Bethesda's Todd Howard on Elder Scrolls 6: 'That may be the last one I do'

Todd Howard
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Bethesda's Game Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard has said in an interview that The Elder Scrolls 6 might be the last game in the series he works on.
  • The Elder Scrolls 6 was originally announced eight years ago at E3 2018, but hasn't been seen since. 
  • Bethesda has focused on showing off Starfield, its new massive sci-fi RPG coming to Xbox and PC later this year on September 6.
  • With how long Bethesda takes to make its titles and how long Starfield's post-launch content and update support will be, Howard thinks The Elder Scrolls 6 might be his final game.

It's now been five full years since Bethesda announced it was working on The Elder Scrolls 6 at E3 2018, but since then, we haven't heard anything about it from the developer. Instead, the studio has (understandably) focused on showing off Starfield, a new galaxy-sized sci-fi RPG coming exclusively to Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC later this year on September 6. In a new interview, though, Bethesda's Game Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard has suggested that the next Elder Scrolls game might be his last.

Howard strongly believes that Bethesda makes the right call developing its titles over extremely long periods of time. Even though the studio would like to make games faster, he says that "speed isn't the goal" and that ultimately, "it's about just doing it right."

“I think Half-Life 3 will do fine, right?” Howard said in the aforementioned interview. “So even though in the moment, how do I bring that closer to reality today, because I want to play it, those gaps, these are still evergreen franchises that I think when they come, it's about just doing it right. I want to be faster, but speed isn't the goal.”

With that in mind, and considering the fact that Bethesda plans to support Starfield with additional content and updates over a long period of time, it's not surprising that Howard — now 52 — thinks that The Elder Scrolls 6 might be the last game he ships.

For five years, we've seen nothing but a single image for the next Elder Scrolls game. (Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

“So our ability, like we talked about, to support Starfield ... Whereas maybe in the old days, you would put it out and then you'd go on to a sequel, now we can support that game for a much longer period of time, which is what our plan is," Howard said.

He continues: “And then as we look to an Elder Scrolls 6, that is one where ... I probably shouldn't say this. But if I do the math, I'm not getting any younger. How long do people play Elder Scrolls for? That may be the last one I do. I don't know.”

Even though Howard has confirmed that The Elder Scrolls 6 will be the next game Bethesda releases after Starfield, there's a good chance it won't launch for a very long time. After all, Starfield is coming out a full eight years after the studio's last major singleplayer RPG Fallout 4, and five years after the live service MMOFPS Fallout 76. For all we know, we may not return to Tamriel until 2030! Thank goodness we'll have Avowed in 2024 to hold us over.

Starfield looks like it's going to be one of the best Xbox games of all time, offering RPG fans an experience that they'll be playing for years to come. Starfield preorders are live and available for Xbox and PC, as are Starfield-themed Xbox controllers and headsets.

Image

Starfield

Bethesda's upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield looks absolutely phenomenal, and we can't wait to jump into this behemoth of a title when it launches on Xbox and PC on September 6.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.