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A new Elder Scrolls game just launched

The Elder Scrolls: Castles looks a lot like Fallout Shelter

Artwork of The Elder Scrolls: Castles, featuring a wedding scene in a floating castle Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

A new game set in The Elder Scrolls franchise is now available for Android devices through the Google Play Store. It’s called The Elder Scrolls: Castles, and it looks a lot like another Bethesda Game Studios game, Fallout Shelter, but set in the medieval fantasy world of Nirn.

Bethesda hasn’t said much, if anything, about The Elder Scrolls: Castles beyond what’s in the game’s listing on the Google Play Store. Castles is described as a simulation in which players manage, customize, and staff a castle; rule their kingdom by making tough decisions; and undertake “epic quests” by creating heroes and battling “classic Elder Scrolls foes.” Imagery of The Elder Scrolls: Castles shows armored soldiers battling dragons, and royalty of Argonian and Khajiit descent overseeing their kingdoms. The store description notes that Castles is an early access release.

One screenshot of The Elder Scrolls: Castles immediately brings to mind the Vault management of Fallout Shelter, the successful free-to-play Fallout spinoff first released on mobile platforms in 2015.

A screenshot of various castle floors in The Elder Scrolls: Castles Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Reached for comment, a Bethesda spokesperson told Polygon, “The Elder Scrolls: Castles is being developed by our talented mobile team behind Fallout Shelter at Bethesda Game Studios. We’re excited to share an early access version of the game with a limited number of players and listen to feedback as we improve the game over time.”

A trio of unannounced mobile titles in development at Bethesda Softworks were recently outed as part of a leaked document from the FTC v. Microsoft trial. Those projects were codenamed Project Ubu, Project Wanderer, and Project Whirlwind — and it’s possible that The Elder Scrolls: Castles may be the third of those three names, given the prominence of Whirlwind as skills and spells in The Elder Scrolls franchise.

Bethesda Game Studios previously experimented with The Elder Scrolls brand in a mobile setting with The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a first-person action role-playing game.

The Elder Scrolls: Castles is currently available for Android, and the game does not appear to be available yet for iOS devices. Fallout Shelter originally launched only for iOS, but it was eventually brought over to Android, then to Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.

The next main entry in The Elder Scrolls franchise, The Elder Scrolls 6, was announced in 2018. According to documentation leaked from the FTC v. Microsoft case, TES 6 won’t be released until 2026 at the earliest and will be exclusive to PC and Xbox platforms.

Update (Sept. 29): This story has been updated with comment from Bethesda.

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