Todd Howard discusses Fallout 5's future, Starfield's size in new interview

Starfield space dogfight explosion
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • In an interview with IGN, Bethesda Game Studios creative director Todd Howard talked about Starfield, giving details on the size and scope of the game. 
  • Starfield features four major cities, with one of these cities being the largest that Bethesda has ever built. 
  • Starfield also features over 200,000 lines of dialogue, which is significant considering that the protagonist isn't voiced, unlike in Fallout 4.
  • While he'd previously mentioned that Fallout 5 existed as a one-page document, Howard also confirmed in the interview that Fallout 5 is Bethesda Game Studios' next project after The Elder Scrolls 6.

More and more information is being shared on Bethesda Game Studios' upcoming science-fiction role-playing game, Starfield, as well as the future of the studio's projects.

Speaking with IGN, creative director Todd Howard shared lots of details on what players can expect when they play Starfield. While Howard previously stated that Starfield had over 150,000 lines of dialogue, that number has gone up, and the game now features over 200,000 lines. This number is made all the more impressive considering that the main protagonist is voiceless, unlike in Fallout 4.

Howard also shared that the main path in Starfield is around 30 to 40 hours long, though this means mainlining the main missions without doing any of the game's extensive side content, or visiting more than a handful of the 1,000 planets in Starfield. These planets utilize some procedural generation, though there's also plenty of handcrafted content. 

Howard indicates that it'll be made clear where the procedural content is, indicating as an example that it's okay to just land on an ice planet, gather resources for 10 minutes, and leave knowing you haven't missed anything.

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Speaking more on the handcrafted content, Howard shared that there are four major cities in Starfield, with one of them, New Atlantis, being the biggest city Bethesda Game Studios has ever designed.

While space combat and dogfighting are a significant feature in the game, players won't be seamlessly flying down to the surface of a planet. Instead, they'll pick a place to land and be taken down automatically.

While Howard had previously mentioned that the studio had a one-page document plan for Fallout 5, he also confirmed here that Fallout 5 is the next big game coming after The Elder Scrolls 6.

"Yes, 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’s pretty full going forward for a while. We have some other projects that we look at from time to time as well."

Starfield is currently slated to launch in the first half of 2023. When the game arrives, it'll be available exclusively on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC, and will also be available in Xbox Game Pass.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.