Bethesda’s Todd Howard teases that upcoming Indiana Jones game is a “love letter” to the franchise

by Danny Craig  ·  Updated 
Bethesda’s Todd Howard teases that upcoming Indiana Jones game is a “love letter” to the franchise
Lucasfilm Games & MachineGames

Game studios Bethesda and MachineGames confirmed that a new Indiana Jones game was in production back in early 2021. There’s a lack of information surrounding the project as a whole, but executive producer Todd Howard had some reassuring words to say about it on a recent podcast.

The details:

  • Appearing on the Lex Fridman Podcast, Howard discussed Bethesda properties such as the delayed Starfield, The Elder Scrolls 6, the Fallout TV show, and Skyrim. Towards the end of the podcast, host Fridman asked some interesting questions regarding the development of the mysterious Indiana Jones project.
  • Following an admission that he deems Raiders of the Lost Ark to be the greatest movie of all time, Howard revealed that he originally pitched the idea of an Indiana Jones game to Lucasfilm in 2009. The deal fell apart, though, due to Bethesda not having a team ready for the project coupled with publishing conflicts. “They wanted to publish it—we were a publisher—and so we didn’t do it.”
  • A decade later, Howard went back to the now Disney-owned Lucasfilm and pitched the idea again. This time, Lucasfilm greenlit the project. Bethesda still lacked a suitable development team, however, so Howard looked to tag in Swedish ZeniMax subsidiary MachineGames as a partner on the title.
  • Speaking on the game’s progress, Howard said MachineGames were doing “an incredible job” and that "if you like Indiana Jones, it is a definite love letter to Indiana Jones and everything with it."
  • Fridman then asked if the game will fall into the action-adventure category, as most fans have been expecting. Howard teased that it would be a “mashup” and couldn’t be seen as one genre in particular. “It does a lot of different things that we—myself, Jerk and the folks at MachineGames—have wanted to do in a game.”

What do we know about the project so far?

  • MachineGames and Lucasfilm Games are collaborating on the upcoming Indiana Jones release. MachineGames is best-known for the critically-acclaimed reimagining of the Wolfenstein franchise, beginning with 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. Lucasfilm Games (formally LucasArts) was re-established in 2021 under Disney as a licensor of all Lucasfilm properties going forward.
  • Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax, it has been speculated that the Indiana Jones title might be an Xbox exclusive. This has not been confirmed, though, with Jez Corden of Windows Central claiming that he heard the game was not an exclusive earlier this year on the Xbox Two podcast.
  • What we do know is that the project will feature an entirely new storyline separate from the rest of the franchise. We also expect to see some references to the movies, especially the upcoming instalment due next year.
  • The game is being worked on at the same time as the untitled fifth Indiana Jones movie, now scheduled for a June 30, 2023 release. It’s likely we’ll see more information about the game announced in the build-up to the franchise’s return to the film screen.
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