Todd Howard, who is known to wear very nice leather jackets, has given an update on the state of development on The Elder Scrolls VI and the studio’s new Starfield. Speaking to GameSpot at E3 2018, Howard said The Elder Scrolls VI is only in the “very early” stages of development, while Starfield is further along and will likely launch before the new Elder Scrolls game.
“It’s in the concept and design [phase],” Howard said. Perhaps more intriguingly, Howard said he knows the release date of The Elder Scrolls VI–but he’s not going to tell you. “I do. I would be foolish to say it,” he said.
For The Elder Scrolls VI, Bethesda is taking its time to make it the game that fans want and expect from the studio. After all, Skyrim was a monumentally successful game from a critical and commercial perspective, so it has very big shoes to fill. And Bethesda is known for outdoing itself.
“We’ve obviously taken our time with [The Elder Scrolls 6], as opposed to jumping right into it,” he said. “We know what we want it to be, and that’s gonna take time, technology, other things that we need to build to to really pull it off. And that’s what that franchise deserves.”
Howard suggested that the ideas and ambition Bethesda has for The Elder Scrolls 6 might not be possible on current-generation hardware. He said in a Gameslice interview that Bethesda is “getting closer” to the technology needed to run the game, which suggests that the PS4 and Xbox One are not capable enough to run the game as Bethesda wants.
As for Starfield, this game–which is Bethesda’s first new IP In a very long time–is already playable and is in full production. As such, the game is expected to launch before The Elder Scrolls 6. Indeed, Howard told GameSpot that the current release plan for Bethesda Game Studios’ next big games will be Fallout 76, then Starfield, then Elder Scrolls VI. However, Howard also said Starfield might not launch on current-generation hardware, so it could be a long time before we get to play either title.
No new Xbox or PlayStation consoles have been announced, but just this week Microsoft announced it’s working on new consoles, while Sony is rumoured to be working on a PlayStation 5.
Bethesda announcing Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI so long before launch is a notable change for the company, as it’s become known for announcing and releasing games in short order.
Bethesda’s next big game is Fallout 76, which launches in November for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Unlike the previous games, it is an online-only, multiplayer-focused game.