The Elder Scrolls VI is now in early development, Bethesda has confirmed. Speaking to Spanish publication Vandal, Bethesda’s Head of Publishing Pete Hines confirmed that while the hype for Starfield draws ever so close, some developers at the studio have been working on the Tamriel fantasy sequel, which has now left the pre-production stage. Both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 were revealed at the 2018 E3 event, with the former sci-fi RPG being way ahead in the release pipeline. For now, Bethesda is fully focused on its launch and potential post-launch support, and therefore, it’ll be at least a few years before we hear any new details about TES 6.
“We have put all of our studio’s focus on making this game the best it can be,” Hines said in the interview (translation from a ResetEra post). “And yes, there are people working on The Elder Scrolls VI, but this is what the studio has focused on. So no, you are not going to hear early about The Elder Scrolls 6.” The timeline matches Xbox head Phil Spencer’s testimony during Microsoft’s trial against the US FTC in June, where he claimed that the game was at least five plus years away and that he wasn’t sure of what platforms it would be out on. Clearly, PC and Xbox would be the main platforms, considering Microsoft had acquired Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax for a $7.5 billion (about Rs. 61,990 crore) deal in 2020.
However, Spencer’s statement also makes it seem as if The Elder Scrolls 6 might not launch on the Xbox Series S/X. During the same trial, Microsoft stated that the next generation of gaming consoles — both from them and Sony — should be out in 2028, which kind of aligns with the time Spencer claims TES 6 will be ready. “It’s the same team that’s finishing Starfield, which comes out this September,” he said during the hearing.
The Xbox Series S has already been causing issues for developers due to its technical limitations — a recent example being Baldur’s Gate 3, where developer Larian Studios is struggling to include split-screen co-op on the less-expensive console. The Xbox version is slated to launch sometime later this year.
Coming back to The Elder Scrolls 6, Bethesda has been pretty tight-lipped about details, with a 2021 interview revealing that it will be using the overhauled Creation Engine 2 for development. The same engine is used for the upcoming Starfield game, which has recently been subject to drama due to some leaks that caused fans to be concerned about its scope in exploration and any possible invisible walls. As per director Todd Howard, the game is best described as ‘Skyrim in space’ and happens to be Bethesda’s first new universe in 25 years, taking you on a futuristic journey to explore 2330 outer space, its planets, and inhabitants. From humble beginnings as a space miner, the player will join Constellation — the last group of space explorers seeking rare artefacts throughout the galaxy.
Currently, there is no solid release window for The Elder Scrolls VI. Meanwhile, Starfield is out September 6 on PC and Xbox Series S/X.