Fans of The Elder Scrolls love to joke about the long gap between Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls 6. Director Todd Howard is more aware of this gap than ever before, but when it came to creating Starfield and jumping into a whole new world, it was almost now or not at all.

In an extensive interview with IGN Unfiltered, which covers Skyrim’s 10th Anniversary, Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, Howard talked about a long list of projects that pushed the project back at the end of Fallout 4 in 2015.

“Do you plan to have such a gap between Skyrim and follow-up? That’s not a good thing,” Howard says. “I wish I could swing the game I wanted to make with a wand. […] Just came out? absolutely. ”

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However, other projects such as Fallout 76 first appeared. Moreover, if Bethesda Game Studios decided to prioritize The Elder Scrolls 6, it was unclear if they would have another chance to do something really new.

“We felt like we were doing something like Starfield … we’ve long wanted to do something else and play in the new universe, so now it’s not. Even I go back in time, we started shortly after Fallout 4. 2015 — If not now? If not, then “when” is not “never” I felt it, “said Howard.

Bethesda Game Studios eventually decided to drive Starfield, effectively putting off The Elder Scrolls 6. Both games were announced at E3 2018, and while Starfield is targeting a release later next year, The Elder Scrolls 6 is still in the prototype stage. Based on the usual timescale of Bethesda’s development, Elder Scrolls fans will have to wait a few more years before they finally get the chance to revisit Tamriel.

Elder Scrolls 6 remains years ahead

In the meantime, little information has been revealed about Elder Scrolls 6, which Howard described as being in the “design phase” in June. We know that both Elder Scrolls 6 and Starfield will take advantage of a significantly updated version of the Creation Engine, which will be a “huge jump” from Skyrim. Fans also suspect that what looks like a subtle Easter egg buried in Starfield, along with other clues, could be set on Hammerfell, based on revealing the trailer. ..

Howard hinted at the future direction of the series when explaining what would change Skyrim. “Has several parts [Skyrim] Places that have not been dug deep enough, places that are veneers in terms of interactivity. […] When we think about the game and what we want to do in the future, it’s okay … whatever the system is … how deep can we make it? The other is how AI and NPCs interact. I think it’s a long way to go. “

Ultimately, the success of The Elder Scrolls Online and the overall health of the franchise gave Bethesda the confidence to focus on Starfield, Howard said. “”[E]It takes a lot of time, but I want to be able to handle it correctly. Hopefully Elder Scrolls 6 — I don’t want to say it’s worth the wait — but when it came out, it was a really big and impactful way, so it endures the series. “

Starfield is currently scheduled to be released on Xbox Series X | S and PC on November 11, 2022, and Skyrim 10th Anniversary Edition will be released later this week. Listen to the rest of Todd Howard’s interview on IGN Unfiltered. He scrutinizes Skyrim, Indiana Jones, Starfield and more.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s Senior News Editor.