Todd Howard regrets not supporting Fallout 4 and Skyrim for longer, but won't make the mistake with Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield as he hints a "10-year horizon" has already been considered

A screenshot from the Starfield: Shattered Space trailer, overlooking a tower-like structure with a blue aurora in the background.
(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 director Todd Howard says that Bethesda is planning to support both RPGs for a long time to come – a strategy he regrets not pushing further with Skyrim and Fallout 4.

In a new interview with MrMattyPlays on YouTube (below), Howard is asked about the idea of Bethesda's games being "single-player service titles," in the sense of them receiving support long after their releases. When asked if this should be the expectation going forward for the studio's games, Howard says: "I don't know that I would put that label on it, but I think the end thing you said which is that expectation that we'll update them for years is true. 

"We would look back at Skyrim, which we're still updating to a small extent, and there's all of the creations and mods there, still a hugely played game, same with Fallout 4, that we wish we had supported them longer."

Matty Interviews Todd Howard: Future Of Fallout, Starfield Year 2, Elder Scrolls VI Info, & MORE! - YouTube Matty Interviews Todd Howard: Future Of Fallout, Starfield Year 2, Elder Scrolls VI Info, & MORE! - YouTube
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Explaining further, Howard says that just as Bethesda went into the development of Fallout 76 with the idea that "this is a game we're going to support for as long as we can," the team had the same vision with Starfield. He then mentions The Elder Scrolls 6, and says: "With all these games, you gotta start now by thinking about a 10-year horizon. How do we support a game for that long?"

Speaking specifically about the next Elder Scrolls installment, Howard says that "we know people are going to play it for a long time," but hints that for a "game like that," long-term support isn't just about content. Rather, he says, "it goes further than that," with "what it means for your character, what it means for other things to say, 'Hey, can this be something that you come back to?'"

Of course, before we can start thinking about The Elder Scrolls 6's post-release support, we probably need to wait for its actual launch, which is still a total mystery right now. It was officially teased back in 2018 but is yet to receive an actual trailer or even a hint of a release window. At the very least, Starfield's long-term support plan is now a little clearer, as in the same interview, Howard said Bethesda is "aiming to do an annual story expansion every year," and "hopefully for a very long time." The first one, Shattered Space, is set to release this Fall. 

For more games like The Elder Scrolls and Starfield, be sure to check out our roundup of the 25 best RPGs.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.