If you’ve ever wondered if an external developer could do better with a Bethesda game than Bethesda, there’s the very smallest of chances that Elder Scrolls could be pawned off in the future.
That’s if Todd Howard’s words are to be taken out of context entirely. The director of Skyrim was speaking with Edge when the question came up if Bethesda would ever be interested in handing the development to an external developer. You’ll remember that they did just this with Obsidian and Fallout: New Vegas.
“I don’t know, we kind of take it bit by bit,” said Howard. “I mean New Vegas was unique: as a publisher, we wanted to do something with Obsidian; we knew we were moving on Fallout; they had a team available. They gave us the pitch and we were like, ‘That would be a really fun game.’
“But they had experience with the IP, and with Elder Scrolls we don’t have that. I wouldn’t rule that out, but generally with everything we want to keep it internal,” he finished.
Keep in mind that the decision to give Fallout to Obsidian with New Vegas at first seemed sketchy and uncertain, until the game shipped with all the same, familiar bugs of an in-house Bethesda product, if not more. Functionally, it was indistinguishable from its predecessor in Fallout 3, meaning an Elder Scrolls “spin-off” from another developer probably wouldn’t fall far from the apple tree.