Two sure-to-be legendary RPGs, The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield, are being developed by Bethesda Softworks. But which one will be arriving first? Ever since the release of Fallout 4, Bethesda fans have been eagerly awaiting the next massive single-player game from the legendary studio behind the Elder Scrolls franchise. Many assumed The Elder Scrolls 6, the follow-up to the immensely popular Skyrim, would be next for Bethesda after Fallout 4’s release.
But then came the E3 2018 announcement of Starfield, a new sci-fi RPG and a new franchise for the studio. Suddenly, it became unclear when exactly players would be able to get their hands on the next entry in the Elder Scrolls series. Would Elder Scrolls 6 come first? Would Starfield?
While neither game has a release date (or even a release window), there are clues that can point towards which game will be arriving first. Here’s what is known so far about when to expect Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.
The answer to which game is coming first, according to Bethesda’s Todd Howard, is Starfield. In an interview with IGN, Howard commented how the studio for many years had a cycle of working on Elder Scrolls, then Fallout, then Elder Scrolls, then Fallout again. The team began wanting to branch out creatively, and that’s how the idea of Starfield came together.
Unfortunately, that means fans of the Elder Scrolls will have to wait a massive amount of time between games. Skyrim released in 2012, meaning it will likely have been more than a decade before players get another single-player RPG set in the Elder Scrolls series. However, there is another Elder Scrolls game that continues to release new content – The Elder Scrolls Online. The fact that ESO exists, and continues to release new expansions and content, is one reason why Howard says the Bethesda team felt more comfortable putting Elder Scrolls 6 on the backburner.
You have this Starfield game in your head, you sort of say, well, when? It can be never, you could say never. But look, we’re creatives, and it’s like we have to make this game, and this is the time.
Bethesda senior VP of marketing and communications, Pete Hines, has also stated Starfield will be coming before the new Elder Scrolls. Hines responded to a fan on Twitter last year asking about Elder Scrolls 6 information by saying Starfield will be releasing first, and considering nothing is known about Starfield at all at the moment, new details about Elder Scrolls 6 likely won’t be coming for another several years.
It’s after Starfield, which you pretty much know nothing about. So if you’re coming at me for details now and not years from now, I’m failing to properly manage your expectations.
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) May 10, 2020
It’s going to be a long wait for Elder Scrolls fans, but hopefully Starfield will make the wait a little more bearable. Unfortunately, aside from the game’s announcement trailer and the fact that, according to Howard, it is being worked on by multiple studios (instead of just Bethesda Game Studios), it’s unclear what fans should expect from the title. Information about The Elder Scrolls 6 is even more scarce, with fans still speculating which location on the continent of Tamriel the game will take place. The future remains uncertain, but what is certain is that fans will be exploring the new world (or worlds) of Starfield long before exploring Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls 6.