Ever since Skyrim's launch in 2011, Elder Scrolls fans have been clamoring for a new game to sink their teeth into. It's fair for them to do so, with us having yet to receive a mainline Elder Scrolls game on a next-generation console. And no, The Elder Scrolls Online — despite its wholesome charm and awesomeness — simply doesn't count.
Luckily, at E3, Bethesda finally broke radio silence on The Elder Scrolls 6. Here's everything you need to know.
What is The Elder Scrolls 6?
The Elder Scrolls 6 would be, you guessed it, the sixth mainline game in the Elder Scrolls universe. For the uninitiated, Elder Scrolls games tend to be open-world RPGs that feature the classic Bethesda formula: critical decision making, rich and deep lore, massive breathtaking open worlds, memorable characters, and some of the most fun sidequests you'll find.
Elder Scrolls followed this formula even in the earliest days when technology wasn't fully supportive of such ambitions. It wasn't until the third entry — Morrowind — that the games began to take on the form that we've become used to, with each game being progressively more impressive than the ones before it.
Bethesda's biggest deviation came in 2014 when they released The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMORPG that would feature many of Tamriel's iconic locales in one massive world.
What's the story so far?
Despite The Elder Scrolls being a long-running series, the games aren't necessarily connected. With the exception of the first two titles, each Elder Scrolls game has its own storyline. They're all set in the world of Tamriel and they all feed off the same lore, but the stories are intentionally self-contained so as to allow new players to jump in wherever they want and not feel lost.
For that reason, we can't really draw any conclusions about what will happen in The Elder Scrolls 6 based on previous titles. Oblivion was all about fighting demons at the doorsteps of hell, while Skyrim was about you finding a dragon within yourself and shouting at people very loudly and violently. The Elder Scrolls 6 could be about, well, anything. Time travel? Aliens? Sweet rolls? We don't know. But you know we'll be clawing for any details we can as the months move on.
Where will it take place?
No one knows! To date, we've seen locales such as Morrowind, Skyrim, Cyrodiil, High Rock, and Hammerfell represented in one form or another, not including places like Elsweyr in Elder Scrolls Online.
If we assume Bethesda wants to take us to a new location, we can guess that Elder Scrolls might take place in either Elsweyr (Home of the Khajit race), Black Marsh (home of the Argonians), or Valenwood (home of the wood elves). These locations are heavily referenced throughout Elder Scrolls lore as some of the game's most prominent races come from these lands.
In the teaser, you can note a strange collection of peninsulas on the coast of the ocean area.
There are theories that suggest some other lesser known locations could be featured. In the very short, uneventful, and seemingly random teaser trailer for the game, you can notice a strange collection of peninsulas on the coast of the ocean area. Interestingly enough, this terrain seems to match up with that of the lost islands of Yokuda, which was once home of the Redguards before a catastrophic event sunk much of the continent.
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
Other guesses point to High Rock. High Rock — which is where prominent cities like Daggerfall and Shornhelm exist — was heavily featured in the first two Elder Scrolls games and in Elder Scrolls Online. The theory comes from the presence of mountainous terrain in the trailer, however, it's entirely possible that it's coincidental.
How far along is development?
It's safe to say that The Elder Scrolls 6 is still largely in its planning phase. During E3 2019, Todd Howard told IGN that "everyone should be very patient" in regards to The Elder Scrolls 6, so it's likely that even if the game is currently in development, it isn't far enough along to show off in any way just yet.
On top of that, Bethesda's main studio is also working on Starfield as well, which is an entirely new IP that is equally as secretive as The Elder Scrolls 6. Ahead of the company's E3 announcement, it was said that we might not even see work on The Elder Scrolls 6 begin until Starfield was close to finished, so it's truly unknown just how far along either game is.
Long story short, we still have a long wait ahead. It's an unusual move for Bethesda, who has historically preferred to announce games when they're pretty deep into development. Chalk it up to the restlessness of Elder Scrolls fans who were worried that Bethesda might be done with the series thanks to Elder Scrolls Online's existence, but they announced the game far sooner than we're used to and we'll just have to be patient.
Will it launch for PlayStation 4?
Given that the PlayStation 4's lifecycle is very close to being over, it would be shocking if The Elder Scrolls 6 launched on it. With the announcement of the PlayStation 5 set to occur sometime in early 2020 with a release later in the year, it simply wouldn't make sense for the game to not launch on next-generation consoles.
When will we learn more?
It's tough to say when we might be treated to the first details about The Elder Scrolls 6. Bethesda head Todd Howard has acknowledged the importance of keeping fans engaged with new expectations (that was the whole point of this early announcement), but he also knows it's sensible not to say too much, too fast. With E3 2020 coming up, and newer consoles on the horizon, now might be the perfect time for Bethesda to show off more information. Of course, it's still anyone's guess as to when exactly the series will continue, so make sure to keep checking in as we update you as more information comes to light.
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