I’m going to jump straight in here and say that Elder Scrolls 6 news is still thin on the ground, despite the fact that dragons and necromancy are appearing soon in Elder Scrolls Online. Booo. We still have that hallowed 37-second trailer for Elder Scrolls 6 and a handful of quotes from Bethesda about what to expect in the next instalment in its fantasy franchise, but there’s been no official news from Bethesda so far and yes, that makes me sad too. Hopefully later on in 2019 that’ll all change. I’d settle for another trailer (heck, even just another 20 seconds would do), but until that time comes you’ll have to make do with the scant information we currently have. Sorry about that. On the plus side, there’s plenty to speculate about when it comes to Elder Scrolls 6, from where it’ll be set to when the release date will be (spoiler: not for a very, very, very long time. Like, a next-gen-console level of waiting). Everything we know about the game is listed below, along with what each scrap of information could mean for your next trip into Tamriel, so put down that edition of The Lusty Argonian Maid and get reading!
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
We know that Bethesda has started work on Elder Scrolls 6, but so far 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”. That’s about as clear as things can get, and raises questions about how far along Elder Scrolls 6 is in the development cycle - however, Bethesda has said before that Elder Scrolls 6 is going to be released after Starfield, so sadly Soule’s news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Oh yeah, and apparently Elder Scrolls 6 is arriving in 2019. Excuse me while I guffaw in the corner. Yup, Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities predicted in this article that “Elder Scrolls 6 is coming in 2019. The flop of Fallout 76 makes a hit more essential for Bethesda, and I expect them to accelerate development of ES6”, but by his own admission he did also make the same prediction in 2016 and 2017. Take this with a bucket - no, a barrel - of salt.
In contrast, according to the game director of ZeniMax Online Studios, Matt Firor, we've got a long while to wait before Elder Scrolls 6 appears. "The easiest thing is look at how it was announced; it was Starfield and then [Elder Scrolls 6]. You can go back and count the years between Bethesda Game Studios releases, and you'll get the idea that [The Elder Scrolls 6 is] not coming anytime soon," he told Gamespot. Gosh darn it. When pushed to say more, Firor said that he doesn't "even know what the world is going to be like when it comes out; there will be a different console generation by then, I'm sure. Who knows. But I know we're free and clear for a long time". 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.
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.
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.
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 was ramping up for a big project. Might these new jobs have been for people who were going to work on The Elder Scrolls 6? We can only hope...
- Waiting for Elder Scrolls 6? "There will be a different console generation by then," says ESO dev
- 33 mods you should download for Skyrim Special Edition on Xbox One, PS4 and PC
Elder Scrolls 6 trailer is FINALLY HERE
Finally, it's happened: Elder Scrolls 6 is officially coming. Here's the 36-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 2018, 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.
- Bethesda's Redfall trademark is making people wonder if Elder Scrolls 6 could be set during a deadly plague
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
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.
- That crater, that coastline, that font: time to talk about whether the Elder Scrolls 6 could be set in High Rock
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 should explore the dark past of these 7 locations: prepare to be asked some tricky moral questions...
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.
- If you’re bored with Elder Scrolls, these secret races could be exactly what you’ve been waiting for
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 - PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett. 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.
- The 10 best open world games of all time