Bethesda is in an enviable position. The game developer announced a monstrous trio of powerhouse titles during its E3 conference. Fallout 76 is arriving in November, but launch dates for The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield have not yet been released, which has incited frenzied speculation among fans.
Here’s the tough answer you didn’t want to hear: It’s going to be a while.
Making video games is a long, complicated process that begins with baking up a lot of good ideas and inevitably retweaking or killing most of them once the concept gets translated into development. Sometimes, those discarded ideas are retooled to become entirely separate games. Fallout 76 was built off the bones of a speculative multiplayer feature for Fallout 4.
It’s the same case with The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield. Most of Bethesda’s employees are still busy putting in the final touches for Fallout 76, which means the two other heavy hitters that Bethesda game director Todd Howard announced at E3 could still be a ways away.
“Everyone should be very patient,” Howard told The Guardian, “It’s gonna take a while for what we have in mind to come out.”
So we definitely won’t be seeing either title any time soon, but out of the two, the new IP Starfield will probably launch first. Bethesda has confirmed that it will begin full production on the game after releasing Fallout 76. So the most generous estimate for Starfields is sometime in 2020.
The Elder Scrolls, however, is much further away. The studio has been notoriously tight-lipped on any details. Not even Howard’s own children know anything about the title or where it’s set. That means you’ll probably be waiting until 2024.
Bethesda’s open world games provide players with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of hours of gameplay. But that also means they take a very long time to make. So if you’re eager to play The Elder Scrolls VI and Starfield, be sure to temper your expectations and strap in for the long haul.