Apparent test footage of The Elder Scrolls VI is floating around the internet at the moment, and though it's the tiniest of glimpses of what might be one of the most anticipated games of the next generation, fans aren't overly thrilled with what they see.
Remember when The Elder Scrolls VI was announced? Gosh, it's like it was yesterday. Not really. It's been three years since Todd Howard unveiled the upcoming title - an ancient era when E3 was a thing and people would mix and mingle with attendees from all over the world, touching chairs and controllers like they were there to be touched or something.
With seismic and extensive societal, economic, and political repercussions, the pandemic has permanently changed the way we live and the way that we work. The vast majority of studios have shifted to remote working, and they've seen varying levels of success. In early 2020, Bethesda reassured its fans that it was looking after its employees and safeguarding the status of its live titles like Fallout 76, Fallout Shelter, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
"Bethesda Softworks is committed to the health and well-being of everyone in our family of global development studios and offices. Most of our employees around the globe now have the capability to work remotely from the safety of their homes," said the company. Of course, working from home isn't half as straightforward as working within an office, due to the networks, infrastructure, space, and so on. It's possible that the timeline for The Elder Scrolls VI has slipped further into the future owing to the accommodations for the team that have had to be made. Actually, a recent rumour puts The Elder Scrolls VI in 2026 at the earliest, and without Bethesda's willingness to confirm or deny anything regarding the project, that's as close an estimate as we've got.
That's why the The Elder Scrolls community has leapt onto this possible leaked work-in-progress footage like a jaguar onto a defenceless lamb. The clip is less than ten seconds long, and a big boulder steals the show as the camera scurries up a hill. Some have pointed out that the surroundings look very like the environment featured in the original The Elder Scrolls VI announcement (which is theorised to be Hammerfell). It's not out of the question that this clip somehow wormed its way out of Bethesda's networks: Naughty Dog is a studio which is also working remotely, and it lost the entirety of The Last Of Us Part 2's story to hacks.
But. I've got to say it. These hills look like the hills in every other game of the fantasy genre. To me, it's not enough to stamp "DEFINITELY THE ELDER SCROLLS VI" across it in scarlet lettering. Additionally, the file information on the left side of the footage reads "ES-VIRF alpha test." Bethesda refers to the property as "The Elder Scrolls," not "Elder Scrolls," and it would still have a codename when shared within the company. Count me in the camp of fans who have torn this leak to shreds, but there's always a chance that we're completely wrong.
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