This comes from a recent IGN Unfiltered interview where Howard sat down and talked about the past, present, and future of Bethesda and its games.
“We felt doing something like Starfield…” explained Howard. “We’d been wanting to do something else for a long time and play in a new universe, so if not now — I’m going back in time, we started right after Fallout 4, so 2015 — if not now, when? It felt like, if we didn’t do it then, the ‘when’ could be ‘never’”.
Howard added in a previous IGN video interview that the title will very much have its own core tone as a science fiction game, in the same way that Fallout is focused around being apocalyptic, but Howard then didn’t want to give away exactly what that tone will be.
“I think our aspirations for that game [Starfield], y’know it’s the end all be all science fiction game that everyone wants to play, well we could be the ones to pull this off.”
Howard was then asked about the world Starfield is set in, and how the team at Bethesda is tackling bringing it to life. “You could do a game and it just feels like ‘well that world wasn’t fully fleshed out’… we have not planed [the world] past this game, it needs to be as fully fleshed out as to… ‘how far in the future is it? What happened in all those years in between?’”