You’ve got to love the Internet for all the vitriol, platform bashing and toxicity related to video games (not). There are also the rumors, which today seem to be as plentiful as grains of sand in the Sahara…
And the most recent and biggest rumor of the year yet concerns Bethesda Softworks, the video game developer and publisher which is behind the top-selling Elder Scrolls series of games.
Those into fantasy role-playing video games know the series well, in particular the latest entry (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim), which has sold a boatload of copies and has been released on more platforms than you can shake a stick at, including the Nintendo Switch.
However, Skyrim was released back in 2011, and Elder Scrolls fans have been clamoring for a sequel for yonks now. The Elder Scrolls VI was announced at the E3 show last year, but Bethesda has not yet disclosed a release date of any sort for its upcoming fantasy RPG.
You see, the Maryland-based developer is still working on Fallout 76, which is getting a major update this year, plus Starfield is also in the pipeline. The latter is a sci-fi role-playing game which has been in development for years, but if a crazy rumor doing the rounds online is proven true, this may never see the light of day.
Actually, a user posting on forum website Reddit (via Push Square) says that Bethesda has canned Starfield, and that the company is now focusing its efforts on getting The Elder Scrolls VI ready for a 2022 release.
This seems unlikely, as Bethesda filed a trademark for the Starfield name late last year as playstationlifestyle.net points out, so why would the US company do that if the project had been scrapped earlier is anyone’s guess.
But if for whatever reason this turned out to be true, then surely the next Elder Scrolls game will be arriving sooner, at least a couple of years earlier if Bethesda doesn’t need to spend time finishing, patching and supporting Starfield, something which no doubt would require a considerable investment of time.
However, if the other part of this rumor (which must be taken with a huge grain of salt) is true, The Elder Scrolls VI might very well end up being a PlayStation 5 exclusive.
You see, according to the leaker Sony is currently finalizing a deal to buy Zenimax Media. This is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, which owns Bethesda Game Studios – the developer behind the Elder Scrolls games.
Zenimax also owns Arkane Studios (makers of Dishonored), Machine Games (the people behind the Wolfenstein games) and Tango Gameworks (the team responsible for The Evil Withing and its sequel).
This would be one hell of an acquisition then, costing at least at much as what Microsoft paid for Mojang and Minecraft back in 2014. Likely more than this, as Zenimax was valued at a whooping $2.5 billion US dollars back in 2016 as SegmentNext points out, and it’s likely to be worth quite a bit more at present.
If there’s any truth to this rumor (and very likely that isn’t the case) news will be hitting the airwaves soon, as the deal will be complete by early February according to the Reddit poster.
And indeed if Bethesda’s sci-fi game Starfield has been scrapped as mentioned earlier, and the team is now focused on The Elder Scrolls VI, fans of the developer’s fantasy RPG series will almost certainly be getting a new game sooner than we had thought.
But Bethesda is still working on Fallout 76 though, while this Reddit rumor also mentions that remakes of the earlier Fallout games are in pipeline, so it’s hard to see how such a massive and complex game like The Elder Scrolls VI could be ready in time for a 2022 launch with Bethesda still busy with other undertakings in the meantime…
Either way, it would be a great thing if Bethesda’s next game (whether that is Starfield or something else) turns out to be absolutely worth playing when it arrives, whether that be in 2022 or at some other time in the future.