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Morrowind kept Bethesda from going out of business

Bethesda’s Final Fantasy

A lot of people think they do their best work with their back up against the wall. That’s the narrative Bethesda’s Todd Howard is going with. In an interview with GameStar, Howard talked about how Morrowind was basically the company’s Final Fantasy, as Bethesda came close to going out of business in the ’90s.

Daggerfall did fine, then we spread ourselves thin,” Howard explains. “We started doing a lot of games, and they just weren’t good enough. And they weren’t the kind of games we should’ve been making at the time.” This seems worryingly common in the industry.

“There were six of us at the time, right? The studio had gotten that small, and I was in charge of Morrowind, but by that time, once you get to that point, there was this element of no fear. What’s the worst that’s gonna happen? We could go out of business. Well, let’s go all in. This is the game. Let’s put all our chips on the table. This is the game people want from us, this is the game we wanna do. You know, a lot of times when you make a game you’re kind of… maybe you’re afraid how people are gonna like this, let’s only do this, maybe it’ll make money, but we were… ‘Alright. We’re gonna do it all.’

“And that was kind of the new genesis of Bethesda. You can trace back to that, the stuff we’re doing now — there’s still bits of code in what we do now that was in Morrowind. So that game is special from that standpoint for all of us.”

Interview mit Todd Howard [GameStar]

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