The big picture: Even though Bethesda announced that Elder Scrolls VI is in the works does not mean that we will see it soon. In an interview director and executive producer Todd Howard said that the game was still in pre-production.
Yesterday we reported that Bethesda teased E3 goers with a brief trailer for The Elder Scrolls 6. The tease was literally just that — thirty seconds of scrolling Tamriel landscape concluding with “The Elder Scrolls VI” titling. No other details were given.
Internet sleuths have speculated that the next game will be set in High Rock — an oddly shaped peninsula on Tamriel’s northwestern coast. The theories are certainly sound. We can see in the teaser that the land is near the ocean and has the tall mountains and ruins of High Rock. It is also just about the only place the franchise has not significantly visited.
I think Elder Scrolls 6 is gonna be High Rock pic.twitter.com/JuAgaYyCA5— Glows in the Fucking Dark (@FalcyHedgehog) June 11, 2018
However, Bethesda's lips are sealed on setting or any other details.
Internet speculation aside, there is at least one thing that is known — TES6 will not arrive for quite some time. This comes from an interview that Todd Howard gave to Geoff Keighley the day after Bethesda’s showcase.
Howard told Keighley that the game was still in pre-production and that they don’t even have an internal playable version. The fact that the production team doesn’t have a workable mockup might be an indication that they are building a new engine. A new game engine would be very good news, but unfortunately it also means that the release is still several years out.
Another indication that The Elder Scrolls VI will be a while came when Howard explained Bethesda’s development process and where its major projects are in that process.
“We’ll do pre-production with a smaller amount of people until a game is really there, and then when we enter production we move the bulk of the studio to that game. I would say Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production and Starfield is in production.”
Howard said right now, most of the studio is focused on getting Fallout 76 out the door. Beyond that, Starfield is next and is considered to be in production, whereas TES6 is still in the pre-production phase with a small team.
While it is frustrating that it may still be several years before we see the next Elder Scrolls game, at least we know it’s in the works.