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Todd Howard hints at a potential The Elder Scrolls 6 release date

Elder Scrolls map
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls 6 might not be ready to release until 2026, according to a new interview with Todd Howard.

In an interview with IGN, it was put to Howard that "it's going to be roughly, probably, 15 years between Elder Scrolls games" because of Bethesda's current focus on Starfield. A 15-year gap from Skyrim's original release in 2011 would mean a follow-up could potentially arrive in 2026.

Howard doesn't definitively confirm or deny that estimate, stating that "people can do the math with what our schedules look like," but did state earlier in the interview that "when you're making a game, it takes 4-5 years." With the Starfield release date set for November 2022, a development cycle of that length could mean Elder Scrolls 6 arrives in 2026 or 2027.

That's not a problem by itself, as Howard points out that the ongoing success of both Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls help keep the franchise "vibrant" and healthy, but also notes that that proposed 15-year gap isn't necessarily ideal. It was, however, probably necessary, as he acknowledges that Starfield was something of a "now or never" project for Bethesda, which the company might never have made if they'd gone straight to the next Elder Scrolls game.

The development cycles attached to those games mean that it might be 2030 before we get to see Fallout 5. The game exists as a "one-pager" at Bethesda right now, but four or five years after that Elder Scrolls window means we might not return to the Wasteland for a decade.

Todd Howard wants people to be playing The Elder Scrolls 6 for "a decade at least."

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.