Todd Andrew Howard was born in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, in 1970. A prominent figure in the world of video games, he’s a game designer, director, and producer widely known for his role in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises.
How Todd Howard Got His Start in Video Games
His parents were Ronald and Priscilla Howard. His elder brother, Jeffrey Mark (Jeff) Howard, became Disney’s “director of creative affairs” and oversaw Bambi II’s production. It seems creativity runs in the family.
Howard developed an interest in video games – and computers in general – at a very young age.
He claims that the biggest inspirations for his future games were the 1980s role-playing video games Wizardry and Ultima III: Exodus.
Education – From Business Major to Video Game Giant?
In 1989, he graduated from Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Then, in 1993, he graduated from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, with a major in business.
He also took computer classes at the College of William & Mary for credit. He later stated that a business major appeared to be the easiest path through college.
While he was enjoying the holiday break of his senior year in college, Howard purchased a copy of 1988’s Bethesda Softworks game Wayne Gretzky Hockey. This would become an important milestone.
Rejected – Then Recruited – By Bethesda
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day that year, he visited the Bethesda Softworks offices on his route to school.
He asked for a job at the company, but they rejected him because it was a prerequisite that all their employees must have finished school.
Howard went back to Bethesda Softworks looking for a job after he graduated. Still, he was rejected as there weren’t any suitable openings at the time.
Even after Howard started working for a smaller game company in Yorktown, Virginia, he continued approaching Bethesda Softworks in the hopes of getting his foot in the door.
He made his subsequent approaches at conventions like the Consumer Electronics Show, which he attended through work. They eventually recruited him as a producer.
He married elementary school teacher Kimberly Lynn Yaissle in 1995, and they have a son, Luke, born in 2003. He is currently married to Randye Howard.
What Is Todd Howard’s Net Worth?
Todd Howard has an incredible estimated net worth of approximately $10 million. That’s an awe-inspiring amount of money to have made in the video gaming industry.
How Did Todd Howard Earn His Net Worth?
Early Career Video Game Development
Howard got his first game development credit on 1995’s The Terminator: Future Shock as producer and designer.
A year later, he was credited as a designer on Skynet and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.
In 1998, he was credited as a project leader for the first time on The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.
He was project leader and designer for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 2000 and the subsequent expansion packs. Following its 2002 release, it was a major critical and commercial success, winning numerous Game of the Year awards.
Executive Game Producer and Game Director
As the executive producer of 2006’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, he was the project’s creative lead.
Howard served as game director and executive producer on 2008’s Fallout 3.
He returned to The Elder Scrolls franchise and led the development of its fifth installment, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as the creative director. The game was released in 2011.
He went on to direct multiple Fallout games, including Fallout 4, released in November 2015, and Fallout 76, released in November 2018. The latter was subject to a lot of criticism at the time.
Starfield, Indiana Jones, and More
He is also the game director on the upcoming Starfield game, which is set to be released in 2023.
In the future, he will serve as the executive producer of the upcoming game based on the Indiana Jones series of movies, which is currently in development by MachineGames and Lucasfilm Games.
He’ll also be the game director on The Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 5.
Todd Howard Among the Most Influential Game Creators of Our Time
Thanks to his expertise in game development, Howard has been a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences. For example, he spoke to developers at the 2009 and 2012 D.I.C.E. Summits.
Howard’s work in the industry has resulted in his receiving multiple awards. These include; a Game Developers Conference Lifetime Achievement Award, the D.I.C.E. Award for “Best Game Director” in 2012 and 2016, the Lara of Honor award in Germany in 2014, and the 2020 Develop Star award for “outstanding achievements and contribution to the industry.”
He regularly features in lists of the best and most influential game developers by publications like GamePro (“Top 20 Most Influential People in Gaming over the Last 20 Years”) and IGN (“The Top 100 Game Creators of All Time”).
His games have been featured on television on Newsweek, CNN, USA Today, and The Today Show, bringing him to mainstream attention – even to those who aren’t interested in gaming.
Howard is such a famous name in gaming that he and many of his quotes have become popular internet memes.
How Does Todd Howard Spend His Money?
Todd Howard is a very private man who doesn’t really use social media. He has a couple of accounts he was asked to make following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company, Zenimax, but he barely posts anything.
With that in mind – and given that he rarely gives interviews of a personal nature – very little is known about his spending habits.
He still lives in Pennsylvania in what we can assume is a huge house. Still, we don’t know where he vacations, what (if any) expensive hobbies he has, or if he lives a particularly extravagant lifestyle in his spare time.
We will, of course, keep you updated if and when we learn more.
Todd Howard’s Future Is Bright
Todd Howard’s net worth undoubtedly ranks among the wealthiest men in the gaming world. His wealth will surely only increase, given the exciting projects he’s heading in the coming years, especially when you consider Bethesda’s fruitful new partnership with Microsoft.
We certainly hope he continues producing brilliant games – which we’re sure he will – and we wish him all the best in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock.