The game is "getting closer," the Fallout and Oblivion game director told me during our interview at QuakeCon in Dallas.
"I put some of that on hold, because I knew we would be doing some stuff with id." That "stuff" was Bethesda parent company ZeniMax's June purchase of the renowned first-person shooter development studio. id co-founder John Carmack has been aggressively working on the iPhone platform, now promising an iPhone game just about every other month. He remembers thinking, "I'll wait and see what John has to say about it."
The game is not a personal Todd Howard project. Think of it as a Bethesda game, though Howard wouldn't offer gameplay details or subject matter. I asked if it would be a Fallout or Elder Scrolls project, but he'd only remind me that "those are things we really like."
Carmack willing, it seems, the game will proceed. "It's one of those things where I wish it would happen sooner," Howard said, "But we're definitely going to do some stuff."