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The wait between The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls VI might have just passed the 10-year mark, but Bethesda’s Todd Howard wants fans to know the long-awaited game is absolutely going to be worth the wait. He’s even suggested that the next Elder Scrolls game will aim to match, if not outdo, Skyrim’s longevity, meaning it’s a game we’ll be playing for at least years.
Speaking with GQ as part of Xbox’s 20th anniversary celebrations, Howard spoke a little about the immense challenge of creating a game that will last as long in the hearts and minds of players as Skyrim has. There’s a reason the company has been able to get away with releasing the game over and over again, after all: it’s because we keep buying it. Howard admitted that after such a long wait, The Elder Scrolls VI has to be a “decade game”. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy thing to create.
“I think that would drive me crazy to try to say, ‘Okay, this is the thing you have to top,’” Howard told GQ in regards to Skyrim’s incredibly long shelf life. “But then you realise, like, The Elder Scrolls VI has got to be a ‘decade game’. How do you make a game where you go into it, like, ‘people have to play it for a decade?’”
This isn’t the first time Howard has implied The Elder Scrolls VI will aim to keep players come back for years. In an interview with IGN a few years ago, the game director shared a similar sentiment.
“People are still playing Skyrim,” he said. “It’s still one of the best-selling games. I know people joke about it online, but it’s one of the best-selling games on Switch. Anything we put it out on, it becomes a hit game. And they love it, they still play it, it’s almost infinitely playable, with all of the mods, and everything like that.
“What that does, is let us know going into The Elder Scrolls VI, this is a game we need to design for people to play for a decade at least. At least.”
I think as long as The Elder Scrolls VI has a modding community half as dedicated as Skyrim’s, we can rest easy knowing that the game will entertain us for many, many years to come. We just have to wait for the damn thing to launch first.