VP of marketing Pete Hines has explained why Bethesda chose to reveal The Elder Scrolls 6 at such an early stage.
The publisher announced the next installment of the long-running fantasy franchise during its E3 conference with little more than a short tease. With the announcement that TES6 won’t release until after Starfield ships, some wondered why Bethesda chose to reveal the game so soon.
"A couple of years ago I talked to Todd [Howard] about clarifying with everybody that TES6 was not going to be our next game, and we had two other big games that we wanted to do first,” said Hines, speaking to Swedish outlet Fz.se. “So we had already put that out there several years ago, but we were very vague on what those other two titles were."
“It was just in conversations with him [and] folks on my team to say, look, why don't we consider putting out a little bit more of a roadmap for the studio that explains to folks, 'Here's what we're doing—yes, we're making this game called Starfield and here's what it is, and yes, we're going to make Elder Scrolls 6, but we have these other two games to develop and make first.”
There was a second motivation, however, that more more relevant to Bethesda’s next major release. With news that Fallout 76 was going to take the shape of a multiplayer-survival sandbox, the publisher wanted to fight concerns that it was dropping single player for good.
"[The announcement] also helps convince folks, this is not forever-more what we're doing. We are going to do a game that's just single-player next time around, and yes, we are going to get to Elder Scrolls 6," Hines said.