E3 2016 - Bethesda will indeed make The Elder Scrolls VI, and the team already has an idea of what they want to do. But the technology isn't here yet, so the studio is working on three new "big and crazy projects" in total, but two of these games will come before Elder Scrolls VI.
A bit ago PC Gamer published an article that made it seem Bethesda Game Studios may not actually make The Elder Scrolls VI. I thought I'd clear things up for people and highlight what Bethesda's Pete Hines said at E3 2017 and match them up with what Todd Howard said last year.
To re-iterate, yes, Bethesda is making The Elder Scrolls VI, but the game isn't currently in active development. Bethesda Game Studios is currently making three "big and crazy projects" that will be "totally unique and totally different" than anything else the studio has done before. One of these projects is Elder Scrolls VI, but the game isn't in active development like the other two games. The projects will also be massive Skyrim-sized juggernauts that span multiple years of development and overlap with one another to make something fresh and interesting.
E3 2016: Pete Hines confirms two games ahead of Elder Scrolls VI
Here's what Bethesda Vice President of PR and Marketing Pete Hines told Geoff Keighley at E3 2017, which is included in the video above.
Geoff Keighley: "Last year Todd was here and broke a little bit of news about multiple projects in the works, including another Elder Scrolls down the road."
Pete Hines: "Down the road down the road. To re-iterate they have at least two major titles they're working on before we're going to get to Elder Scrolls VI. Jeff we gave you that nugget and somehow everyone including your friend and mine Michael Pachter somehow missed it--along with everyone else."
"And I've tried to manage expectations for folks.
"You know the kind of games they make, they take a while but they have two major things they're working on in addition to a lot of other stuff like Skyrim Switch, Fallout 4 VR, Skyrim VR. But they're hard at work and they have a lot going on and like I said before, we're looking forward to talking about those projects when we get to a point when we can really show what they're working on and speak about it but show it--here it is, here's exactly what it's going to be. And we're looking forward to those two projects and then we'll get to Elder Scrolls VI."
Hines goes on to say that while Elder Scrolls VI will happen, it's not currently in actively development. Bethesda Game Studios is working on those two big projects first before tackling TES VI.
"We've been pretty clear that Elder Scrolls VI is not in development while we work on other projects. I mean we're not talking about small things here, we're not talking about a Fallout Shelter kind of project. We're talking big multi-platform releases like you expect from us."
"We're not ready to talk about what BGS (Bethesda Game Studios) is up to, and we wanted to focus on what we're doing and what we'll come out with for this year. We want to wait until we have something like we had last night for Wolfenstein, so you could see the story and characters and everything."
E3 2017: Todd Howard discusses new big and crazy projects
Here's what Todd Howard, director and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios and leader of Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises, said about the projects back in February at DICE 2016 and June of last year at E3 2016.
Back at E3 2016 Todd Howard confirmed what Pete Hines said about the two big juggernauts coming before The Elder Scrolls VI. That's not actually new news.
Howard at DICE 2016:
"We actually have three kind of longer term projects we're doing that are all-we'll talk about them at a future date-but they're different than anything we've done before, while also being a Bethesda-style game," Howard said during a talk at DICE 2016.
"Big and crazy, but in many ways different than things we've done before. It's an exciting time."
At E3 2016 Howard said that The Elder Scrolls VI is so far away because the technology to build their ambitious idea doesn't even exist yet. The two other games are also bigger than anything Bethesda has done, and Howard says exactly what Pete Hines said at E3 2017: the two projects will release first ahead of Elder Scrolls VI.
"Elder Scrolls VI is kind of like the elephant in the room, always, when we talk about anything. You know, I think it's good in these moments to tell our fans yes, of course we are making it. The series is something we love - but it is... you know, I have to be careful what I say, it's a very long way off," Bethsoft exec Todd Howard told Geoff Keighley during the YouTube LIVE at E3 showcase.
"I could sit here and explain the game to you, and you would say, 'That sounds like you don't even have the technology. How long is that going to take?' So it is something that's going to take a lot of time, what he have in mind for that game, and we actually have two other large projects we're also doing that are bigger than everything we've done."
"People will probably hear about those even before Elder Scrolls 6. That'll make sense many years from now."
Howard also confirms the huge new "totally different" games will overlap with one another in some way, and that while they'll be different, they'll still have the signature feel and style of a Bethesda Studios game.
Geoff Keighley: "Effectively right now, are you paralell-pathing two different things?"
Todd Howard: "They kind of overlap. We're expanding, but we've always kind of [planned different things]. They overlap, and we try things and if we like something we move more of the team onto it and say 'okay this is going to be our next release."
Geoff Keighley: "I know you've done Fallout and Elder Scrolls, but do you think about doing games in other worlds to play in? I'm sure you're experimenting with lots of different things all the time. "
Todd Howard: "Yes. I think that people shouldn't necessarily look at what we've done and think we're just going to alternate between Fallout and Elder Scrolls--they're obviously universes we love. But there are things we want to try in gaming, while they'd still be very much a Bethesda Studios-style game, or something would expect from us, while being different."
So there you have it. The Elder Scrolls VI will absolutely happen, but two inter-connected massive Skyrim-sized juggernauts will happen first. The studio is committed to Elder Scrolls VI, but those two new inter-connected projects will be a kind of practice run for their ambitious plans with TESVI.
So not only is The Elder Scrolls VI happening, but it's going to leverage the best technology and experience Bethesda will glean from its two massive projects.