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Bethesda Director Opens Up About The Future Of Gaming

With the arrival of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this year, gamers are eager to see what revolutionary changes the latest console generation will bring to the industry. 2020 has already seen a ton of innovation in the gaming world, with more opportunities for cloud gaming and the rise of in-game virtual hangouts. What will gaming look like in the coming years as the new generation takes over?

The biggest changes coming to the future of gaming will be all about accessibility, according to Bethesda's director Todd Howard. The famed developer recently took part in an interview with The Guardian, where he spoke in-depth about what he thinks is to come of gaming in the next five to ten years and about how Bethesda has worked to make its own revolutionary changes in gaming.

Howard, whose background of game development includes Terminator: Future Shock, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout, feels that accessibility is becoming even more important to the industry than improved graphics and AI. "Just the time it takes to even turn [a console] on and load up some of these games is a barrier — it's time that you're not enjoying being in that world ... If you can access a game more easily, and no matter what device you're on or where you are, that's what I think the next five to 10 years in gaming is about," he said. He added that he would want to see more "reactivity" in game worlds and more systems "clashing together" for players to express themselves with.

Gamers used to play a given title for only a few months, but now a single game can be played for years, Howard noted. Bethesda has already made efforts to give its games long-term playability, such as the revolving door of new content in Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, both massively multiplayer online games.

Bethesda has a long history with single-player titles, including Doom Eternal and the upcoming Starfield, but since it has also seen long-term success with multiplayer titles, Howard said Bethesda's future will likely include both. "We have found that even if it's multiplayer ... a large number of our players want to play it like a single-player game and not have the other players distract from it. Games handle multiplayer in different ways, and I think it all has merit," He said.

Howard expressed similar sentiments regarding accessibility in gaming after Microsoft purchased ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Howard noted that he agrees with Xbox's messaging about making games for everyone, no matter the device. He felt that Microsoft's purchase was simply another step Bethesda can take in the future of accessible gaming.