Bethesda's Howard says devs shouldn't chase scale for sake of it

Bethesda's Howard says devs shouldn't chase scale for sake of it

The head of Bethesda Game Studios Todd Howard has said that developers and publishers shouldn't be making their projects bigger just for the hell of it.

Speaking to The Guardian, the industry vet said that he would like to see more systems-driven depth in video games, rather than just making worlds bigger because they can.

This comes in the wake of the brand new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles launching. Usually, a new wave of more powerful hardware tends to result in companies pursuing "bigger and better" projects which sometimes miss the mark.

“Let’s just cast forward to the next five to 10 years of gaming - for me, it’s more about access than clock cycles,” Howard said.

“Just the time it takes to even turn [a console] on and load up some of these games is a barrier – it’s time that you’re not enjoying being in that world … The kind of games we make are ones that people are going to sit down and play for hours at a time. If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you’re on or where you are, that’s what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about.

“I’d like to see more reactivity [in game worlds], more systems clashing together that players can express themselves with. I think chasing scale for scale’s sake is not always the best goal.”

In September, Microsoft said it intended to buy Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5bn. This is the second-largest games acquisition ever.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.