES: Arena did. I still have the original disc and books somewhere!

    Another thing and this is related to the article: I can play Arena without using DOSbox… n.n

  10. I don’t think there will be an Elder Scrolls 5 game.

    We shall see though.. =shrug=
    I think that book is ES 5 . It’s set 5 years later, Just like Oblivion was.

    Maybe they will prove me wrong. But somehow I doubt it. They no longer sell the dlc for Oblivion. And their site no longer works for me either.

  11. What are you talking about Spirited Treasure? the TES site works just fine and as far as i know the Oblivion expansions or at least in DLC form is still available only “ is temporarily down for maintenance.”

    Why wouldn’t there be a fith game. There have been some weird purchases of domains and other copyright related things if they are not making one. Oh and of course there is the fact that Todd did leak the information that an TES V would be comming in the future. So yes there will be a TES V. Though i highly doubt the leaked “releasedate”.

  12. Temporarily down for 3 monthes? =lol= right.

    As for their site. I only get a wall of text.. No matter what I do.

  13. Oh that one. Yeah i got that one the first time i clicked in on all Zenimax pages for the first time since it was announced. But as soon as i klicked on the bookmark again i got to the actual page. Ouyrs should do the same.

  14. Spirited Treasure I refuse to belive that if you scroll down and click on return to bethsoft that it reappears. you are the only one I’ve heard of that has this problem.

  15. I really don’t give a flying flip what you believe!


    I’m done talking about this mess now! Back to Bethesda!

  16. honestly Todd howards just reduced my confidence in bethesda’s will to live even more…

    for one how does he dare to talk about the creation of TES? he joined long after the foundation was laid… well prolly not his fault but that of the planet interview partner

    then how does he know what players want if the 90% which dont post in the forum (who are not dumb as he explicitly mentiones) never say a word?
    are you sure they want dumbed down versions of great games?

    and why does he think that less variety is equal to more fun? less skills for example might be useful if they dont reduce my abilities but they do!
    well but then thats prolly better for those 90% who are not dumb but who dont want too many features, these could just confuse them probably…i cant say for sure cause these 90% never voiced their opinion except to todd via a transcendental phone line

    same for modding, if its so important to you then why do you build in so many hardcoded restrictions which really annoy every modder day in and out? restrictions which are not needed!

    i dunno to me this interview seemed like “hey i like what you guys do and honor your input but for money, deadlines and zenimax’s lash ill do anything”

    sorry if that offends anyone but thats what sprang to my mind and im one of the 10% that “dare” to give their opinions… thus prolly not worthy to be thought about anyway…

  17. Hey Jay

    We definitely listen to forum feedback…quite a bit actually.

    What Todd was trying to say is that we also listen to the ones who aren’t on the forums, of which make up around 99% of the audience for our games. He didn’t say that he weighs those opinions at the same percentage as say fan feedback in the forums…just that we make sure to keep in mind feedback from other places too.

    With my job that’s definitely the case. While many of you know of my presence in the boards, I’m also getting hundreds of emails in our general inbox that aren’t only from forum members. Letters and phone calls too. So we definitely hear from plenty of fans outside of the boards.

  18. I’ve heard Todd’s opinions on what fans want, and I feel like he lets his own preferences imprint on theirs- the silent 99% dumbly approving personal opinions. I don’t think Bethesda should obey the whims of the players of course, but let’s be honest about who it really is that prefers familiarity over creativity.

  19. Happy 15th Bethesda, many, many more! From the moment I loaded Arena on my 386, I was a lifetime fan. I cannot express how much I love the Elder Scrolls series. I’ve been delighted and disappointed at what has been added and left behind. However, bar none no series has ever captured the spirit of PC Fantasy-RPG like this one! Keep up the good work, we’ll keep “fixing” what you leave out 🙂