Bethesda Game Studios creative director Todd Howard hopes the short time between the announcement of Fallout 4 and its release date inspires the rest of the industry to follow suit.
Fallout 4 was announced at E3 2015, just five months before its eventual November release, a big change compared to the multi-year wait for some other AAA games.
“I would like that to become the norm,” Howard told IGN at DICE in Las Vegas. “I hope that the way we did it with Fallout changes how a lot of people do it, and how successful it was doing it that way. I think a lot of people are going to start doing that. That’s my hope. As a gamer, too, I want a period of time to be excited, and I don’t want that to go away. Sometimes they announce, I get so excited, ‘I want to buy this right now!’ And then, I’ve gotta wait.”
Howard said it was a challenge to keep the game under wraps and wait as long as Bethesda did, but that Fallout 4’s success made it worth it. He explained that he feels it’s also possible to announce a game too soon since it won’t allow fans to get excited.
“It is hard. It was definitely hard on everybody. But, definitely, the way it went, I would make it even shorter if I could get away with it,” he said. “It would be, ‘this is out right now.’ But that’s not my perfect scenario. I think people need a little time to get it. There’s a moment there where everyone enjoys it together. They’re in on it, being excited and waiting for it. Whether that’s five months or less, I don’t know.
Howard said that the surprise simultaneous announcement and release of mobile game Fallout Shelter did allow Bethesda to “experience both worlds” of announcement strategies, but that finding the right window is different for every game.
Earlier this week, Bethesda announced the first details about Fallout 4’s upcoming DLC, and Howard revealed that Bethesda has three big projects in the works. Fallout 4 also won Game of the Year at the DICE Awards.