Bethesda ad in the E3 2018 his next three video games: Fallout 76, Starfield Y The Elder Scrolls VI. At that time they already made it clear that they would be launched in that order, and of the last two they barely showed a logo. At E3 2021 we saw a first cinematic trailer of Starfield, which has been given a release date: November 11, 2022. Where does that leave the successor of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Could we see it in 2023 or 2024?
First it is convenient to put on the table what has been said about the game, whose first mention by Todd Howard was in the E3 2016. When they showed the teaser 2018 trailer had just started preproduccinI mean, there was nothing playable and they actually admitted that they still didn’t have the necessary technology for the game. They made it clear that the area of Tamriel in which the adventure would take place had already been decided, and everything points to the west coast including High Rock and Pramo del Martillo.
We also know that the game will develop with the Creation Engine 2, the biggest evolution in a Bethesda graphics engine since the passage of Morrowind a The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; In fact, that engine will allow them to use photogrammetry techniques like the ones we have seen recently in Forza Horizon 5. Executive Producer Todd Howard asked players for patience in 2019: “The gap between the two [refirindose a Skyrim y TES6] it’s going to be obviously long; it already is “.
But why don’t they develop in parallel?
Bethesda Game Studios is a large company, but it is not a Ubisoft that has more than 18,000 employees. According to 2020 data, it is around the 400 employees divided into four studios: Rockville, Maryland (United States) is the headquarters; Austin and Dallas in Texas; and Montreal, in Quebec, Canada.
But keep in mind that these teams have dealt with other projects. Remember that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition was launched in 2016, a year later the virtual reality version of Fallout 4 Y Skyrim, and the Nintendo Switch adaptation of the latter. In addition, there are new games of your own to keep with new content, such as Fallout Shelter, The Elder Scrolls Blades and the already mentioned Fallout 76 that does not stop receiving content.
We know that the team of Dallas is working on Starfield supporting the Rockville studio, but that Bethesda division is also helping other studios like iD Software with the creation of SnapMap for DOOM (2016) and even outside studios like Valve in creating a game mode for Team Fortress 2.
The last we know of the Austin is that they are responsible for having adapted the graphics engine Creation Engine to online needs of Fallout 76, in addition to having supported the development of this title and the multiplayer of the reboot from DOOM. The team of Montreal is responsible for Fallout Shelter Y TES: Blades, so perhaps they are the ones in charge of providing these games with more content.
In short, it should be remembered that Bethesda Game Studios is not solo with the production of Starfield and with the pre-production of The Elder Scrolls VI, but they have in their hands other projects larger or smaller and that, in addition, from time to time help the rest of the ZeniMax Media teams, now integrated into Xbox Game Studios.
The announcement of The Elder Scrolls VI and even that of Starfield at E3 2018 it was a rara reviews to Bethesda. Perhaps the only similar case is that of Fallout 3, which was announced in 2004 because Bethesda acquired the intellectual property and at that time they announced that it was entering the pre-production phase; did not enter full production until they published The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 2006. The first time a triler de Fallout 3 it was in 2008, the same year of its publication. A note: Pete Hines of Bethesda said in 2007 that Fallout 3 it was “a long way off” from its premiere, but it came out a year later.
Despite The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim planning began when the DLC of Oblivion (the last one was published in March 2007), it was not until the release of Fallout 3 a year and a half after it went into full production. Skyrim It was announced at the December 2010 Spike Video Game Awards and released almost a year later. That is, from the preproduction of Skyrim Four years passed before its premiere; From the beginning of its production to the premiere, a little more than three years passed; and from the first trailer to release less than a year.
With Fallout 4 something similar happened. The first ideas were brought to the table in 2009, but pre-production as such did not begin until August of that year, when the last additional content was finished cooking. Fallout 3. We would have to wait much longer for production as such: until last DLC of Skyrim in 2013. Thus, the fourth installment of the saga was in full development between 2013 and mid-2015. It was not announced until that same year.
Several things can be extracted from all this. The first thing, the Bethesda Game Studios methodology when it comes time to face the next projects: while most of the team is working on the most imminent launch, another small team begins to put the bones of the next game; once the previous one is finished, that game is filled with resources.
The second, that the announcement so early from The Elder Scrolls VI It’s a very strange maneuver at Bethesda (not at other companies). We may never know why it was announced in 2018 with so many years to go before its launch, but it may have to do with the expected poor reception of your game imminent, Fallout 76, which fans of the studio received before the E3 conference with many negative reviews.
The third, that the time that has passed between previous releases can serve as indicative to find a premiere window for medieval fantasy role-playing game. Oblivion was launched in 2006 and Fallout 3 in 2008, just two years apart. However, when they had to switch from the graphics engine (from Gamebryo to Creation Engine) to Skyrim, took three years. Enter Skyrim Y Fallout 4 four years passed; and between Fallout 4 Y Fallout 76 three wings.
Thus, even taking into account the change from graphics engine to Creation Engine 2 that will be Starfield, and knowing that the development of the big blockbusters increasingly long, goat waiting for the sixth installment of The Elder Scrolls VI Come in 2024 (two years of full development) in the most optimistic and 2026 (four years of full development).