Starfield’s Todd Howard sees everything as an RPG now

Starfield Director and Bethesda’s Todd Howard talked about how many triple-A games these days have light RPG elements in their design, and what this means for how the team approaches its latest game.

This talk about RPGs and Starfield comes from a recent interview with Game Maker’s Notebook, where Insomniac Games founder Ted Price spoke to Howard about Bethesda’s latest game. We also learned how and why the Starfield planets were weakened in the same interview.

During the interview, Bryce asked Howard if gamers’ expectations of the RPG genre have changed, and Howard said, “Yes, I think so in a big way.”

As spotted GamesRadarHoward and his colleagues seem keenly aware that development of RPG genres and IPs has been on the rise in triple-A games, and what this means for how the team at Bethesda approaches Starfield design.

“I think that same kind of blended into everything,” Howard continues. “I can’t look at a game that doesn’t have XP now, level up, and pick whatever game you want, like that kind of bleeds through. So what makes an official RPG?

“I think if you’re a fan of old-school RPGs, you’ll have your own list of rules for that. I love the genre because it can be anything, right? It can have action, you can have other game types.”

“We built a space shooter, too,” Howard adds of Starfield. “Is this an RPG? Yes and no. How can we bring those elements that we think are important into an RPG? How can I develop it over time and improve it to make it more my own?”

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I find Howard’s discussion here really insightful, as you’ll find RPG elements across countless 3D games these days, even if those games themselves aren’t really RPGs at heart. Instead of falling into this trap, Bethesda wants to make an RPG that pushes the genre as a whole, or at least that’s the team’s vision.

You can improve your experience in already stable systems with the best Starfield mods, and we’ve also put together some essential guides explaining exactly how Starfield outposts and Starfield shipbuilding work, and how to get the most out of each system.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a useful source of information, our new Starfield database goes even further, bringing you daily news, searchable data banks, and even interactive tools.

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