Much like Starfield, it only took The Elder Scrolls 6 one short and fairly vague teaser trailer to have the internet speculating on how it might play, where it might be set, and whether or not it will launch as an Xbox exclusive.
The latter only became a point of discussion over the past year, after Microsoft acquired Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax Online Media, in late 2020, more than two years after The Elder Scrolls 6's announcement. While the game is still several years away and we know very little about it, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer hinted in an interview that the highly-anticipated RPG will likely be an Xbox exclusive.
"It’s not about punishing any other platform, like I fundamentally believe all of the platforms can continue to grow," Spencer said in an interview with GQ. "But in order to be on Xbox, I want us to be able to bring the full complete package of what we have. And that would be true when I think about Elder Scrolls VI. That would be true when I think about any of our franchises."
Little else is known at this stage about The Elder Scrolls 6, but Game Director Todd Howard suggested, as part of the same interview, that developer Bethesda Game Studios is designing away. He also noted that the upcoming RPG would have to follow in the footsteps of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, a game that's still being played and re-released a decade after launch.
"I think that would drive me crazy to try to say, 'Okay, this is the thing you have to top,'" Howard said referencing Skyrim's longevity. "But then you realise, like, The Elder Scrolls VI has got to be a 'decade game'. How do you make a game where you go into it, like, 'people have to play it for a decade?'"
The Elder Scrolls 6 may not launch in the first half of the current decade – a release date has yet to be given – but Howard said that its "ultimate goal" is similar to that of past entries in the series: to take advantage of current technological possibilities and immerse players into its world.
"You go back and you read a review of the first Elder Scrolls. And then you read The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's, then you read The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's. You black out a couple things. And they read the same. 'You've stepped out and oh my gosh, it feels so real.' People change. Technology changes. But the ultimate goal is still to make it so that, when you boot the game up, you feel like you've been transported."
Regardless of whether or not The Elder Scrolls 6 ends up being an Xbox exclusive, Starfield is confirmed as one and will arrive first, boasting no less than 150,000 lines of dialogue when it launches in 2022.
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