Todd Howard says no Skyrim show for us even as critics go wild for Fallout

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Executive Producer Todd Howard attends the UK Special Screening of "Fallout" presented by Amazon MGM Studios & Prime Video at White City Television Centre on April 04, 2024 in London, England. "Fallout" is launching exclusively on Prime Video on 11th April 2024.
(Image credit: Kate Green/Getty Images for Amazon MGM Studios and Prime Video)

The Fallout TV show is here and, here's a bombshell, it's good. Really good. So good, in fact, that it's naturally got people asking if Bethesda's televisual ambitions stop there. Might the company follow up Fallout with a Skyrim show? A Starfield series? A blistering 4K HDR adaptation of Wayne Gretzky Hockey 3?

Sorry, Todd Howard says no.

Chatting to IGN at Fallout's glitzy red carpet premiere, Howard was asked if Bethesda had plans for TV shows based on its other series. His answer? "There's nothing in the works. Everybody asks, like, about Elder Scrolls, and I keep saying no also."

Which is pretty definitive, as answers go, and it sounds like you shouldn't expect any non-Fallout TV projects out of the company for a good long time. Still, Howard doesn't shut the door on the idea completely, admitting that "You never know when something's gonna click," and that he cannot, apparently, "predict the future." So there's me updating my Todd Howard superpower spreadsheet.

But even with those caveats, Howard says he'll "probably say no" to any future pitches he gets for Bethesda-based TV shows. The way he tells it, the collaboration with Amazon was a matter of luck and chemistry: "[A Fallout show] is something that I said no to for like, a decade," said Howard, until he met Fallout director Jonathan Nolan and they "kind of hit it off."

"I felt like, 'hey, do you wanna do this? I'd like to approach it like it's another entry in the games'... It wasn't forced. It was kind of a natural relationship…" So, in other words, unless Howard happens to run into some kind of Elder Scrolls-loving director he happens to befriend, the likelihood of a Skyrim, Oblivion, or (be still my heart) Morrowind TV show seems pretty slim.

Which, well, is probably for the best. The Fallout show seems great. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to be even a teensy bit interested in it, but all the hoopla means I'll probably settle down to watch an episode of two in the near future. But the thing about shows like that is you can't really force them. Howard's right: They have to come about because someone has a good idea and wants to run with it, not because a C-suite smells money and a branding exercise. If that means we never see The Elder Scrolls (or Wayne Gretzky) on the big screen? It's a price I'm willing to pay.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.