The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched to critical acclaim in 2011. It was heralded as a new era for video games, praised for its sense of freedom and a packed open world. The game achieved such a strong, sustained response that it was re-released across multiple platform generations and consoles. Naturally, this has meant extremely high expectations for the upcoming sequel, The Elder Scrolls 6.
While first announced in 2018, it now appears fans will be waiting much, much longer for this release. Per comments made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer during the FTC investigation into Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard acquisition, The Elder Scrolls 6 is at least ‘five plus years away’.
In fact, it’s so far away, Xbox has reportedly yet to decide which consoles it will launch on. Per IGN, Spencer was reluctant to confirm any plans for the game during the FTC case, citing its far-off development and ongoing debate around its exclusivity.
While Spencer has, in the past, implied The Elder Scrolls 6 would be an Xbox-exclusive game, given a new edict for Bethesda titles, he reportedly seemed less sure in court.
‘It’s many years away, but it’s a game we have announced we would begin working on. I think we’ve been a little unclear on what platforms it will launch on given how far out the game is,’ Spencer reportedly said. ‘It’s difficult for us right now to nail down exactly what platforms that game will launch on.’
‘As I said with Elder Scrolls 6, it’s so far out it’s hard to understand what the platforms will even be at this point. It’s the same team that’s finishing Starfield, which comes out this September. So we’re talking about it being likely five-plus years away.’
Realistically, The Elder Scrolls 6 will likely appear even further down the track, as Bethesda Game Studios is currently solely focussed on the upcoming launch of Starfield, which is set to dominate the video game discourse in 2023.
TES6 been flagged as the ‘next’ game for the studio, but a long development cycle, massive open world and high expectations post-Skyrim will require ample time and expertise.
Should The Elder Scrolls 6 launch on Xbox’s current timeline, it won’t appear until at least 2028. At that stage, a full 17 years since the launch of Skyrim. Put it this way – teenagers who grew up with the game will be well into their mid-30s when this sequel eventually launches.