John Gaudiosi interviews Todd Howard for Venture Beat:
VB: What’s the role of big game franchises today in the game industry?
TH: I see a lot of developers and publishers really trying to milk their franchises. I can’t say whether that’s good or bad because some of them are doing it really successfully in terms of giving fans what they really like. For example, I’m a nut for “NCAA Football” and I don’t buy that thing every year and I think they do a great job. There are other games, too, where I look at them and say, “That’s the same. I don’t want to do that every year.” I think it’s good for people to miss things. Ten years between “Fallout” is a bit long, but I think there’s this nostalgia factor. People like seeing something, at least I do, being redone again like, “Oh, I remember that, and now look at it.” If there was a new “Fallout” every other year, this wouldn’t have the same impact. Even with our “Elder Scrolls” stuff, which take a long time to make, we don’t rush sequels out. I think franchise fatigue can set in with consumers and sometimes with developers, as well.
VB: What is a good timeframe for “Fallout.” Would you wait another 10 years for “Fallout 4”?
TH: No, that’s too long. I think it depends on the game. Sometimes you just know that the time is right. If they’re big games, I think three years is a good timeframe. But at the same time, the “GTAs” on the PS2 were big games. “GTA III” came out and “Vice City” came out 10 months later and I liked that game more. You can argue both sides of it. I think for us, we’d rather take our time with them and let people miss the last one or forget the other one a little bit, because we also like to change things a lot.