ELDER SCROLLS 6 (Bethesda Game Studios – PS4, X1, PC – TBA) – One can summarize everything anyone knows about Elder Scrolls 6 by Bethesda Game Studios with the words ‘rumor’ and ‘speculation.’ Unless you’re a developer over there at BGS–and maybe even if you are–your guess matches mine about this game.
Ever since Bethesda teased that the famed dev-publisher were working on two big games, the internet has buzzed with conjecture as to which games they meant. We now know the name of one of those games, Fallout 76 — to which you can peep our E3 preview with not nearly as much speculation here. Naturally, everyone else assumes ES6 is the other title, but I have my doubts. For the sake of this post, however, let’s say that’s the game and dig in (or you can just wait for our Starfield preview–if anyone even has the gaul to attempt to conjur something up for that.)
The first set of rumors out there comprise the new game’s setting. In other words, where in Tamriel will gamers find themselves exploring when the game finally drops? We can already cross Morrowind, Cyrodiil, and Skyrim off our lists because it seems super unlikely, especially with a world so vastly developed, that BGS will return to old territory. The juiciest rumor out there suggests we will head to Akavir, the mysterious realm across the sea mentioned in every Elder Scrolls game. While I can admit the notion is tantalizing, it seems very unlikely since four realms remain largely unexplored if we don’t count Elder Scrolls: Online (Elsweyr, Summerset Isle, Black Marsh, and Valenwood). If we admit the popularity of various cat videos on YouTube as evidence, Elsweyr suddenly becomes the biggest money maker (hopefully, you’re laughing at that). Seriously though, given the rise of the Altmeri Dominion in both Skyrim and Online games, I would put my money on Summerset Isle, but I would expect the game to have a more dramatic title (e.g. Elder Scrolls: Dominion, or some other epic derivative).
The next set of rumors guess at a logical release date. If we use history as our guide, BGS released Skyrim before Fallout 4. However, we now know we will see the next installment of Fallout before Elder Scrolls (Editor’s note: Or, do we, since Fallout 76 could be an online survival-based interlude between FO4 and 5?). One could logically conclude that the release of ES:O was the next installment of the franchise, which I will begrudgingly admit despite it being the virtual equivalent to lighting a giant pile of money on fire. Bear with me here; this is actually good news: If one compares the release date of Fallout: New Vegas to Skyrim they are only approximately a year apart. If BGS sticks to this script, we can expect the next ES as early as 2020. That’s cause for excitement because, if that’s true, we will definitely see something awesome at E3 this year. (Coming back to reality just for a moment…)
This is 2018, and good games often take years—plural—to develop. Unless BGS has some serious cloak and dagger skills (sneak level 100?), I might expect a teaser at E3 but a release date around 2022, and that’s a long…long…long way away. I have to repeat, this is all speculation. If you encounter anyone online that claims to know anything about this game for a fact, you best muster up your best Socrates/Ygritte and let them know they’re full of shit. If you’re thinking, “Gee, Forber, this sounds an awful like your piece on Anthem,” you have a point except we know FAR less — a.k.a. nothing — about ES6 than we already do about Anthem. Either way it’s very certain the score to the next Elder Scrolls will all be our nerd-anthem, too.