Bethesda wants to recreate Fallout 4 in VR, says Todd Howard

It shouldn't surprise anyone to hear that Bethesda Softworks is "trying the VR thing now," as Todd Howard put it in a recent interview with Glixel, but the scope of its ambitions sound... well, very ambitious indeed. When asked if the studio is "trying to put all of Fallout 4 in VR," he answered bluntly, "We definitely are." 

"That's the promise of VR, being in a big virtual world. The core experience, meaning you put on the headset and you're standing in the world of Fallout and can go where you want, just that little bit is every bit as cool as you hope it would be," Howard said. "Once we did that, we were like, 'OK, we gotta see where this goes'." 

The size of the VR marketplace and potential sales aren't really a concern, he continued. "That will all sort itself out. We have an opportunity to make something really unique. We'd rather do that than make some other tiny experience. I don't think that's what people want from us." 

He's right, of course, and that makes the indifference to potential sales come off as perhaps a bit disingenuous: A full-on Fallout 4 VR game would almost inevitably sell like gangbusters, and probably drive no small amount of VR hardware sales in the process. And even though the marketplace is very niche right now, Howard said that the success of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, the most recent entry in Bethesda's other blockbuster RPG franchise, suggested that those worlds could actually have an appeal that goes well beyond the conventional videogame audience.

"It did make us aware that some of the things we do speak to people who don't traditionally play games, or don't traditionally play role-playing games," he said. "They make it their own experience, and that was what was most important to us. Putting somebody in a world where they can do what they want. I think that's what's special about video games as entertainment."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.