Todd Howard Says Elder Scrolls VI Is ‘A Very Long Way Off’

Todd Howard Says Elder Scrolls VI Is ‘A Very Long Way Off’

Bethesda’s chief game creator, Todd Howard, knows what Elder Scrolls VI should be like, but his team needs more time and perhaps better technology to make it.

Howard spoke about the ever-anticipated next chapter of Elder Scrolls during a YouTube Live At E3 conversation with friend of Kotaku Geoff Keighley in Los Angeles today. Here’s the exchange, emphasis added:

Geoff Keighley: Are you guys going to do an Elder Scrolls VI?

Todd Howard: That’s kind of like the elephant in the room always when we talk about anything. And I think it’s good in these moments to tell our fans, ‘Yes, of course we are. It’s something we love.’ But it is — you know, I have to be careful what I say — it’s a very long way off.

I could sit here and explain the game to you, and you would say, ‘That sounds like you don’t even have the technology — how long is that going to take?’ And so is is something that is going to take a lot of time what we have in mind for that game.

And we actually have two other large projects we’re also doing that are bigger than anything we’ve done. People will probably hear about those probably even before Elder Scrolls VI. And that will make sense many years from now.

Keighley: So that’s amazing. You have a vision in your mind of what you want Elder Scrolls VI to be.

Howard: We think very long term. We’re not a developer that’s going to, like, rush something like this out [or do that] with any of our games. When you think of the future of that kind of game, we have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be and it’s just going to take technology and time that really we don’t have necessarily right now.

The previous Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, was released in 2011 and is being remastered for Xbox One, PS4 and PC later this year.

No word from Howard on what those two other big Bethesda games will be, but it sure sounds like they’re keeping busy. Howard noted that Bethesda continues to expand so even if this all sounds ambitious for them, perhaps they can pull it all off.


  • Indeed, sounds optimistic but if they use any… ANY… version of their current engine we know how it’s going to turn out, so please take your time and make it a groundbreaking title, please!

    • Even though I like the current engine, this is so true – it’s so beyond dated.

  • I just wish they would use a new engine or make some major updates. The fact is that without modding their games usually have some pretty big shortfalls. I love them, but I think the big issue is that with such a long development cycle, by the time the game’s finished the engine is already 4+ years old. Often get stuck into their games 6+ months after release for the inevitable tide of mods improving many aspects of the game.

  • Gonna need a lot of work to improve on Witcher 3, in terms of amount of content, dialogue, story, visuals, everything. I loved Skyrim, but Witcher 3 improved on it in many ways, and they have to improve not just on Skyrim, but on its competitors now.

    • Agreed on all points except dialogue which became a real drag for me, particularly Blood + Wine (I know some people love it though). F04 just seemed to do dialogue better (nothing else though).

    • But the Witcher series and Elder Scrolls series are like chalk and cheese from a gameplay and story telling perspective. The Witcher is a 3rd person, story-driven action/rpg with a protagonist that gets dragged through the world by the narrative, while the Elder Scrolls series is a truly free, open world romp with no story beyond what you make of it if you even choose to participate in the story line.

      The Elder Scrolls shouldn’t be ‘improving on Witcher 3’ because they’re two completely different games in the genre; Bethesda should be building on Elder Scrolls instead of taking cues from Witcher.

      • “But the Witcher series and Elder Scrolls series are like chalk and cheese from a gameplay”

        I think you are exaggerating the point. The witcher has a main quest (just like Skyrim) but it is a much more elaborate main quest. Still, there is nothing stopping you from ignoring the main quest for long periods to go and run around in the world and explore and do side quests, treasure hunts, gwent playing or just monster killing. You certainly don’t get “dragged along” by the main quest. What you cite as an advantage to skyrim (freedom) is present in witcher 3, its just witcher 3 has a far better story along with it.

        • Reading this I’m honestly convinced you’ve either not played an Elder Scrolls game or The Witcher :/

  • If elder scrolls 6 is in valenwood i can see why they are waiting for a bit. That will be an awful lot of trees to make look good.

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