Elder Scrolls 6 is still a long way off, with Bethesda's sci-fi project Starfield yet to come before it arrives. When the new Elder Scrolls finally does get here, it will be here to stay for at least as long as Skyrim, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard confirmed in a recent interview.
Asked by IGN about the likely decade-plus gap between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls 6, Howard first pointed to Elder Scrolls Online and praised its developers at Zenimax Online Studios. "It's not that we're not feeding high-quality Elder Scrolls to people," Howard countered, before admitting he knows many people are hungrier than ever for a new trip to Tamriel via the unique sort of open-world RPG that Bethesda Game Studios creates.
"They want a certain type of experience that is very, um, it's what we've done," Howard said. "You can pick up this water bottle, you can do X, Y, and Z. Things that we love. The gap in between is obviously going to be long, it already is. On one hand, I think it's good to miss things. I think that makes people come to it with really fresh eyes. And 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." That mention of technology presumably hints at the changes Bethesda could be making to the Elder Scrolls 6 engine.
"The one thing [the gap] 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."
I can see the memes about playing Elder Scrolls 6 on your PS7 and flying car heads-up display now. But Howard's right - if everybody really was sick of Skyrim, people wouldn't still be buying it almost 8 years later. Assuming Elder Scrolls 6 lives up to its predecessor, there's no reason to think people will tire of it any more quickly.
Take a peek into the more immediate future with our Bethesda E3 2019 predictions, or see what's big in games and entertainment this very week with our latest Release Radar video.