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The Elder Scrolls 6: everything we know about this upcoming epic

How exactly do you top Skyrim? That’s the unenviable challenge for The Elder Scrolls 6. Let’s dive into everything we know about this blockbuster.

Time to dust off an old cliche and state the bleeding obvious: The Elder Scrolls 6 is a highly anticipated game. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

But how highly anticipated? It’s hard to argue that every gamer and his dog hasn’t taken interest in this saga, because The Elder Scrolls 6 isn’t just following The Elder Scrolls 5. It’s following Skyrim, goddamnit, one of the very best and most memorable action RPGs of all time, making a splash on PC, two generations of Playstation and Xbox, not to mention Nintendo Switch, and even VR.

There’s a lot to be excited about. Let’s dive into everything we know (and a few things we don’t) about the Bethesda epic.

The Elder Scrolls 6
Image: The Elder Scrolls Online / Bethesda

The rollout timeline: when will get get an Elder Scrolls 6 release date?

Remember 2018? A more innocent time, when the worst we had to deal with was this guy, and thoughts of a global pandemic were the stuff of science fiction. In E3 of that year, Bethesda announced The Elder Scrolls 6 to much fanfare with a tiny trailer that you would’ve missed if you blinked.

Other than accruing an obscene amount of views, as well as some bleakly hilarious comments from fans, the reveal trailer tells us next to nada.

Though as recently as June this year in an interview with the British paper, The Telegraph, Bethesda chief Todd Howard had one message for the fans: cool your jets. Euphemistically, he offered, “It’s good to think of The Elder Scrolls 6 as still being in a design [phase].” 

A couple of years further back at E3 2016, he said this about the development of The Elder Scrolls 6:

“It’s something that 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 very long time, what we have in mind for that game.”

So even a whole Olympics ago, Bethesda was setting fans up for disappointment, or at least confusion.

But what about that tech? Has it caught up to the ambition of its creators? In the aforementioned interview with The Telegraph, Howard seemed to shed light on the making of The Elder Scrolls 6 in a more concrete way. Apparently it all centres around the epically titled Creation Engine 2 and another Bethesda blockbuster, Starfield.

As Howard explains, Creation Engine 2 is “…like a new tech base. The vast majority of our development work is on Starfield right now but everyone works on everything so the projects kind of intertwine.”

In the context of faraway deliverables and vague non-promises, this seems like the most solid piece on intel out of Bethesda regarding the iconic action RPG. Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 are being developed in parallel. And with Starfield due to land in November of 2022, one would hope that The Elder Scrolls 6 would be well on its way by then.

Which platforms will The Elder Scrolls 6 be released on?

As soon as Microsoft acquired Bethesda earlier in 2021, fans became suspicious that The Elder Scrolls 6 wouldn’t be the same cross-platform monolith Skyrim has turned into. With Xbox now owning the publishing rights to Bethesda’s stunning library of games including FalloutDOOM, Dishonored, and more, it’s entirely possible that upcoming games in these franchises will be exclusive to Xbox consoles and Windows PCs.

Now that Bethesda has formally announced a release date and exclusivity details surrounding their 2022 sci-fi RPG Starfield, we have a better idea than ever as to which systems The Elder Scrolls 6 will be playable on.

And – sorry in advance to our PlayStation readers – it’s looking as though The Elder Scrolls 6 will be exclusive to PC and Xbox. This is the plan for Starfield, and it’s likely to be the plan for The Elder Scrolls 6 too.

Anything could change, of course, but given the extensive modding communities which develop around Elder Scrolls games such as Skyrim or Oblivion, playing on PC will almost always provide the longest lasting and most valuable player experience. And with Microsoft at the helm, it’s safe to bet this game will be releasing on PC.

What could it be?

All games in the franchise have been set on the continent of Tamriel, with previous adventures focussing on nations within, like Morrowind, Cyrodiil, and Skyrim. But with no subtitle declared for version 6, what can we expect? Maybe an even bigger game, that spans the entire width of the continent?

Maybe the freedom to roam across borders and escape the main narrative will be part of its charm. With such a long gestation period, one can only hope that it will exceed the heights of Skyrim in story and gameplay.

And despite the now advanced years of Skyrim, it maintains a freshness through an extensive modding community. This also feeds into the long term thinking of its creators; sure, people have to wait a while, but if they play their cards right, fans could be dining out on The Elder Scrolls 6 experience for decades. It’s a tantalising prospect, especially when you consider how mods have enhanced VR titles like Blade and Sorcery.

Fan theories have been grasping at every available straw Bethesda has presented them, with one new year’s tweet on January 1st, 2021 seeming to give a clue as to a possible location for The Elder Scrolls 6. The image shows a map of Tamriel with three lights on it, accompanied by the caption “Transcribe the past and map the future”.

It’s all very tinfoil hat, but excited viewers took the light within Skyrim to indicate “the past”, with the other two lights indicating “the future”. One sits south-west of Skyrim – the region of Hammerfell where the Redguard race call home, and one sits above Skyrim, possibly in reference to Starfield, being set in space and all.

So, Hammerfell is a possibility. But let’s leave it at a ‘possibility’ until Bethesda shares some concrete information.

Plagued by uncertainty, waylaid by COVID, hell, throw in a multi-billion dollar corporate takeover into the mix – the saga of The Elder Scrolls 6 development has been as dramatic as the game itself. But this is a franchise that has etched itself into the collective consciousness (and skin, see below) of gamers all over the world.

So are they about to give up on the prospect of The Elder Scrolls 6? Not a chance. Let’s just hope it arrives before this happens.

Stay tuned to this page for all the updates in the months (and years) to come!