We've waited with bated breath for any smidgen of information on the new The Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield games ever since Bethesda announced their existence with teaser trailers at last years E3 conference. If you were disappointed to hear that neither game will be making an appearance at E3 2019, then we've got some more bad news for you: it could be years before we see a Skyrim successor.
The news comes from an interview with Bethesda Game studios executive producer Tom Howard, speaking to IGN (opens in new tab), who warned "I think everyone should be very patient" when asked about an Elder Scrolls release date.
- Best upcoming games 2019: most anticipated titles for PS4, Xbox One and Switch
- Best games 2019: our favorite PC and console games of the year
A trip to the stars first
"The gap in between [Elder Scrolls games] is going to be long, It already is," continued Howard.
"On one hand, I think it's good to miss things. I think that makes people come to it with really, really fresh eyes, and I think when they eventually—eventually—see the game and what we have in mind, they'll understand the gap more in terms of technology and what we want it to do."
Part of the delay is down to the fact of just how popular existing Elder Scrolls games are. The MMO Elder Scrolls Online is "hugely" popular according to Howard, with the studio continuing to invest long-term into the multiplayer title. But the continued success of Skyrim, both in its vanilla and Special Edition versions, raises its own issues – if people are still playing Skyrim daily in their tens of thousands, almost a decade after its original release, the pressure to make its successor worthy, and with its own long-term play possibilities, is immense.
"Anything we put it out on, it becomes a hit game. And they love it, they still play it, it's almost infinitely playable, with all of the mods and everything like that," Howard said.
"So what that does—and we're eight years post-Skyrim—it lets us know going into Elder Scrolls 6, this is a game we need to design that people will play for a decade at least. At least."
And so Starfield is an all-hands-on deck moment at the studio, giving the team time to flex their creative muscles while letting Elder Scrolls 6 cook for as long as it needs to.
"We're creatives, and it's like, we have to make this game, and this is the time, and so Elder Scrolls 6 is going to have to wait a little bit. And again, Elder Scrolls Online is doing so well, it's so vibrant, that this is the time [for Starfield], both for us creatively, and our audience."
Want to see everything else Bethesda is up to? Make sure to read our how to watch Bethesda E3 2019 live stream guide.