Following up on the uber success of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - which sold over 60 million copies as of June 2023 - Elder Scrolls 6 has a tall task ahead of it.
Announced alongside the recently released Starfield at Bethesda's 2018 E3 conference, not much has been heard about the open-world epic since that initial teaser trailer.
When Will Elder Scrolls 6 Release?
As it currently stands, Elder Scrolls 6 looks to still be far from release.
Bethesda Game Works (BGW) - the team responsible for the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises - just released Starfield in September 2023, meaning Elder Scrolls 6 likely only just became the primary focus of the BGW team.
According to Bethesda Game Works director Todd Howard, the title was still in "pre-production" as late as June 2022 (via IGN):
"Yes, 'Elder Scrolls 6' is in pre-production and, you know, we’re going to be doing 'Fallout 5' after that, so our slate’s pretty full going forward for a while. We have some other projects that we look at from time to time as well."
While development looks to have started in earnest since then, it is still "in early development" (per Gamespot in August 2023) and had gone into full development proper shortly after the release of Starfield:
"So no, don't expect to hear anything about 'The Elder Scrolls VI' anytime soon. For now, 'Starfield' is our focus, and it will continue to be our priority for some time until we speak about anything else."
When exactly fans will see the game remains to be seen, but there has been at least a timeframe offered up.
Court documents from the Microsoft-Activision FTC dispute seemingly revealed that Elder Scrolls 6 will not be released until at least 2026 (as reported by The Verge).
It took roughly eight years between BGW's last two tentpole releases (Fallout 4 and Starfield), which would put Elder Scrolls 6's release sometime in 2031 if it follows the same sort of cycle following Starfield.
However, the wait will likely be shorter than that. One of the bumps the Bethesda Game Works team has to grapple with on Starfield was working on and building its brand-new Creation Engine 2.
With that development framework now in place, that eight-year window may be shrunk by a couple of years, putting the long-awaited game's release sometime between 2027 and 2030.
When Will the Next Elder Scrolls 6 Trailer Come Out?
After infamously debuting the original Elder Scrolls 6 announcement trailer back in 2018, fans have been waiting eagerly for another look at the game.
No second trailer looks to be in sight for the upcoming RPG, but gamers excited for the title are closer than ever to another sneak peek.
After first being introduced (at the same press conference as Elder Scrolls 6) back in 2018, Starfield did not get a second look until two years before its eventual launch.
If Elder Scrolls 6 is set to come out sometime between 2027 and 2030, fans may have to wait until 2025 (at the earliest) to see more from the game.
That second glimpse could be moved up, however. Starfield did not exactly live up to expectations critically, earning a solid but underwhelming 83 on Metacritic.
If Bethesda (and its parent company Microsoft) looks to sweep Starfield under the rug given it did not light the world on fire the way a game like Skyrim did back in 2011, another trailer could potentially come as early as 2024.
Will Elder Scrolls 6 Be on PS5?
After games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim came to both PlayStation and Xbox, some questionability has entered the picture with Elder Scrolls 6.
In March 2021, Xbox parent company Microsoft completed the $7.5 billion acquisition of Zenimax Entertainment (the owner of Bethesda and Bethesda Game Works).
This has meant that games and franchises that were once shoe-ins for a multi-platform release have become Xbox and PC exclusive.
While there was once some uncertainty surrounding an Elder Scrolls 6 PS5 release, it has since been all but confirmed the title will not come to the Sony-owned platform.
According to Axios' Stephen Totilo, platforms for the game are "technically TBD," but Microsoft had told the FTC in September 2022, "[The Elder Scrolls 6] may be released only on Xbox and PC."
A chart posted along with Totilo's reporting (from the Microsoft FTC dispute) listed the title alongside Bethesda's other games and in a column labeled, "Released on PlayStation?" a big X indicated the title would not be.
This is in line with previous comments from Xbox leadership. In a 2021 interview with GQ, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer remarked, "In order to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the full complete package of what we have," naming Elder Scrolls 6 as one of the tiles that he sees as an Xbox killer app:
"In order to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the full complete package of what we have. And that would be true when I think about 'Elder Scrolls 6.'"
Seeing as recent Bethesda games like Arkane's Redfall and Bethesda Game Works' Starfield both skipped PlayStation, it would make sense for Elder Scrolls 6 to do the same, much to the disappointment of many.
Where Will Elder Scrolls 6 Take Place?
It has yet to be revealed exactly what part of The Elder Scrolls' mythical continent of Tamriel Elder Scrolls 6 will take place.
The last game took gamers across to the snow-capped mountains of Skyrim, and before that, it was the lush forests and musky marshes of Cyrodiil.
The brief teaser trailer announcing the game seemingly showed off the locale the game will occupy, but given if brevity, there is not much to go on.
Initially - thanks to a 2014 internal memo (as posted to Reddit) - it was rumored the game would take place in Valenwood, the southwestern province of Tamirel home to dense jungle-like forests and sprawling coastlines.
However, the going theory has since changed to the title taking gamers to either Hammerfell or High Rock (as seen in The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall).
It has been nearly 30 years since Daggerfall, with only a small portion of the gargantuan Hammerfell and High Rock region being explored back then. So, a modern revisit of Tamriel's northwest corner could be in order.
The official Elder Scrolls Twitter account lent further credence to the Hammerfell speculation in 2020, tweeting, "transcribe the past and map the future" with an image of the Hammerfell region.
Of course, this could not be related to The Elder Scrolls 6, but it may also have been a subtle nod to where the game is going to be set.
The Elder Scrolls 6 currently has no announced release date.