The Elder Scrolls 6: A Distant and Uncertain Future
The Elder Scrolls 6 announcement was almost six years ago now, and we’re still waiting for it to enter full production. The follow-up to The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim was announced amidst fan curiosity and excitement, but Bethesda Game Studios has been focusing on Starfield, which itself has faced multiple delays but is finally releasing soon. Despite that, the announcement of The Elder Scrolls 6 felt necessary given the interest in the series, and Bethesda’s view on it now reflects that – despite the game not even entering production yet.
“If I had to do it over again, I think I would have done the announcement a little more casually and not made it such a big deal,” game director Todd Howard recently reflects on the announcement of The Elder Scrolls 6. “Because what happens then is everybody starts paying attention to it. That wasn’t the goal, the goal was to address the fan curiosity.
“We thought the game hadn’t even started and so it was going to be years away, and we’d just be quiet about it. But the way it gets perceived is ‘oh, they’re not even making it.’”
Howard goes on to explain that he feels the announcement was necessary because The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced during a time when Bethesda was focusing on games like Fallout Shelter and Starfield. “I like to be transparent about what we’re doing,” he says, “and I understand the fan curiosity.”
The Elder Scrolls 6 still feels distant and uncertain, especially given that Starfield has taken longer than expected to develop. It seems like the release of games like Fallout 5 and The Elder Scrolls 6 is still a long way off, but there’s no doubt that Bethesda is well aware of that fact.
In a feature from The Guardian, journalist Charlie Nash argues that the games industry as a whole has gotten more expensive and labor-intensive, meaning that five years isn’t quite as long as it used to be.
“Bethesda used to dominate the RPG genre,” Nash writes. “But now it needs to prove itself again with new experiences. The previous console generations saw it release multiple big Bethesda games, but this one has only seen updates for Fallout 4, ports for Skyrim, and Starfield. The landscape of video games has changed dramatically in the past five years, and Bethesda has been working on a game that will release with design conventions that have evolved beneath it.”
While Starfield will be fine, it will be interesting to see how it compares to its predecessors and whether it can replicate their success. We’ll also have to wait and see whether the future of the medium and the world itself is unpredictable, but it certainly feels like The Elder Scrolls 6 is distant and uncertain.