Todd Howard is a good boy after all—warned his mum that the Fallout show's full of 'sex, violence, and bad words'

Todd Howard
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Todd Howard's been on the interview circuit around the hugely successful launch of Amazon's Fallout TV series, which rapidly became the streaming platform's biggest show since the Lord of the Rings and was almost immediately renewed for a second season. Those of us who've been playing the games for some time knew exactly what to expect tonally, and one of the show's triumphs is how well it captures the grim and slightly goofy world, where one moment you're trading jokes with a sentient sexbot and the next going Rambo on a bunch of cannibals. 

In a new interview with Kinda Funny, Howard speaks widely about the show's various successes and around 15 minutes in, starts to discuss some of the show's themes. This train of thought leads him onto one other than his dear old mother, and it turns out Todd really is a good all-American boy: He warned her about the racier stuff.

"I do give a mature warning to like my family, and my mother people like that," says Howard. "Get ready, hold on, it's got some y'know sex, violence, bad words all that stuff."

I mean, it's quite hard to miss this stuff: the show kicks off with Lucy's impending marriage, which is quickly consummated before she realises the groom's a raider (and then slices his face up in the most horrible fashion). It's totally Fallout, of course, but if you didn't realise quite where these games often go it might be a bit of a shock.

Sex and how characters talk about it also ends up being a repeated source of humour and insight for the show, with both Lucy and Maximus having deeply weird ideas shaped by their environments. Lucy's incredibly direct and matter-of-fact about it, and her response to any situation where sex is in the offing is basically "okie dokie!" Maximus on the other hand has bizarre ideas about his penis and suppressing any urge to orgasm, some sort of internalised Brotherhood puritanism.

Still: the main thing is that Todd warned his mum about all this, which makes him seem somehow even more charming than he already was.

Howard discusses other elements of the show in considerable depth, though it's not all roses: I find myself a little disappointed that Bethesda isn't really interested in a non-American setting for the series. You can kind of understand why, but doesn't Fallout Tokyo sound amazing? "My view is—part of the Fallout shtick is on the 'Americana naivete'," says Howard. "And so for us right now it's okay to sort of acknowledge those other areas. But our plan is to predominantly keep it in the US."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."