Bethesda, as a developer and publisher, has significantly altered the way the modern video game industry handles everything from releases to reviews. Earlier this year, Bethesda made the unprecedented decisions to stop providing early review copies of its games, stating that the company wished everyone to experience the games it produces “at the same time”. The year prior, Bethesda shocked the world when it unveiled Fallout 4 at E3 2015 and then released the game in less than six months after the announcement.
It’s safe to say, however, that with a resume that includes releasing a major title just months after announcing it even existed, Bethesda has a pretty good idea of when its games will be ready. That’s why so many fans of The Elder Scrolls series of games were so disappointed when Bethesda stated The Elder Scrolls 6 isn’t an active project yet – the size and scope of those games take years to create, so it’s unlikely The Elder Scrolls 6 is anything more than a pipe dream.
That hasn’t stopped speculation about the game from running rampant, however, and because of the earlier Fallout 4 turnaround time, some well-known industry insiders have been projecting a 2017 release date for The Elder Scrolls 6. Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush, was quoted as saying that he thinks “Bethesda is close” to being done their next Elder Scrolls game.
No luck for fans hoping for a sneaky The Elder Scrolls 6 2017 release, then, although it’s still a remote possibility that Bethesda is keeping the game under wraps for another big E3 reveal that culminates in a same-year release. In the meantime, it appears that Bethesda is keeping busy supporting Skyrim Special Edition, the remaster of the 2011 smash-hit RPG. The fact that it has already been five years since the last The Elder Scrolls game, combined with Bethesda’s reputation as a prolific video game publisher, is likely what has caused rumors about The Elder Scrolls 6 to persist in spite of the company’s hard stance on its lack of development to this point.
For now, though, with The Elder Scrolls 6 looking as far away as it ever has, it’s nice that those involved with it can freely joke about its development. At the very least, Hines’ little dig at Pachter’s prediction confirms that The Elder Scrolls 6 is still very much on Bethesda’s radar, which could indicate that is development cycle has begun in earnest – or, if nothing else, that it will begin in the near future.
The Elder Scrolls 6 has not been announced for any platforms or assigned a release date at this time.