Bethesda's Todd Howard has explained that there is an idea for Fallout 5 at the studio, but refused to commit to any other details, from a timescale to possible developers.
Speaking during an episode of IGN Unfiltered primarily covering Skyrim's 10th anniversary, Todd Howard was asked if there was a world where – with Bethesda Game Studios focusing on creating on Starfield, followed by The Elder Scrolls 6 – the next mainline Fallout game could be passed to another developer (previously Fallout: New Vegas was handed to Obsidian, for example).
Howard seemed to play down that idea, adding that there is a tentative idea for what a prosepective Fallout 5 could be: "I don't see… Look, Fallout's really part of our DNA here. We've worked with other people from time to time – I can't say say what's gonna happen. You know, we have a one-pager on Fallout 5, what we want to do."
A one-pager is a term used for a high-level document that outlines a product or business idea. In terms of games, a one-pager would usually include a broad concept for the game, its plot, intended mechanics, target audience, and unique ideas. Essentially, somewhere in Maryland, a vision of Fallout 5 exists.
But don't expect that idea to become reality for some time yet. Howard referenced a previous part of the interview in which he discussed how he'd love to have sped up the time between Skyrim and its sequel, adding: "Again, if I could wave my hand and have [Fallout 5] out – you know, I'd like to find a way to accelerate what we do, but I can't really say today or commit to anything, [like] what's going to happen when."
Howard explained that Bethesda Game Studios' only firm commitments right now are Starfield followed by The Elder Scrolls 6 and, with the developer making clear that TES6 is still years away, a new mainline Fallout is almost certainly even further in the future.
We continue to know very little about what Fallout 5 could be, but we have some suggestions – although Fallout 76 didn't capture the hearts of many Fallout fans, we do think it has some ideas that could be carried over into a mainline sequel.
There's much more to learn from Howard in our huge IGN Unfiltered interview. That includes his thoughts on why Starfield had to be made now, and how Bethesda remains committed to single-player experiences, even if it has some ideas for how to add social aspects.