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‘The Elder Scrolls 6’ release date: ‘Some exclusivity’ deals with Microsoft were present in franchise’s history, Bethesda exec says

From the cinematic trailer of The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr | Photo credit: Bethesda Softworks / YouTube screenshot

Since “The Elder Scrolls 6” was announced, fans have been asking Bethesda about its release date and story. However, the developer is now facing an even bigger question after its parent company, ZeniMax Media, was acquired by Microsoft. Most gamers, especially those loyal to PlayStation, are now wondering what this mega deal means for the “Skyrim” sequel.

‘The Elder Scrolls 6’ devs have yet to finalize possible exclusivity

The acquisition was announced in September as Microsoft announced it is acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion on a deal expected to be completed in 2021. It also means developers and publishers under ZeniMax will be operating under Microsoft’s banner now. Bethesda Game Studios is one of ZeniMax’s biggest subsidiaries with two AAA projects on deck -- “Starfield” and “The Elder Scrolls 6.”

Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios was the latest company exec to address the question on a possible Xbox-exclusive “The Elder Scrolls 6” launch. While Howard did not give a final answer on the topic, he recalled in an interview with that the action RPG franchise has had “some exclusivity” partnerships with Microsoft and Xbox for “every ‘Elder Scrolls’ game.”

“I can't really project where things will be except to say we've done those sort of exercises ourselves as an independent,” Howard said. “We've partnered with every game.” He then mentioned “TES 4: Oblivion” being a timed exclusive on Xbox 360 as it was released on the console and Windows PC in March 2006 and only launched on PS3 a year later.

As mentioned, though, Howard would not commit to saying “The Elder Scrolls 6” could be exclusive to platforms within Microsoft’s ecosystem. But he agreed that it would be “hard to imagine” Microsoft opting to leave out PlayStation for the much-awaited sequel’s launch.

‘The Elder Scrolls 6’ release date: What to expect

It could take a while before fans get an answer on whether or not “The Elder Scrolls 6” would be exclusive to Microsoft’s gaming platforms. Even Xbox head Phil Spencer would not give a specific answer on the topic yet.

Bethesda is currently prioritizing the development of its new IP, “Starfield,” which does not have its own release window. Both games were presented during E3 2018 with video teasers that do not provide any context about its plot and gameplay. That suggests that “Starfield” could still be a year or two away from being released. Ultimately, it could mean “The Elder Scrolls 6” may not be launched in the next several years.

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