Howard recently made an appearance on podcast The Game Maker’s Notebook with Insomniac boss Ted Price. As helpfully transcribed by Kotaku, the Bethesda director spoke a bit about his youngest son’s growing interest in videogames, sparked in large part by a Switch and a copy of Zelda.
“Then when Skyrim came out on Switch, I said, ‘Well you’ve played a lot of Zelda, I think you might like Skyrim.’ And I want to do it as the father, like ‘Please, play this game, and see if you like it.’ And the short story is: he got obsessed with it.
“It was great for a while, and then he got, like every dinner conversation, ‘Dad what’s with the Thalmor? Do you believe in Talos? Is he a god in this? What is this? What are your favorite Daedra? Why do they want to do this? What are your weapons? Where did Tiber Septim come from?’ He knows, and I forget a lot about it.”
Naturally, the kid’s newfound obsession with Skyrim means he’s eagerly anticipating the follow-up just like the rest of us. Howard says “He’s like, ‘Okay, when is Elder Scrolls VI coming?’ And I’m like, ‘Uhh, I’m not gonna talk about that right now either.’ He’s like, ‘Can I give you my ideas? Can I work on it? Come on, tell me a few things, I’m not gonna tell anybody.’ I’m like, ‘Well, you might, so I’m not gonna say anything.’”
That’s cold, Todd. But the next Elder Scrolls is one of the most hotly anticipated titles in gaming, so it is natural he’d wanna keep mum. Bethesda’s E3 2018 showcase is the most likely near future venue for a reveal, though last year Pete Hines told not to expect ES6 “any time soon.” Is a year too soon?
Update, August 25, 2017: We're at Quakecon this week, and decided to take the opportunity to try and find out more on what could be happening with The Elder Scrolls 6. We interviewed Pete Hines to find out if anything has changed since E3.
Short answer: nothing has changed, The Elder Scrolls 6 is a long way off. Not entirely a surprise, and for the most part he's reiterated the points made at E3 this year, with a few extra clarifications.
"There's still two major, multiplatform releases that the team has to work on first, and so TES 6 isn't happening until those games happen," Hines says. "Big, multiplatform, triple-A stuff that they do takes multiple years so, you can do the math.
"It ain't any time soon, and it's not really anywhere on anybody's radar, because they have two other massive projects to do, in addition to a bunch of small stuff, like Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, and the Switch. Those are small little ancillary things but there's any number of smaller side things in addition to the kind of big things that folks expect like Oblivion and Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 and Skyrim."
Those two big releases he's referring to are mysterious projects that nobody knows about yet, but are clearly big enough to be taking up Bethesda's time. Don't look out for The Elder Scrolls 6 any time soon.
We also tried to find out what the dynamic at Bethesda Game Studios is like - after hiring a group of people from Behaviour Interactive in 2015 and starting a new office in Montreal, how is the work split up?
"We don't think about like 'people in that building work on this'. They're Bethesda Game Studios, they happen to be located in Montreal, they work on whatever the studio needs each individual working on. Certainly in some cases you have groups of people that are working on the same thing, but, in general, they are directed towards the needs of the studio, not like 'Well you're in this city, so I'd really like your help on this game but you're in Montreal so you can't' - everybody works on everything, they use a lot of telecom and conferencing, go up and down for meetings, and folks work on what they need to work on."
Original story, June 13, 2017: The very open Pete Hines, VP of PR/marketing at Bethesda, showed up on YouTube's E3 show to give some info on what they're currently working on. As well as a little chat on the sequels for Wolfenstein and The Evil Within, he talked about The Elder Scrolls 6 - it's still not in development. Perhaps worse, it's third on the to-do list.
You can see the full interview above, with the TES 6 chat starting at around the nine minute mark. In response to rumours started last year, Hines says that TES 6 makers Bethesda Game Studios "have at least two major titles that they are working on before we're gonna get to Elder Scrolls 6."
He later clarifies that "TES 6 is not in dev while we work on [those]." He also makes it clear that there's other stuff going down there at the same time - like Skyrim for Switch.
So we'll be waiting a while for the next installment, as it doesn't seem like even pre-pre-production has begun yet. Where would you want it to be set? Let us know in the comments below.