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Elder Scrolls 6: Release date, production news, and everything else we know

Just a few weeks ago, news on the Elder Scrolls 6 front was virtually nonexistent. Then, as we recently reported, a bunch of new job vacancies cropped up on Bethesda's site, leading many to believe that Starfield, the upcoming space RPG, is at or near completion. 

What does Starfield's completion have to do with the Elder Scrolls 6? Well, just about everything. Game director Todd Howard has stated that we won't see Elder Scrolls 6 until after Bethesda releases Starfield, which has a fairly wide release window of sometime in 2020 or 2021. If Starfield is nearly finished, then the Elder Scrolls 6 production can get rolling. Add this to our previous report on the company ceasing active development on The Elder Scrolls: Legends, which would potential free up dev space for Elder Scrolls 6, and it seems like we've got the beginnings of a production cycle.

Other than the hiring spree, we know that Skyrim Grandma will be an NPC in the sequel, and she's recently been written into a Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim mod. As GamesRadar+ previously reported, the fantastic Shirley is now in a new Follower mod for Skyrim. As it seems right now, we won't be getting Shirley in Elder Scrolls 6 for quite some time, so if you need more soothing Skyrim Grandma in your life, you may want to jump back into Skryim.

Prior to the latest news breaks, there was no mention of Elder Scrolls 6 at E3 2019 or Gamescom 2019. 

With this new batch of information, we're starting to get a better idea about the upcoming Skyrim Sequel - we've got a teaser trailer, a pile of rumors, and more to pick through, all of which we've gathered below. 

Read on to find out everything we know about Elder Scrolls 6.

Elder Scrolls 6 release date is far, far away

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Todd Howard has recently revealed even more about when we can expect to play Elder Scrolls 6, and I'm just warning you: you're going to need to be patient. Like, very patient. As mentioned earlier, we know that Elder Scrolls 6 won't come until after Starfield has dropped, and that's not due until 2020 at the earliest. 

Speaking to IGN, Howard said that repeatedly switching between Elder Scrolls and Fallout was exhausting for the developers at Bethesda Game studios, saying that "we had done so many things, we were going Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Fallout... You have this Starfield game in your head, you sort of say, well, when? It can be never, you could say never. But look, we're creatives, and it's like we have to make this game, and this is the time. So Elder Scrolls 6 is going to have to wait a little bit. And plus, again, Elder Scrolls Online is doing so well, it's so vibrant, that this is the time, both for us creatively and our audience".  We're not fans of dev burnout here at GamesRadar+, so if we gotta wait, we can wait.

In the same interview Howard said that "the kind of things that we're talking about are gonna take a lot of people, every BGS studio will probably be involved in [Elder Scrolls 6]. Even Starfield right now, it's not really in Austin but in Dallas and in Montreal there's staff on Starfield as well". It's good to see that a game as highly anticipated as Elder Scrolls 6 will get Bethesda's utmost attention - that can only mean good things for the title's future.

And even though Bethesda has started work on Elder Scrolls 6, the studio hasn’t contacted Jeremy Soule, the composer of Skyrim and Oblivion, about creating a soundtrack for the game. Speaking to his fans on Facebook, according to IGN Soule says that “I would never turn my back on TES, and I believe that my involvement would hinge on a creative decision on their part and where they want to take the franchise. To confirm, I am currently not involved with TES VI”. 

So those variously heavy hints imply that we've got to wait for PS5 or Xbox Project Scarlett before we even catch a whiff of Elder Scrolls 6. 

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

In case that wasn't enough evidence for you that it's going to be an age before Elder Scrolls 6 comes out, a while ago Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda, answered the age old question "what's happening with the Elder Scrolls 6?". He confirmed yet again that the game will happen at some point to GameSpot, saying "The Elder Scrolls 6 will eventually be made. It is multiple big releases down the plan for [Bethesda Game Studios]." Despite the teaser we got at E3 2018, there's no solid details about a release date. Sob. 

In an interview with GamesRadar+, stressed that Bethesda Game Studios doesn't want to be known as a team that just makes Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, pointing out Guerrilla's bravery with Horizon Zero Dawn:

"[The development teams] aren't just a vending machine where you press for the soda and they just go back and forth - they want to be able to stretch their legs creatively, or try a new idea, or do something different and not just fall into the same pattern. I think you see a lot of developers do that, and quite honestly, if we didn’t have folks break from it then you don’t get Horizon Zero Dawn. Like, how unbelievable is that game?"

