The Elder Scrolls 6 is the upcoming installment in Bethesda's flagship RPG series, set in the fantasy continent of Tamriel. Although the game is confirmed to be in development, developer Bethesda has been very cagey about giving away any concrete information. The Daedra is in the details, but here's what we know so far.
The Elder Scrolls 6 News, Rumors, Leaks
- Bethesda's Pete Hines confirms to an untrusting fan on Twitter that TES6 still isn't in development:
Without an official announcement little is known about the next Elder Scrolls game, though we may be able to infer a few details from the info that's out there.
The expansions to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might themselves hint at features that could return in a more developed fashion, such as Hearthfire's domestic elements that focused on the player's homestead and family. Bethesda seem quite keen on expanding these mechanics, especially in the wake of Fallout 4's settlement-focused gameplay.
Or perhaps, like in Dragonborn, The Elder Scrolls 6 will allow travel between different land masses and the ability to ride monstrous beasts.
Intriguingly, Bethesda has mentioned their enthusiasm for emerging VR technology, and given the state it might advance to by the time The Elder Scrolls 6 comes around, the next game could take the famed immersion of the series to a whole new level.
On the tech side, we're also wondering whether the next Elder Scrolls installment will be made with a new game engine. Fallout 4, built with Skyrim's Creation Engine, was criticized for looking dated. On the other hand, the developer tools associated with that architecture have kept the modding scene alive and active to this day.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Release date
Four years passed between the release of Oblivion and Skyrim, so it's no wonder that many fans are feeling TES:6 is long overdue. But Bethesda prides itself on doing things differently. In fact, their Vice President Peter Hines, at the Elder Scrolls Online launch event, stressed that they would not be rushing the sequel to capitalize on the success of Skyrim:
Hines has taken care to clarify things when the press jumps to conclusions about whether the game is in development, but both himself and Todd Howard (Bethesda's director and executive producer) have confirmed that it is on the way.
That's the story so far, as far as public information goes.But Bethesda has a reputation for secrecy and they could be pursuing a similar strategy to the one they employed with Fallout 4, a big hit that was kept under wraps until shortly before release. If that's the plan this time around, they must be feeling the pressure to formally announce The Elder Scrolls 6 soon. In fact, recent statements by Hines suggest some frustration with the public's constant demands for new adventures in Tamriel:
They're not a two-button vending machine, where first we press Elder Scrolls and then we press Fallout, and then we press Elder Scrolls and then we press Fallout... They've now made four games in a row, all of which were named Game of the Year, and they have a right to decide what they're interested in working on next and which direction they want to go.
Hines also stressed his faith in Todd Howard's creative direction and reiterated the company's desire to not endlessly repeat the same development cycle.
Bethesda's official job board has been advertising quite a few positions, including a Quest Designer with experience with the Elder Scrolls Construction kit. It's generally expected that The Elder Scrolls 6 won't see the light of day until 2019. Could one of our talented readers with some story ideas get on their team and hurry them along?
The Elder Scrolls 6 Trailer
Watch this space. All we do know is that Bethesda do not want to tease The Elder Scrolls 6 years before its release, citing that the time taken making demos or trailers would be better spent working on the game.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Location - Argonia or Valenwood?
Nerdy history lesson for you. In The Elder Scrolls, the key decision is location, location, location. The original game The Elder Scrolls: Arena, allowed the player to roam over the whole continent of Tamriel (yep, you could play in Skyrim in 1994!). However, the limited memory and randomly generated wilderness and dungeon meant that there was little difference in scenery detail from one end of the landmass to the other.
The sequel, Daggerfall, limited the explorable area to the High Rock and Hammerfell provinces, but Bethesda still boasted that the scale of the game was comparable in size to Great Britain. This focus on a part of the continent allowed locations and NPCs to be given more individual detail.
This trend continued in the follow up games, each of which focused on a smaller but more detailed area, with the specific location deciding the 'flavor' and art direction of the game. Morrowind's intriguing aesthetics, mushroom trees and ashland scenery were due to its setting on Vvardenfell, a volcanic island on the dark elf homeland. Oblivion was set in Cyrodil, the closest to the 'standard' generic medieval European fantasy land, its name being a reference to the hellish gates of the underworld that plagued the land during the game's story. Skyrim, of course, drew heavily on Scandinavian myth for its influences, being the homeland of Tamriel's viking-inspired Nords.
Given that the focus on the different provinces has been a winning formula so far and likely a big factor in how each game looks and feels, it's no wonder the minds of fans are brimming over with speculation on TES6's secret location. Here are the likely possibilities.
As per the above fan-made mockup, The Elder Scrolls: Argonia would be set in the Argonian homeland of Black Marsh. The reptilian Argonians are one of the more alien of the playable races of Tamriel. We know that Black Marsh is a marshy rainforest, full of great inland waterways and swamps. There the Argonians practice their distinct native cultural traditions which include, I kid you not, lapping up hallucinogenic sap from a network of sapient, telepathic ancient trees which may be their gods.
The observant Dragonborn may note that the Khajit encountered throughout Skyrim are always complaining about the bitter cold of the region, comparing it to the warm sands of Elsweyr. The home of the cat-people, Elsweyr is a tropical region with desert to the north and a dense jungle in the south. This provides some interesting possibilities for game environments and could shine a light on the weird culture of the Khajit, often portrayed as outsiders in the other games. The above screenshot is from a popular Skyrim mod which lets the Dovahkiin journey to Elsweyr.
Valenwood is the home of the Bosmer, or wood elves. Valenwood is, unsurprisingly, a densely forested area, but it is also fringed by swamps and rainforest. Valenwood is home to a unique brand of weirdness, as outlined in the lore, including intelligent apes who imitate the elves and gigantic migratory trees which tread through the forest on their huge trunks, carrying the Bosmer cities in their high branches.
The main draw of the Summerset Isles is that they are the stronghold of the Aldmeri Dominion, home of the high elves and seat of power for the Thalmor, the most despised antagonists of Skyrim. Many Skyrim players (and NPCs) cried out for Thalmor blood but the game's storyline never advanced far enough to grant them the satisfaction. Could the next Elder Scrolls installment see the fight taken to the Thalmor?
Chronologically, Bethesda has preferred to leave long, multi-generational gaps between their main stories, so the next time we enter the timeline the Dominion could already have fallen, or have radically changed.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Download
Although there's no official word on which platforms The Elder Scrolls 6 will be available for digital download, there is a precedent set by the upcoming The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition, which is set to release on Xbox One and PS4 as well as PC.
The special edition of Skyrim boasts improved graphics and mod support. If you're a fan itching for your Elder Scrolls fix, I'd recommend picking it up when it releases at the end of October. For ideas on how to keep your game fresh over the years, check out our pick of mods.