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The Elder Scrolls 6 is still in pre-production — Starfield development taking priority

The Elder Scrolls VI artwork with logo.
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Update: Starfield is drawing inspiration from NASA — and that's super-exciting.

It appears that Bethesda’s long-awaited sequel The Elder Scrolls VI is still in pre-production nearly four years after its initial reveal.

Thanks to information listed on a Bethesda HR employee’s LinkedIn profile, as reported by our sister-site GamesRadar+, we can be fairly confident that The Elder Scrolls VI is still in pre-production. The sentence that spills the beans sits at the bottom of the employee’s explanation for their job at Bethesda. It states that the company is hard at work on Starfield, its brand-new sci-fi IP launching later this year, and is currently in pre-production phase of The Elder Scrolls VI.

Screengrab of LinkedIn post for The Elder Scrolls VI job posting.

(Image credit: LinkedIn)

Originally revealed via a short cinematic trailer at E3 2018, The Elder Scrolls VI is the next planned installment in the decades-old franchise and would be the first mainline entry in the series since 2011’s immensely popular The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In the years since Skyrim’s release, it has received a myriad of ports and remasters for newer platforms, while spin-off titles like The Elder Scrolls Online and The Elder Scrolls: Blades have helped somewhat with keeping series fans busy. But nothing seems to be able to stop people from speculating on when we may see the sixth mainline game release.

Of course, Bethesda’s hard work on Starfield ahead of its November 2022 launch certainly helps explain why the team would still be in the early stages of production on The Elder Scrolls VI. Additionally, creative director Todd Howard’s comments about the series have made it no secret that there would be a rather large gap between the mainline installments.

Speaking to IGN late last year, Howard stated that "it’s going to be roughly, probably, 15 years between Elder Scrolls games." Given Skyrim’s 2011 release, this would mean The Elder Scrolls VI could see a release sometime in 2026 or 2027. If it’s still in pre-production, as this new information suggests, that definitely sounds like a plausible expectation.

Thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda last year, The Elder Scrolls VI is reportedly planned to be an Xbox and PC exclusive when it eventually launches.

Billy Givens is a journalist with nearly two decades of experience in editing and writing across a wide variety of topics. He focuses particularly on games coverage for Tom's Guide and other sites including From Gamers Magazine, Retroware, Game Rant and TechRaptor. He's also written for self-improvement sites such as Lifehack and produced in-depth analyses on subjects such as health, psychology and entertainment.