Since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched in 2011, fans of the series have been looking forward to the next instalment in Bethesda’s storied role-playing video game series.
And even though Skyrim has been keeping gamers busy for years, many are wondering when a new Elder Scrolls game will hit shelves…
Also, and after Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda Game Studios back in 2021, there’s a bigger question in many gamer’s minds: will the next Elder Scrolls game launch on PlayStation 5?
Fortunately, documents emerging from the trial which pitted Microsoft vs the FTC in the US over the Activision Blizzard acquisition might help shed light on this matter, as was recently covered on Forbes.
You see, a Microsoft chart (see below) made available during the trial gives information about what the Redmond giant has done with Bethesda Softworks’ various franchises since taking over the video game company (Bethesda Softworks is the publisher behind Bethesda Game Studios).
For instance, Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop were indeed released on PlayStation to honor existing exclusivity agreements. But the company’s most recent hit, Starfield, was kept off Sony’s PlayStation 5 console as planned, being an Xbox (and PC) exclusive only.
Also, the fact that Bethesda has continued releasing content for The Elder Scrolls Online on PlayStation after being acquired by Microsoft is something which may have given hope to those gaming on Sony’s console, with regard to the future of the RPG series on PlayStation.
But no, this Microsoft chart clearly indicates that The Elder Scrolls VI (Skyrim’s successor) won’t be released on the PS5, surely an unwelcome development for owners of said console who will either need to get an Xbox Series X/S or capable gaming PC when the game comes out in order to play it.
As far as the release date is concerned, and is it earlier emerged from the Microsoft vs FTC trial, gamers shouldn’t expect the next Elder Scrolls game until at least 2026.
It’s likely, though, that the game won’t launch until later, as Bethesda will likely be busy patching and updating Starfield for a long while, as it’s done with its post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 76.
It’s still a disappointment, though, that such a big game like The Elder Scrolls VI won’t be arriving on PS5, even though Microsoft’s plans could still change, of course.
Actually, charging PS5 owners $70 US dollars for the privilege of playing the game while having it on Xbox Game Pass on day one seems like a good bet for Microsoft. Millions of PS5 owners paying that amount for a physical or digital copy of the game besides the many more who would subscribe to Game Pass for the latest Elder Scrolls game would surely help fill Redmond’s coffers.
But it all depends on how much of a boost to Xbox Games Pass the recent release of Starfield as an Xbox exclusive brings, and also the possible boost to Xbox Series X/S consoles sales too, as a Forbes contributor has pointed out. This may sway Microsoft from bringing the next Elder Scrolls game to PlayStation. Nonetheless, Microsoft seems to have made the decision already regarding The Elder Scrolls VI, in other words, it not being on PS5, which is a pity.
Because even though The Elder Scrolls originated on PC, it’s been on PlayStation since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion hit the PS3 back in 2007. And even Bethesda’s esteemed Todd Howard (the game director behind Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Starfield) did say a couple of years ago “it’s hard to imagine” the next Elder Scrolls game not launching on multiple gaming platforms, meaning he was expecting the next game in the RPG series to hit PlayStation too…
But still, Microsoft might still have a change of heart and go multiplatform with The Elder Scrolls VI, even if this seems an unlikely possibility at this point.