Todd Howard: “Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 will not get a new graphics engine”

While Bethesda fans are looking forward to the newest entry into the Fallout series, Fallout 76, that releases this Wednesday, many are also looking towards the horizon for what is next for the major AAA publisher/developer. With the announcements (and very small teases) of both Starfield and the Elder Scrolls VI at E3 this past June, Bethesda has continuously reminded fans to set their time tables to the realm of realism, as both games are quite a ways off still; and to the expectation of most, to be next generation experiences (especially the Elder Scrolls VI). But, according to a new report, both titles may not see the technological leap that many are expecting.

In an interview conducted GameStar (a German publication) that was recently referenced in a Forbes discussing Fallout 76, Todd Howard, Director and Executive Producer at Bethesda Game Studios, touched on a multitudes of things, including the company’s quite dated Creation engine and why they choose to continue using it. “(Speaking on Fallout 76) The game uses a new renderer, a new lighting system and a new system for the landscape generation.” the storied game developer and “face” of the legendary game developer stated. “For Starfield even more changes. And for the Elder Scrolls VI, out there on the horizon even more.”

Bethesda’s Creation engine, which was first implemented in the massively successful the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, was developed to succeed the aging Gamebryo engine, to provide more visual realism to the developer’s games moving forward. Fast forward seven years and two additional games using the engine (2015’s Fallout 4 and the multiplayer focused Fallout 76), Bethesda seems content with keeping status quo. “We like our editor. It allows us to create worlds really fast and the modders know it really well. There are some elementary ways we create our games and that will continue because that lets us be efficient and we think it works best.”

While the Creation engine has been graphically updated throughout its lifetime, including a physically based deferred renderer and working with Nvidia to add volumetric lighting specifically for Fallout 4, it is by all accounts starting to show its age. For Starfield beginning development in late 2015, it’s possible to see understand why the studio decided to stay with same engine for the forthcoming space epic, as one would assume it could theoretically release within the next few years; the Elder Scrolls VI on the other hand? From what the public has been allowed to know on the development of the game, it is quite a ways off and almost certain to be a next generation game. But, it makes you wonder, with one of the primary benefits of using the same engine being “efficiency”, it couldn’t be completely outlandish to have both titles within the next four years.

As for now, fans of Bethesda Game Studios can look forward to Fallout 76, which drops for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018.


For updates on what’s to come from Bethesda Game Studios, including Starfield and the Elder Scrolls VI, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @BonusAccessory, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Author: Travis White

Editor-In-Chief & Creator of Bonus Accessory. When not publishing on Bonus Accessory, Travis also host the Game Pass Gamecast podcast, centered around Xbox & PC gaming. He also knows that Ubisoft will eventually make another mainline Splinter Cell title (may not be until he's 50, but hey, he'll take it).

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