Todd Howard: Staggered Fallout, Elder Scrolls releases avoid game cannibalization

How does Bethesda handle running Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online in parallel with main AAA games? Todd Howard discusses how release cadence matters.

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Bethesda's Todd Howard talks about how the team thinks about operating both singleplayer and live games in parallel with each other without too much impact on missed sales.

Todd Howard: Staggered Fallout, Elder Scrolls releases avoid game cannibalization 76

Bethesda's live games are doing very well right now. Fallout 76 recently passed 20 million lifetime players and The Elder Scrolls Online broke 24 million users earlier this year. Does this mean that less people are buying and playing Bethesda's actual singleplayer games? Apparently not.

In a recent interview with Mr. Matty Plays, Bethesda's Todd Howard assuages worries that the live games will negatively impact new singleplayer games like The Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 5.

The key to avoiding conflict is to sufficiently spread the games out. And spread them out Bethesda has; the Elder Scrolls VI announcement trailer is now six years old.

Here's what Howard said on the topic of Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online cannibalizing sales/playerbases of mainline singleplayer games:

"When we're starting these things, we have that fear as well. Is one game going to cannibalize another? The good news is, as long as the initial releases are spread out a little bit, they don't. They both find their audiences.

"Skyrim is still one of our most-played games while Elder Scrolls Online is celebrating its 10th anniversary and doing really well. We've noticed that when we update those games, they don't really cannibalize each other. Then you see it with Fallout 4 kind of hitting #1 on the charts, and then '76 right behind it.

"Logic would say there's a little bit of cannibalization between the two, but much much less in practice than we thought between these games."

That being said, the live games aren't going anywhere. Bethesda wants to keep these varied lines of sales going for as long as possible.

"When there's another Fallout--we'll call it a classically singleplayer game--my expectation is that '76 is just as healthy."

For now we'll all have to jump into the worlds of ESO and FO76 for new Bethesda RPG content.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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