Skyrim may be getting an updated Special Edition, but the next full Elder Scrolls game — the sixth in the series — is still "a very long ways off," according to Bethesda Game Studios designer Todd Howard.
"I think that’s kind of the elephant in the room, always, when we talk about anything," Howard told host Geoff Keighley on the YouTube Gaming live stream. "I think it’s good in these moments to tell our fans, 'Yes, of course we are [working on Elder Scrolls 6].' It’s something we love. But I have to be careful what I say. It’s a very long ways off. I can sit here and explain the game to you and you’d say, ‘That sounds like you don’t even have the technology, how long is that going to take?’"
The reason it’s so far off is also thanks to two other projects at the studio. "It’s 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 even before Elder Scrolls 6. And that will make sense many years from now."
In case Howard’s "probably" wasn’t specific enough, here’s Bethesda PR/Marketing veep Pete Hines:
Todd confirms to @geoffkeighley that his studio has two other major projects planned before we will see a TES 6.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) June 13, 2016
And in case even that isn’t clear enough, here’s Hines again:
I often kid Todd that release date for TES 6 will be 22/22/22. Our robot overlords will change our calendar system by the time it comes out.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) June 13, 2016
Howard has mentioned these other projects before, but the existence of another Elder Scrolls game, no matter how far off, is new.
"We think very long-term," Howard said. "We’re not a developer that’s going to rush something like this out, any of our games. When you think about what is the future for that kind of game, we have a pretty good idea of what it could be and it’s just going to take technology and time that we really don’t have right now."