Time is ticking on and we still don’t have any more brand new details about Elder Scrolls 6, and I have some bad news: that wait is likely to go on for a while yet. Yes, we’ve been blessed with a 37-second teaser that’s already given people a ton to theorise about despite the fact it’s just a slow pan of a coastline - yeah, ok, I might be one of those people but anyway - and yes, we know that Todd Howard and his cabal already know where it’s set but you’ll just have to read below to find out exactly how many details we’ve scrounged from the morsels Bethesda have seen fit to drop down to us.
Warning! Below are story spoilers for the finale of the Dark Brotherhood questline in Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Read at your own risk!
Elder Scrolls 6 release date is far, far away
Pete Hines, VP of PR and marketing at Bethesda, has been doing the rounds again talking about DOOM and Skyrim on the Switch and in VR. But of course, the age old question of "What's happening with the Elder Scrolls 6?" just had to come up. 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+, Hines said that he knows everyone wants to know about Elder Scrolls 6:
"I went to Todd [Howard, director of Bethesda Game Studios] a couple of E3s ago and said 'Everybody’s going to ask us about The Elder Scrolls 6. You have to help me, you have to help me come out and say what the studio’s path is, and when The Elder Scrolls 6 is coming, to try and manage expectations.'"
But more importantly, he stressed that Bethesda Game Studios doesn't want to be known as a team that just makes Fallout and Elder Scrolls games (despite the fact that Fallout 76 has been announced, *cough*), 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. Like, how unbelievable is that game?"
So, perhaps we'll be seeing a few new Bethesda IPs make their way onto our screens before we get a Elder Scrolls 6 release date. Elder Scrolls 6 is a long, long way away. Sorry about that. In a recent tweet Pete Hines confirmed that those two games you thought needed to be ticked off before any discussions about the Elder Scrolls 6 release date could happen weren't The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (anyway, Bethesda Game Studios didn't actually work on either of those titles, although they were published by Bethesda Softworks). Now we know those "other big games" are Fallout 76 and Rage 2. 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.
Cause BGS has two other big games it is going to do first. https://t.co/2ynj4n9qnNFebruary 2, 2018
It's not a surprise, really. Bethesda only tend to announce games once they’re almost ready for release - so it’s no surprise that we haven’t heard anything concrete about Elder Scrolls 6 yet beyond the teaser and a few enigmatic quotes. We’re betting that if (and that’s a colossal-sized if) development has already started we should get a teaser in 2019 or early 2020 for a release in 2021. Hopefully...
Although a while back a grand total of 20 positions were advertised on Bethesda’s job website back in 2017, all of them based in Rockville, Maryland. From Quest Designers to Concept Artists, Bethesda certainly seems to be ramping up for a big project. Fallout 76 and Rage 2 are on the horizon, so it seems unlikely that the company would be introducing new roles into those projects so late. Might these new jobs be for people who are going to work work on The Elder Scrolls 6? We can only hope...
Elder Scrolls 6 trailer is FINALLY HERE
Well if you thought because Fallout 76 on the horizon meant that Bethesda had taken its eyes off the ball when it comes to Elder Scrolls 6, you'd be wrong. Because Elder Scrolls 6 is officially coming. Here's the 37-second trailer Bethesda showed off at E3 2018, in all its glory.
We're excited to announce our next chapter, The Elder Scrolls VI. pic.twitter.com/3aF5evUsnYJune 11, 2018
Elder Scrolls 6 news is sparse, but theories sure aren't
On September 10, Bethesda trademarked 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. It’s worth pointing out that Redfall is the name of a post-apocalyptic thriller book series, hinting that Bethesda might not want to stop at one phenomenally-successful post-apocalyptic game and feels like adding another to their roster. Now I’ve got that bit out of the way, onto 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.
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 if Fallout 76 builds on that mechanic it could be an indication that Bethesda is looking to include a similar thing 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]”.
Those two titles are Fallout 76 and Rage 2, so Bethesda should begin to work on Elder Scrolls 6 once those two titles are out in the open. Fingers crossed, people.
Elder Scrolls 6 setting is being debated EVERYWHERE
Reddit user kaylenivy has been fiddling with professional photography software and thinks they might have figured out that the location of Elder Scrolls 6. And - in case the header to this section didn’t give you a clue - 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.
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
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.
Elder Scrolls 6 platforms will let everyone play!
Safe to bet it’ll be released on PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X, plus - depending on when it gets released - the next generation of consoles. We'd be surprised if Bethesda would limit the Elder Scrolls 6 platforms to just one. If they did I'd probably cry a bit. And then cry a bit more.
Read more: The 10 best open-world games of all time