Starfield: Everything We Learned New From IGN's Todd Howard Interview

IGN had the chance to speak to Todd Howard at Bethesda Game Studios today, and in the process learned a whole lot more about Starfield – not to mention the future of Fallout.

In a chat with Ryan McCaffrey, Howard followed up on a number of things we first heard about during the Starfield gameplay reveal during the Xbox-Bethesda showcase last weekend. We’ve got full news and quotes for each topic mentioned below, but here’s a quick rundown of everything new we’ve learned.

Todd Howard has confirmed to IGN that Fallout 5 will be Bethesda Game Studios’ next game after The Elder Scrolls 6, which itself will succeed Starfield in 2023.

“Yeah, Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production,” he said, “and, you know, we’re going to be doing Fallout 5 after that, so our slate is pretty full for a while. We have other projects which we also review from time to time.”

Amid a massive amount of new Starfield information from the Xbox-Bethesda showcase, probably the most talked about detail was Todd Howard’s announcement that the upcoming sci-fi RPG will feature 1,000 fully explorable planets. Howard told us more about the game’s approach to procedural generation, what it offers, and assured us that players can skip that in favor of a massive amount of fully crafted content, if they wish.

Starfield’s main quest is around 20% larger than previous Bethesda games such as Skyrim and Fallout 4, with Todd Howard saying it should take around 30-40 hours to complete – without stepping away to do side content.

Howard said the game’s main story is longer than normal due to the large number of quests: “This one ends a bit longer [than our previous games] and we might still be able to tune some quests,” he said. “There are more quests, so it might be 20% more than our previous ones.”

Starfield – 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase

Bethesda’s open-world RPGs can vary wildly in setting and tone, but they very often share one thing – what Bethesda calls the “exit moment,” the scene in which your character properly enters the world and sees its magnitude. Starfield will not oppose this trend.

Howard was asked if Starfield had a release moment and how he would create a big reveal of his world given that it includes 1,000 different planets: “There are. Look, the way the game starts is pretty defined for everyone, so we have what we call the ‘release moment.’ And we probably have a few given the scale of the game.”

Starfield will have four major cities for players to explore, including New Atlantis, which is the largest ever created by developer Bethesda. Howard said that New Atlantis, Capital of the United Colonies, is not only the biggest in this game, but bigger than anything in Skyrim, Fallout 4 or any of the developer’s previous games.

“It has all the services you would expect, and you can work on it on your ship, factions touch on it,” Howard said. “But it’s also the headquarters of Constellation, which is the faction you join and which is the last group of space explorers – kind of like NASA-meets-Indiana Jones-meets-The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [group].”

Todd Howard said Starfield won’t let you seamlessly fly from space to its 1,000 explorable planets, saying the feature is “really not that important to the player” to justify the engineering work involved .

“People asked, ‘Can you fly the ship straight to the planet?’ No. We decided at the beginning of the project that the surface is a reality, and when you are in space, it is another reality.”

Todd Howard said Starfield presents a unique approach to space combat, and one that was partly inspired by FTL and MechWarrior. And yes, you can steal the ships you board.

Howard said “there have been a lot of space sims that we’re a fan of, and space shooters from the 90s”, but the team wanted Starfield “to feel [like] something unique.” He went on to explain how indie darling FTL and classic shooter MechWarrior were unlikely touchstones for the game.

During the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, Howard revealed that the game will have over a thousand planets for players to explore, which sounds like so many customization options and space dogfights. a la Star Wars.

Players are also wondering if our own solar system will be a plot point in the game, but Bethesda has at least confirmed some story details through a new trailer, though fans will no doubt continue to parse. and to speculate on Starfield until its final release in 2023. .

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s news editor. Follow him on Twitter. Any advice to give us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an e-mail to

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