So we'll be seeing at least one new Bethesda IP like Starfield making its way onto our screens before we get a Elder Scrolls 6 release date. Basically, Elder Scrolls 6 is a long, long way away. So, sit back, relax (or don't, depending on how much you was Elder Scrolls 6 to be announced), and maybe try one of the other best open world games around to occupy your time. Sorry. Again.  

Bethesda job openings could point to the start of production on Elder Scrolls 6

As mentioned above, newly discovered vacancies posted on Bethesda's website has us thinking the developer is wrapping up work on Starfield. As first spotted by a Reddit user, the company is hiring programmers who can push "the bleeding-edge of RPG development for the PC and consoles" and help with "implementation of new gameplay features: player and characters' behaviors, combat and powers mechanics, user interface, etc". 

Plus, Bethesda Game Studios is looking for a Video Editor to create trailers for games, which definitely sounds like Starfield is ready to move into the marketing campaign aspect of its production...

Elder Scrolls 6 trailer is all we've got, for now

All we've got to go on is this 36-second trailer Bethesda showed off back at E3 2018. It's exciting, it's got us ready for more, but we haven't got much else since then. Feed us, Bethesda, we're starving. Check out the trailer for Elder Scrolls 6 below, and know that we're all going hungry waiting for even a morsel of fresh news.

Elder Scrolls 6 news is sparse, but theories sure aren't

We've got a glimpse of a few new details about Elder Scrolls 6, straight from Todd Howard himself. During an interview with IGN Howard fleshed out a tiny bit on what fans can expect from the game, saying that "I think when they eventually see the game and what we have in mind, they'll understand the gap more in terms of technology and what we want it to do... The one thing [the gap between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls 6's release] does is people are still playing Skyrim, it's still one of the best-selling games. I know people joke about it online, but it's one of the best-selling games on Switch. Anything we put it out on, it becomes a hit game. And they love it, they still play it, it's almost infinitely playable, all of the mods and everything like that. And we're 8 years post-Skyrim. It lets us know going into Elder Scrolls 6 that this is a game we need to design for people to play for a decade at least, at least". 

So whatever Elder Scrolls 6 includes, gameplay-wise, it's going to be there for the long haul, just like Skyrim. There's likely going to be a bigger emphasis on replayability, which might mean that tiny choices at the beginning of the game end up massively changing big story beats. Judging from Howard's remark about the technology and "what [Bethesda] wants it to do", it sounds like the developers might be creating brand new gameplay mechanics to make Elder Scrolls 6 unlike anything we've seen before. 

On September 10 2018, Bethesda started the process to trademark the term 'Redfall', causing the internet to jump into a flurry of excitement about whether the enigmatic word could be the name of Elder Scrolls 6. Yeah, I was one of them. This is how Redfall could be related to Elder Scrolls 6: the good people of Reddit have theorised that it might be the name of a plague sweeping Tamriel, putting you slap-bang in the middle of it. 

It all boils down to - well, boils, actually, as they’re part of a disease that followers of Peryite (the Daedric Prince of pestilence, natural order, and tasks) have been infected with. In the quest The Only Cure, the blotchy red-skinned, poison-puking devotees of Peryite mention a plague that started in High Rock, leading some to wonder whether the ‘Red’ part of the trademark might be linked to the illness. The ‘-fall’ part of the term might be linked to it beginning in Daggerfall, one of High Rock’s kingdoms. It’s all a theory at this point - but one definitely worth entertaining for a while at least. 

Elder Scrolls Online

Knowing how far Elder Scrolls 6 is into development is tricky. Very tricky. Mainly because there's not really any Elder Scrolls 6 news. Back in 2016 Bethesda’s Todd Howard told TeamRock “I think it's good to tell our fans in these moments, yes, of course we are making Elder Scrolls 6. It's something we love. But it is — I have to be careful what I say — it's a very long way off. I could sit here and explain the game to you, and you would say, 'That sounds like you don't even have the technology — how long is that going to take?' And so it's something that's going to take a lot of time, what we have in mind for that game”. 

