Being an Elder Scrolls fan is an exercise in patience. In 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim graced gamers worldwide with the kind of immersive experience that's matched only by a few in terms of scope and depth, establishing itself firmly as one of the most successful games of all time. After a decade-long wait, fans are still waiting for news about its successor, The Elder Scrolls 6. But, as it seems, the wait is far from over.
The latest news about Elder Scrolls comes directly from the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, during the Microsoft vs FTC hearing regarding Activision's acquisition.
Among other things, like Starfield and its exclusivity, Spencer was questioned about the platforms where TES6 will be on. However, his response hinted at a distant launch: "It's so far out it's hard to understand what the platforms will even be," he said. According to him, the game is "five plus years away", implying a 2028 release date at the earliest.
Asked about Elder Scrolls VI platforms: "It’s so far out it’s hard to understand what the platforms will even be…" ... "We’re talking about a game that’s five-plus years away"
Spencer fuzzy on whether he previously made a public statement saying it'd be Xbox-only
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) June 23, 2023
The initial announcement of TES6 during E3 2018, followed by radio silence, has left fans speculating over its progress. But Bethesda Game Studios, known for its one-game-at-a-time approach, has been preoccupied with Starfield, announced the same time as TES6. Starfield's imminent release in September suggests that TES6's development is still in its early stages.
The delay has fans and industry pundits speculating about the future of TES6. With the probable launch of the next Xbox and the PlayStation 6 around 2028, the likelihood of TES6 not being around until the next generation of consoles launches is thrown into question.
Spencer's hesitance in naming the platforms for TES6 could suggest an air of uncertainty surrounding console exclusivity. While he had previously hinted in 2021 that Elder Scrolls 6 might be an Xbox exclusive, he has since backtracked on these statements.
However, even amidst this ambiguity, it's important to note that Bethesda is no stranger to multi-platform releases. Skyrim itself debuted on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC and then expanded to a multitude of platforms, including Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Xbox One, PS4, and VR.
If nothing else, Bethesda has proven itself to be the maker of marquee titles. From Elder Scrolls to Fallout and now, Starfield, Bethesda more than deserves the benefit of the doubt. Besides, if it's true that The Elder Scrolls 6 is coming out in 2028, it'll be the swan song of Todd Howard, which means that the long-time development lead of the storied franchise will likely want to go out with a bang.
For now, fans can look forward to Skyrim most likely making its way to the next Nintendo console as well as the PlayStation 6 and whatever the next-gen Xbox is going to be called.