I can't 100% prove this, but I find that Todd Howard gets way more of the blame for the current state of Fallout than he deserves. My friend found this old interview with Todd Howard recently: Redguard came out on October 31st, 1998. Fallout was acquired by Bethesda in 2004. This show that Todd Howard has been a fan of the original Fallout titles since long before Bethesda's acquisition. Perhaps his own love of the franchise contributed to their decision to acquire it. Judging by how he spoke about how he'd always think about Ultima VII, it isn't a stretch to belief that Howard could have been envisioning his own idea for Fallout 3 before the acquisition too. Maybe he even used to browse No Mutants Allowed. Howard was the lead designer and project director of Morrowind, a game that is widely viewed as being a fairly well-done and competent RPG. It's proof that he is definitely capable of creating a good RPG. So what caused Fallout to become what it is today? Did Howard stop caring about Fallout? Is it the fault of the higher-ups in Zenimax? The fault of other high-raking Bethesda developers such as Emil? A combination of multiple of these? Personally, I get the impression that Todd Howard probably does care quite a bit about his games and would probably love to continue to make games like Morrowind. I pin most of the blame on the current state of Fallout and Bethesda in general on Zenimax and Emil's poor writing. But I could be projecting. Maybe Howard is just in it for the money. Here's an interesting thread from a supposed Bethesda leaker. If true, it does support most of the ideas I proposed. Any thoughts?