Ever since Bethesda announced that a new Elder Scrolls was on the way, realistically we've still got a few more years to go before we can dive back into a new adventure in Tamriel. It's important to remember that Bethesda was very clear that the early reveal shown in 2018 was simply a way for the studio to show that they are still very much dedicated to single-player experiences, though that doesn't mean we're totally in the dark about what's next in Tamriel. For those as excited as we are, here's what we know so far about The Elder Scrolls 6.
First question: Where is The Elder Scrolls 6 in terms of developmental progress?
First things first: we know The Elder Scrolls 6 is going to be launching after Starfield, Bethesda's new IP, which means the primary focus is on that space-faring universe versus that of our beloved Tamriel.
“A couple of years ago I talked to Todd [Howard] about clarifying with everybody that TES6 was not going to be our next game, and we had two other big games that we wanted to do first. So we had already put that out there several years ago, but we were very vague on what those other two titles were," Said VP of Marketing Pete Hines in a previous interview with FZ.se.
“So it was just in conversations with him [and] folks on my team to say, look, why don’t we consider putting out a little bit more of a roadmap for the studio that explains to folks, ‘Here’s what we’re doing—yes, we’re making this game called Starfield and here’s what it is, and yes, we’re going to make Elder Scrolls 6, but we have these other two games to develop and make first.’ It’s just so that folks have a better sense of where we are and where we’re headed.”
Another reason for making sure the total focus on specific titles at a time is that the team wanted to stay true to the game, which means giving it what it needs to be the creative tale that fans want and not a rushed experience or a miscommunication like what happened with the recent Fallout entry. "I think Todd and his team have earned the right, given the quality of this stuff, to be able to say, 'We know everybody really wants [TES6], but we as creative people want to be able to do stuff that we're really passionate about,'" Hines explained to GameSpot. "They wanted to be able to self-determine things they worked on next, whether it was existing stuff or whether it was new IP."
Second question: Where does The Elder Scrolls 6 Take Place?
Howard previously sat down with Eurogamer to talk about the "years away" entry of The Elder Scrolls VI and though he's keeping specifics hush-hush, he did open up a little bit. And we do mean a "little" bit.
When asked about where exactly in Tamriel the new game would be set, he said “I obviously would say yes [you can guess the location], but you can’t – it’s intentional. You can rule some things out. And you can rule some things in.” Sounds like somebody that doesn't actually have a plan, right? Fair, but incorrect, “The first thing we do is the world so we’ve known for a while where it’s set."
We're going to just roll on past the Black Marsh - let's be real for a second, it's not realistic unless the teaser trailer was total bullshit.
GamesRadar editor Leon Hurley also weighed in on the Yokuda possibility with evidence that's a bit hard to ignore back in 2018:
I know the smart money's on The Elder Scrolls 6 being in High Rock, but I keep looking at these 3 peninsula in the trailer & thinking about the lost island of Yokuda. That landscape does look a bit like a tidal wave scoured it flat. pic.twitter.com/665lb6W4ij— Leon Hurley (@LeonHurley) June 11, 2018
Final Question: Will The Elder Scrolls 6 Support Mods?
Yes. Though not explicitly stated, modding is an intricate part of Bethesda's platform - so much so that they've legally helped fan-driven mod projects that completely overhauled their games. When I interviewed the dev team back in August during a Fallout 76 private screening, I asked about the importance of modding and whether or not it will be coming to the online game and the team said yes - eventually - but added that they are dedicated to continuing to grow with that creative platform. With a statement like that, we can't imagine that they'd pass up the opportunity with a franchise that has inspired some of the greatest mod projects to date.
I personally have tons of theories about what's next, most that I have no real proof on - just hunches - so if you're interested in those, feel free to hit me up over on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy! I'm a huge lover of the entire series - yes, including the online game - and am stupidly obsessed with all of the lore that goes with it.