Two of Bethesda’s major upcoming games, The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield, are not coming to E3 2019; they won’t be showing up during the Bethesda press conference or appear on the show floor. It’s unclear when they’ll be shown publicly, but that doesn’t mean the company is keeping completely quiet about the projects in the meantime. Bethesda boss Todd Howard spoke briefly about both projects in an in-depth interview with IGN this week.
Starting with The Elder Scrolls VI, Howard said Bethesda is designing the game to be played for a decade “at least.” He wants the game to have longevity in the way that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has. That game was released in 2011 and it remains popular and sells well on every platform Bethesda brings it to, Howard said.
He gave no indication as to when The Elder Scrolls VI will release, but he says you will understand why it’s taking so long once Bethesda finally shows it off.
“On one hand, I think it’s good to miss things. I think that makes people come to it with really really fresh eyes,” he said about the gap between Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls VI. “When you eventually, eventually see the game and what we have in mind [you’ll] understand the gap more in terms of technology and what we want it to do.”
The only piece of media for The Elder Scrolls VI released so far is the briefest of teaser trailers from E3 2018. The game will likely release on next-generation platforms, Howard has said in the past and mentioned again in the IGN interview.
As for Starfield, Howard talked about how it’s important for the game to have its own tone to help it stand apart from the numerous other sci-fi games on the market.
“[Starfield will have its] own tone in terms of there is so much science-fiction in the same way that Fallout has its own tone in post-apocalyptic,” he said. “Elder Scrolls has found its own tone, but originally didn’t. It was very generic fantasy.”
Howard wants Starfield to be the “be all, end all science fiction game that everyone’s always wanted to play.” He clarified that it is his own personal be all, end all sci-fi game, and not necessarily yours.
Whatever the case, it’s a bold ambition for Starfield, but Howard thinks he has put the pieces in place to make it happen. “We could be the ones to pull this off,” he said. “We have enough talent and experience and technology; we need to write a whole bunch of new technology that we’re doing [for Starfield]. But we think that we can pull it off.”
Also in the interview, Howard said Bethesda knew it wanted Starfield to be its next game after Fallout 4 and that development is now underway across the developer’s North American studios.
But when will we see more of Starfield? “Everyone should be very patient,” Howard said.
Like Fallout 4, which was announced in June just five months before its release in November 2015, Howard said he wants to have a short announce-to-release window for Starfield. The five month window for Fallout 4 was the quickest turnaround the Bethesda’s sales team would allow, he said. Howard acknowledged there are complexities related to announcing and releasing quickly, due in part to allowing retail partners to prepare for release.
In terms of a release schedule, Starfield is coming first and then The Elder Scrolls VI, at least according to the current plan.
While Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI will not appear at E3 this year, Bethesda is still holding a briefing where it will announce other games and make additional announcements.
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