Todd Howard Seems To Think Elder Scrolls 6 Announced Too Early

Todd Howard, longtime director of huge open-world RPGs like Fallout 4 and the upcoming space adventure Starfield, appears to regret how Bethesda announced The Elder Scrolls VI, suggesting it should have revealed the game more “casually.”

Back during E3 2018—remember when we used to get actual E3 events?—Bethesda announced Starfield, its next enormous open-world RPG. But it also set aside a moment to reveal The Elder Scrolls VI, the long-awaited follow-up to its massively popular The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Five years later, Starfield is almost here, but the next Elder Scrolls game is nowhere to be found. In a new interview, Howard reveals that he’s been thinking a lot about how and when Bethesda announced the highly anticipated RPG. And looking back, he would have done things differently.

Talking to GQ ahead of Starfield’s September release, Howard was asked about Bethesda’s future after spending eight years working on Starfield. Specifically, the famous video game director was asked if he regrets announcing the next Elder Scrolls games so early, as it could take another four years before the game is actually released.

“I have asked myself that a lot. I don’t know,” admitted Howard. “I probably would’ve announced it more casually.”


When pushed to reveal anything about the future game, Howard was tightlipped, a sign of just how far away The Elder Scrolls VI still remains from launch in 2023. (Howard wouldn’t even reveal the game’s codename.)

“It’s like… I don’t want to answer, but I want to be polite,” Howard said after being asked for any details about the upcoming RPG. “I will say that we want it to fill that role of the ultimate fantasy-world simulator. And there are different ways to accomplish that given the time that has passed.”

Interestingly, Howard kind-of sort-of already did casually announce The Elder Scrolls VI back in 2016, two years before the game’s official teaser and E3 announcement. In an interview with Geoff Keighley back then, Howard confirmed that Bethesda was indeed going to make an Elder Scrolls VI, but warned it was “a very long way off.” He wasn’t joking!

As for Fallout 5, that’s coming too. Howard confirmed as much in a 2022 interview with IGN. But it won’t be out until after The Elder Scrolls VI. And considering how many years away that game likely is at this point, I’d not expect the new Fallout until sometime after 2032. At least you can play Starfield soon, when it launches on September 6 on Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Todd Howard Revealed Elder Scrolls 6 Early Due To Grumpy Gamers

A lead Skyrim designer has explained why Bethesda exec Todd Howard peeled back the curtain on The Elder Scrolls 6 in 2018, despite the studio’s years-long focus on shipping Starfield: Angry gamers with their pitchforks and torches.

Read More: Todd Howard Seems To Think Bethesda Announced The Elder Scrolls VI Too Early

In an October 23 interview with the gaming podcast MinnMax, Bruce Nesmith spoke about his history with Bethesda Softworks. Nesmith—who’s been with the company on and off since the ‘90s with credits on Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Skyrim—told host Ben Hanson that Bethesda was getting shit for remaining so tightlipped on The Elder Scrolls 6 for such a long time. It got to a point where, according to Nesmith, Howard had to do something to quell a supposed angry gamer mob. And that something, it turned out, was dropping a teaser of the next entry in The Elder Scrolls series during E3 in June 2018. Nesmith said:

“Well, you have to remember the company took years of hits for not talking about Elder Scrolls 6. I mean, years of hits. Because Todd’s opinion—one which I share, by the way—is that the video game industry has short memories. Those companies that start touting their games years ahead of time actually, you know, they screw themselves. The best time to start talking about it is six months before releases. […] So, only the fact that everybody was—you know, the pitchforks and torches were out. It got Todd to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to do Elder Scrolls 6. I promise you, it’s for real. It’ll happen.’ But I’m betting you won’t hear much in the way of details until about six months before release, which is the way it should be. I think that’s the best approach, and [Todd’s] proven that that works really well—at least for Bethesda.”


The Elder Scrolls 6 was revealed at E3 2018 with a teaser that pans over a mountainous landscape while drums crescendo into a horn section—and that’s it. Since the teaser, tiny bits of news like the game going into early development this year and the potential setting the game will take place in trickled out of Bethesda’s offices, but it’s essentially been radio silence for the past five years.

Kotaku reached out to Bethesda for comment.

Nesmith doesn’t work at Bethesda anymore. According to his LinkedIn page, he left his role as design director in September 2021 and self-published a Norse mythological fantasy epic called Mischief Maker. However, Nesmith told Hanson that some of his ideas might still appear in The Elder Scrolls 6.

“The whole magic system for Skyrim? I persuaded Todd to let me throw out the baby and the bathwater and restart [it] from scratch, and he trusted me enough to do that,” Nesmith said. “There will probably still be traces of that in [The Elder Scrolls 6]. The whole ‘you do it to get better at it’? While that was not my unique idea, I had a large hand in that. That’s absolutely gonna continue. A lot of the concepts dealing with how you level and things like that, you know, there will be a bunch of new ideas thrown in, but I’m betting some of the stuff that I worked on will still survive in the new one.”

Read More: Fallout 5 Is Bethesda’s Next Game After Elder Scrolls 6, Will Probably Be Out By 2050

It’ll probably be a while before we find out, but whenever it drops, Todd Howard said it may be the last one he works on. No matter what The Elder Scrolls 6 entails, though, we know it’s not coming to PlayStation anytime soon.

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