VG247 has reported that Bethesda has three mystery projects Bethesda is working on that presumably don’t have to do with their most famous universes.
“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….Big and crazy, but in many ways different than things we’ve done before. It’s an exciting time.”
Between “big and crazy” and “Bethesda-style game,” that implies a large, open world RPG, given that it’s Bethesda’s specialty, though if these are all new IPs, that is a pretty significant revelation from the developer.
Bethesda has published non-Fallout/Elder Scrolls titles in the past, of course. Most recently that would be Wolfenstein, Dishonored and the upcoming DOOM, but in terms of games that Bethesda Game Studios has made directly, that’s Fallout and Elder Scrolls all the way. From Howard’s comments, it really does seem like they’re talking about games they’re making themselves, rather than publishing another developer’s work.
What we're wondering is what that means for Elder Scrolls VI, which Bethesda hasn’t even whispered about at this point. Since the inception of the series, Bethesda has made new games roughly every 5-6 years (most recently, Oblivion was in 2006, and Skyrim arrived in 2011), meaning a new one should presumably on the way this year or the next. To be fair, Fallout 4 was announced in the same year of its release, but it seems very, very unlikely that Bethesda is poised to do the same with Elder Scrolls VI, and if they’ve been working on Fallout 4 and these three other projects, it very well may be the case that we may not see a Skyrim sequel for years.
It’s a little bit of a strange move for Bethesda, given how successful both the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series have been over the past decade or so. Every time a new entry in either series debuts, it rakes in tens of millions of sales and is showered with Game of the Year awards. Why mess with what works? It was easy to assume with this kind of track record of success that Bethesda would simply switch between the series for the indefinite future, but developing three other projects allegedly on the same scale would make that hard to achieve. Instead of new Fallout and Elder Scrolls games every five years, what does it become, seven, eight, ten?
There’s an intermediate solution here, sort of. Bethesda has allowed other developers to work with these franchises before, most notably Obsidian with Fallout: New Vegas and ZeniMax with The Elder Scrolls Online. It seems possible that if Bethesda is busy with these other massive projects, that they could pass both series off to others. With that said, Bethesda has only done this with non-full-sequel games in the past. It’s hard to imagine Obsidian developing Fallout 5, or ZeniMax doing Elder Scrolls VI.
Bethesda has a big show planned for E3 this year, and hopefully that means we will start to hear about at least some of these new mystery projects Todd Howard is hinting at. That’s exciting in and of itself, though I do wonder about the production schedule of their current hit series with all these other big
“Bethesda-style games” in the works.
Although we are convincing ourself that it's not TES related, at the back of our mind still, we are clinging to that thought that one of those projects will be an Elder Scrolls game, actually. Just because they’re doing something different doesn’t mean that’s not a reference to doing a very different type of ES game rather than something totally new. There statement is sort of vague and could mean a lot of things, though we may be wrong.
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