Bethesda’s introduction of Bethesdaland at E3 2017 was one of the highlights of the week-long series of press conferences. Bethesda went out of its way to create an engaging, compelling aesthetic for its E3 presence that eschewed some of the more stale elements of the expo, and for the most part, it worked. There was just one problem, though, at least in the eyes of many fans of the developer’s work – there wasn’t really anything new in the way of Elder Scrolls or Fallout to show, and even cool announcements like a new Wolfenstein game and a huge expansion for Dishonored 2 felt a little muted as a result.
Now, however, it appears Bethesda had a very good reason for its decision to forgo any announcements regarding Elder Scrolls 6 or Fallout 5. Bethesda marketing boss Pete Hines explained why the studio isn’t going to make a new Elder Scrolls any time soon, and the reasoning makes a lot of sense:
“Quite honestly, [Bethesda Studios] didn’t want to be the developer that was just Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Fallout for the rest of their development careers…and you’ve got a lot of people in that studio who have been there for a really long time. They wanted to be able to self-determine things they worked on next, whether it was existing stuff [or] whether it was new IP.”
For a studio that has, over the past four or five years, fallen into exactly the cycle that Hines describes, Bethesda’s stance on making a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout soon seems more than justified. Given the creative talent that critics constantly praise Bethesda’s staff for possessing, it’s logical to assume that those innovative minds would want to branch out and explore other possibilities in gaming too. The recently released Prey, which was met with a very positive reception and blended the best of sci-fi games with Dishonored‘s freedom, is one such example of what can happen when Bethesda distances itself from its two most well-known properties.
Of course, that isn’t to say that Bethesda is completely ignoring Fallout or The Elder Scrolls in the meantime. Bethesda continues to churn out new versions of Skyrim, for instance, with the latest reiteration coming to the Switch later this year, while Fallout Shelter and Fallout 4‘s well-supported modding community keep that series fresh as well. Given the pedigree of Bethesda’s games library, however, fans of the developer should be patient and let it pursue whatever ideas it wants to – the result, as past evidence suggests, is sure to be something spectacular.