Todd Howard on VR: 'Historically, the third generation is where it starts to become popular'

It may feel like the hype around virtual reality has cooled—but this is a rebound year for AR and VR headsets, so reckons the International Data Corporation. Someone else still seemingly invested in virtual reality is Bethesda director Todd Howard.

Speaking to Venturebeat (via Shack News) at Gamelab, Howard says he prefers virtual reality to augmented reality and is confident in the hardware's long-term appeal. "I'm a little more VR than AR," Howards tells VB. "We did Fallout and Skyrim in VR. We're just about to enter the second generation of VR. Historically, the third generation is where it starts to become popular."

At present, Bethesda has Fallout 76, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Starfield, and The Elder Scrolls 6 in various stages of development. Looking to the future, Howard is excited that "games are successful everywhere now", and says this is crucial for the health of the industry. 

"The idea is to keep being ambitious," adds Howard. "Playing it safe is the worst way to do things. Morrowind was hard. It was our first time on console. If it didn’t do well, the company was probably out of business. Oblivion was really difficult. We really pushed the tech. I liked that line in the movie Shakespeare in Love: How is this going to work out? I don’t know, but it always does."

Elsewhere, Howard says Starfield was conceived ten years ago by Bethesda's creative team and that full-time work began on it after Fallout 4 was shipped. Starfield is also the first franchise Howard has worked on from the ground-up at the developer.   

"We go back and reinterpret and replay old games," Howard tells VB. "The difference with Starfield is there is no one to go back to. The ideas were all over the map. I enjoy “plus one” sequels as a player. I don’t enjoy making them."

Check out Venturebeat's chat with Todd Howard at Gamelab in full this way