Remaining enigmatic as ever, it sounds like Howard has some pretty ambitious plans for the series. Judging by the sounds of it, we could be seeing the inclusion of some feature (or, ahem, bug) that can’t be done with current tech. Fallout 4 included building your own settlements and managing their creation of resources, and Bethesda might even be planning to improve upon Fallout 76's C.A.M.P. system to have a similar mechanic in Elder Scrolls 6. Either that, or it’s something completely new which I can’t wait to see. 

Fast-forward to 2017 and Howard changed his tune. Speaking in an interview with PCGamesN, he said that the team “have at least two major titles that they are working on before we're gonna get to Elder Scrolls 6. TES 6 is not in dev while we work on [those]”. With Fallout 76 out of the way, the one of those major titles is presumably Starfield, so Bethesda should ramp up work on Elder Scrolls 6 once that's out in the open. Fingers crossed, people. 

Elder Scrolls 6 setting is being debated EVERYWHERE

Elder Scrolls 6

Reddit user kaylenivy has been fiddling with professional photography software and thinks they might have figured out that the location of Elder Scrolls 6. Turns out there’s a strong case for it being Hammerfell. Referencing the locations of Sentinel City, the Alik’r Desert, and Volenfell, they used their locations on a map to theorize that the city you can faintly see in the distance is Sentinel City, the capital of Sentinel, one of the major kingdoms in Hammerfell. 

But replies have highlighted that the one problem with kaylenivy’s theory is that Volenfell is a Dwemer ruin, rather than an Imperial fort or crater that you can see on the left of the teaser, plus Volenfell is situated in the Alik’r Desert. Seeing as the teaser definitely doesn’t show us a desert of any kind (hence the marked lack of dunes and sand), no-one is certain that it we’ll be visiting Hammerfell in Elder Scrolls 6. 

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Details are so sparse that even vague rumours about the Elder Scrolls 6 location are difficult to come across. There’s certainly no shortage of locations, however. Both Oblivion and Skyrim took us to places inhabited dominantly by humans, so I'm hoping that a serious change is on the cards - hopefully somewhere inhabited primarily by a non-human race.

It's worth remembering that a screenshot from Morrowind appears to foreshadow Skyrim’s civil war, saying that the Akaviri (a vampiric serpent race, otherwise known as pure nightmare fuel) is just waiting for a chance to invade the country. Parted from Tamriel by one whole ocean, four races call it home. Regions include Tang Mo (home to an ape-like species), Kamal (populated by demons), Ka’Po’Tun (where you can find tiger-people, who are allied with the inhabitants of Tang Mo), and lastly Tsaesci. Tsaesci is where those bloodsucking serpentine vampires come from, and therefore according to that screenshot is the most likely to invade Tamriel. Not good. Or maybe it is, if you especially relish the idea of encountering such horrifying foes on the battlefield. 

Wherever Elder Scrolls 6 goes, it’s sure to be crammed full of quests and a whole new political climate - especially considering the consequences of Skyrim's civil war and its impact on the Empire will likely be far-reaching. 

Perhaps the side you chose in the civil war will even have an impact on the story. Think about it: a victory for the Stormcloaks would mean a weaker Empire, but the Stormcloak's racism towards elves (remember how the Dunmer are treated in Windhelm) would still be rife. Fighting for the Empire would further their suffocating bureaucracy and the lack of religious freedom - but let’s not forget that the Dark Brotherhood storyline had you assassinate the Emperor. What kind of state did that leave the Empire in? You’ll have to wait to find out...

Elder Scrolls 6 races aren’t likely to be anything new

Elder Scrolls Online

Seeing as Skyrim didn’t add any new races to the selection, it’s doubtful whether we’ll get the chance to play as anything other than elves, khajit, argonians, or humans. Sea elves are in the Elder Scrolls Online, however - meaning that they have the tiniest of chances of being included in the list of Elder Scrolls 6 races. Don’t bet on it, though. 

It seems likely we won't get Elder Scrolls 6 until we get new consoles, so that means you'll have to keep an eye out on our PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett pages so you know what the next gen consoles have in store for us.