After years of waiting, Starfield has finally arrived. I called him recently The biggest Xbox launch since at least Halo 5, and is now on your Xbox console or PC. Hope you enjoy it! But as IGN’s preview lead, my job is to live in the future; I’m always looking forward to the next big thing. And the next big thing for Bethesda Game Studios isn’t The Elder Scrolls 6. At least not for a while. The next big thing for Todd Howard and his team will still be Starfield! Let me explain.
Naturally, the bulk of the BGS will carry over into Elder Scrolls 6. In fact, we know that with Starfield shipping, the Skyrim sequel will have completed pre-production and Moved to full production. But for us players of Bethesda Extended Games, Starfield will be of interest for a long time. Like, a long time. This is for several reasons.
First, Starfield is not only a giant game by all standards, offering hundreds of hours of role-playing adventure – including a high degree of replayability in which you can make different choices both for your character and out in the universe – but it’s also going to be supported by Bethesda. for years (not months) to come. BGS has followed this trend with its previous RPGs. We’ll get patches, content updates, downloadable content (DLC) and full expansions for Starfield, further fleshing out and polishing the worlds the team has built.
And secondly, the reality is that modern AAA games take a very long time to create. Despite advances in the tools available to developers, project lead times are generally getting longer, not shorter. Sure, The Elder Scrolls 6 may have been announced in 2018 – before a single line of code was put in place – but it’s going to take many years to get it done. Starfield took eight years, and while Todd Howard told me Last June, he hoped that TES6 would not take so long, the most reasonable prediction is that it will be a five-year development cycle.
This could mean that Starfield is the only BGS release we get in the Xbox Series X generation. The Elder Scrolls 6 will likely target the next generation Xbox likely arriving around 2028 – perhaps even as a day one launch game, since Oblivion was intended as an Xbox 360 before it ended up shipping four months into the console’s life cycle. .
Also, given Howard’s well-earned preference for keeping his franchises close to his chest – at least when it comes to mainline entries (see you, Fallout: New Vegas!) – and essentially working on one game at a time, it seems. We’ll have to wait until The Elder Scrolls 6 ends to get Fallout 5, per Howard himself in an interview with me last year. And while I wish Howard good health for life and hope he never feels like retiring, given his age (53) and this aforementioned preference to remain in the director’s chair and work on one big game at a time, it’s also possible no matter how successful Starfield is, he may not We never see a sequel to it. Or if we do, 15 years or so later, your kids will play it on day one, and it may end up being Howard’s last game.
It’s weird to think of this kind of thing, because we’ve never had to, given the youth of the video game industry as a whole. Almost none of our greatest creators have ever retired, let alone died (thank God!). Even Shigeru Miyamoto, though he doesn’t personally run the games anymore, is only 70 years old!
Anyway, the point is that given the way Howard chooses to work – a choice that he fully deserved – and how long it takes to create this type of game, it’s clear that Starfield is the present for Bethesda Game Studios, but it’s also the future too, at least least for a while. Fortunately, there is a whole world out there to explore.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and host of IGN’s two weekly Xbox shows, The podcast is openplus a program of monthly (-ish) interviews, IGN is unfiltered. He’s a North Jersey guy, so it’s “Taylor Pork,” not “Pork Roll.” Discuss it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.