Elder Scrolls 6 could launch as late as 2021 because of a battle over that Bethesda Redfall trademark

UPDATE: Jay J. Falconer, author of the Redfall series, has got in touch with us with the below information:

Elder Scrolls 6 is a very, very long way away, and if this battle is anything to go by, then the ride to get there certainly isn’t going to be an easy one. Youtuber Skullzi TV has spotted that BookBreeze.com is opposing the Redfall trademark application against ZeniMax Media (i.e. the owners of Bethesda Game Studios) over their attempt to trademark the term ‘Redfall’. Ok, that might sound about as exciting as a minor plot point in Law and Order, but I spoke to our legal team and turns out it’s when you dig into the trial dates via the United States Trademark and Patent Office that things get interesting. 

Look into the trial schedule and it shows that deadlines have been scheduled for the major points in the case, the latest being in August 2020. I don’t think anyone was under the illusion that we’d be getting Elder Scrolls before then, but this is the cold, hard evidence that with a trademark battle going on there really is no chance that the sequel to Skyrim will be coming out any time soon. Although that might mean more time for the studio to work on the Elder Scrolls 6 engine.

With this opposition going on, there’s little chance we’ll hear anything official about the full title either (or get a new trailer - unless Bethesda was to just run the game with ‘Elder Scrolls 6’ as the title in the meantime, like it did with their E3 teaser trailer). Yeah, that makes me sad too. That also means that without a title and in absence of any new assets we can’t speculate where it’ll take place, or what it’ll be about. Now I’m double sad.

So, why is BookBreeze.com opposing ZeniMax’s Redfall trademark? Redfall is the name of an established series of post-apocalyptic survival thrillers by Jay J. Falconer, which BookBreeze.com publishes. The whole case comes down to the argument that the general public might confuse Zenimax’s Redfall game with the book Redfall (which would understably get confusing should ZeniMax want to publish lore books or comics about Elder Scrolls 6), and if BookBreeze.com ever wanted to sell the gaming rights to Falconer’s book, it would obviously want the title to be ‘Redfall’. In terms of next steps, ZeniMax might abandon the Redfall trademark and call Elder Scrolls 6 something different altogether to avoid the legal dispute might ensure (if indeed, Redfall is the proposed title for the next Scrolls game).

Or, ZeniMax could stick it out and continue to persevere with its trademark application, which means at the moment it doesn’t look like it’ll be over until after August 2020, which means that with Starfield still due to come out before Elder Scrolls 6, we’re still in for a long wait when it comes to the next instalment in the phenomenally successful franchise. Boooo.

Want to get more Elder Scrolls goodness in your life? According to an ESO dev, there will be a different console generation out before we get a chance to play it.

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.