Former design director of Bethesda Game Studios and lead designer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bruce Nesmith in an interview MinnMax talked about early ideas for Starfield and explained the announcement of The Elder Scrolls VI in 2018.
Let us recall that one of the most notable features of Starfield was the presence of more than a thousand planets in the game (although not many of them were man-made), but in the early stages of development the scope of the project was very more modest.
According to Nesmith, the Starfield team initially discussed the idea of only developing two dozen star systems for the game, but Todd Howard, who originates all of the studio’s ideas, decided to do it differently.
Howard argued that building twenty systems isn’t all that different from building a hundred, and scaling would be easy. In addition, according to the game designer, fans love Bethesda’s big games.
When it comes to announcing The Elder Scrolls VI, Bethesda and Howard like to showcase games shortly (around six months) before release, but the situation surrounding the sixth Elder Scrolls forced the company to break that policy.
As Nesmith recalls, in 2018, fans were so tired of the lack of news about the game that they began arming themselves “Forks and Torches” – Bethesda had to confirm The Elder Scrolls VI to appease fans.
The Elder Scrolls VI is expected to release only on PC and Xbox consoles in 2026 at the earliest. Nesmith believes Bethesda won’t start talking about the game until six months before release. That won’t happen anytime soon: the project has only just left pre-production.