Fallout 5 won’t launch until well after Elder Scrolls 6

Bethesda's Todd Howard has confirmed Fallout 5 is still quite some time away, despite renewed interest in the franchise.
amazon fallout tv show

Fallout is enjoying a major resurgence lately, thanks to Amazon Prime Video’s Fallout TV adaptation. The success of the show has arrived as a major surprise, with many watchers inspired to pick up the Fallout video games to explore more of the franchise’s lore and history. The latest game in the “main” series – Fallout 4 – has risen up the gaming charts this month, with tens of thousands of players hopping in to experience (and re-experience) the adventure.

But for those who may be looking for what’s next in the long-running series, there’s a long wait ahead for more. In the wake of the Fallout TV series launch, IGN spoke to Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard about the next game in the series, Fallout 5, and he confirmed that plans have not changed for the game. While it’s confirmed to be in development, it won’t arrive until after Elder Scrolls 6 launches.

Currently, neither game has a firm release date. Given Starfield, Bethesda’s last major game, took several years in development, we expect Elder Scrolls 6 will also have a long development cycle. Per comments made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer during the FTC investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard acquisition, Elder Scrolls 6 is at least “five plus years away.”

Should Bethesda follow this timeline, we can expect to see this game in 2028 or later.

Read: The Elder Scrolls 6 is at least five years away

Following this logic to the development of Fallout 5, it would be unrealistic to expect the game before 2030 – which is staggering to think about. A lot can happen in that time.

It’s fair to assume Amazon’s Fallout series will be well and truly wrapped up by then, and the hype cycle for the series will likely have vanished. It will also be 15 years since the release of Fallout 4, which is an incredibly long time to wait for a new series entry. Regardless, that does appear to be the plan, as Todd Howard has recently confirmed Elder Scrolls 6 remains the priority for Bethesda.

“I’m going to avoid putting dates on anything,” he recently told IGN. “I’ve learned that the hard way. So obviously, our focus as far as new development right now is Elder Scrolls 6, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not making plans for other things.”

Howard further shared that Fallout 76 and Starfield will be getting updates in future, with Bethesda currently hard at work on new content for both games. While work on Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5 continues, based on Howard’s comments, both projects are still very far away from getting firm dates.

While there’s plenty of hype around Fallout, thanks to Amazon’s TV adaptation, and fans rediscovering the games, there’s still going to be a long wait for the next mainline adventure in the franchise.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.