Elder Scrolls VI May Not Arrive Until Skyrim’s 15th Birthday, Fallout 5 Has Been Outlined

The Elder Scrolls VI

The Elder Scrolls VI was first teased back at E3 2018, but over three years later, we’ve yet to hear anything new about the game. Bethesda has hinted we still have a long wait ahead of us, but just how far away is the game exactly? Well, you may want to reserve your excitement – in a new interview with IGN, Bethesda executive producer Todd Howard hinted The Elder Scrolls VI may not arrive before 2026.

While those exact words were not spoken, a number of clues were dropped. When IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey implied it would end up being 15 years between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls VI, Howard didn’t dispute it. He also admitted more than once that work hasn’t really started in earnest on Elder Scrolls yet. Later, Howard said he likes to do two years of pre-production and two years of full production on most games, and that Bethesda still prefers to focus on one project at a time. All these numbers – the game coming 15 years after Skyrim, Howard wanting to do 4 years of production after Starfield ships in 2022 – point to a 2026 date for the next Elder Scrolls. That’s a long wait, and Howard admitted the potential 15-year gap isn’t ideal, but said those at the studio felt making Starfield was a “now or never” moment.

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Would you plan to have the kind of gap we're having between Skyrim and the [Elder Scrolls] follow up? I can't say that's a good thing. I wish I could wave a wand and the game that we want to make and we haven't -- we're starting things on -- just came out. Absolutely, yeah, but there's other things we want to do, right? Obviously, Fallout 4 was a huge success. We spent a lot of time on that. We wanted to into online with Fallout 76. We felt doing something like Starfield... we've wanted to do something else for a long time and play in a new universe. Well, if not now [...] when? And it felt like the when, if we didn't do it then, the when could be never. We felt pretty good about Elder Scrolls was as a franchise, particularly Elder Scrolls Online, that yeah, now is the time to do Starfield.

Thankfully, Howard did seem pretty confident about Starfield’s 2022 release, insisting the game is now fully playable. Of course, Bethesda isn’t just about the Elder Scrolls – people are eager for a new traditional Fallout game, too. When asked directly about it, Howard admitted they have a one-page outline for Fallout 5, which probably won’t be handed to another studio, even if Fallout: New Vegas creators Obsidian are now under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella with them…

Fallout's really part of our DNA here. We've worked with other people from time to time, I can't say what's going to happen. We have a one-pager [outline] on Fallout 5. Again, if I could wave my want and have that out. I'd like to find a way to accelerate what we do, but I can't really say today or commit to what's going to happen when other than... our cadence is Starfield then Elder Scrolls.

Starfield is scheduled to hit PC and Xbox Series X/S on November 11, 2022. What are your thoughts on Bethesda’s future slate? Will you be able to maintain excitement for Elder Scrolls VI all the way until 2026?

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