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The Elder Scrolls 6 release date and news: ‘Skyrim Grandma’ will live in the game

Bethesda will use new technology to turn an octogenarian YouTuber into an NPC in The Elder Scrolls 6

A video released by Bethesda Game Studios to mark the 25th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls has given us a tantalising glimpse of The Elder Scrolls 6. The video pays tribute to the franchise and the people who helped to build it, and spends a bit of time on every Elder Scrolls title from Arena to Blades.

At around the eight-minute mark, BGS game director Todd Howard begins talking about new technology, and how The Elder Scrolls 6 will employ software that scans real people and places to produce more life-like renders for the development team to use. The technique is called “photogrammetry,” and it’s not new technology, although no previous Elder Scrolls titles have used it.

Todd then goes on to offer an example of photogrammetry in action: BGS is immortalising popular game streamer, Shirley “Skyrim Grandma” Curry, as an NPC in The Elder Scrolls 6. Curry has grown a cult following you YouTube for her play throughs of Bethesda’s Skyrim. Watching the video, it’s immediately obvious that the finished render of Curry’s face represents a step up over even the most recent Bethesda offering, Fallout 76.

In addition to Skyrim Grandma, we also catch a glimpse of an environmental asset in development. It’s a sandy, weather-beaten rock, which to the untrained eye might not mean much; we at Expert Reviews, however, know that sandy rocks are native to only a few of Tamriel’s provinces. Could it be that we’ll be visiting the deserts of Hammerfell? Or perhaps the rocky beaches of High Rock?

Read on to see the trailer for TES 6, as well as everything we know about its current development phase, release date, setting, and gameplay.

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The Elder Scrolls 6: Teaser trailer

Bethesda has announced that it is officially working on a brand new Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls VI – or 6, to keep it simple. Fans of the fantasy RPG series have been waiting a long, long time for this news as Skyrim, the previous entry in series, was released way back in 2011.

The existence of a long-awaited Skyrim sequel was confirmed during Bethesda’s E3 conference via a majestic, albeit incredibly short, teaser trailer. Tease is the operative word here, because we have no gameplay footage, no word about the setting or story, no release date, and no console details.

Just a really pretty view of a coastline with some mountains in the distance. But we’ll take it over nothing.

Although Elder Scrolls fans have been kept busy with endless re-releases of Skyrim on every conceivable console, platform and medium, they have really been wanting a brand new game. The Elder Scrolls Online, while popular, has hardly kept their hunger for a sequel at bay.

After the gargantuan – and never-ending – success of Skyrim, Bethesda has a lot of work to do on TES 6 if it is to live up to the legends of its previous title. There was a brief moment of brevity during the Bethesda showcase, however, where Bethesda spoofed its own habit of releasing Skyrim on every console known to mankind.

The grand unveiling of the next Elder Scrolls game came at the climax of Bethesda’s barnstorming E3 conference, in which they also showcased twenty minutes of gameplay for Fallout 76, as well as announcing a brand new Sci-Fi franchise called Starfield.

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That’s not it for Elder Scrolls content, however, because Bethesda also revealed mobile spin-off TES Blades. Blades is a free-to-play title for Android and iOS in which players battle through dungeons via taps and swipes of the touchscreen to kill all manner of supernatural nasties while hunting for treasure.

Blades is most likely a way to tide people over until the eventual release of TES 6, but for a mobile game it does look impressive. All in first person, with “console graphics” (it looks better than Oblivion, not as good as Skyrim), this will be full-blown open world RPG packed full of both hand-crafted and procedurally generated dungeons and missions. In this respect, it’s reminiscent of the very first Elder Scrolls game, Arena. Players can also engage in extensive character customisation, and collect resources to build their own base.

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date: When will TES 6 come out?

The Elder Scrolls 6 is a while away from hitting the shelves. Yes, it is in pre-production, but with Starfield on the way, we imagine the majority of their resources are still being spent on that upcoming game.

Todd Howard, commander in chief of the Elder Scrolls franchise at Bethesda, has revealed that The Elder Scrolls 6 does have a release date. But he won’t say when it is. In an interview with Gamespot, Howard, the Tom Cruise of the video game development world, stated that the game is still in the “concept and design phase”. And, although he knows exactly when it is scheduled for release, he reckons that he would be “foolish to say it”. Indeed, Bethesda games do seem to thrive on mystery and rumour in the buildup to their release.

But this news also means that The Elder Scrolls 6 is a long way away from release. The next big title released by Bethesda will be Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming Sci-Fi IP – Fallout 76 launched in November 2018, to a mixed reception.

In the documentary ‘The History of Bethesda Studios’, Todd Howard revealed that pre-production is always well underway on the developers’ next game while the current game is in its final phase. So work has definitely begun on TES 6, but we may not see any gameplay for a while. Based on the gaps between Oblivion and Skyrim’s reveal dates compared to their release dates, we predict that TES 6 won’t come out until 2020.

The Elder Scrolls 6 setting: Where will TES 6 take place?

All games in the Elder Scrolls series take place in the fictional realm of Tamriel. Skyrim was set in, well, Skyrim, which is in the snowy northern region of the fantastical continent, while Oblivion took place in the central land of Cyrodiil, home to the Imperial city. Other areas in Tamriel covered in previous games include Morrowind, Hammerfell, and High Rock.

Based on the rocky, beachy vista we’re treated to in TES 6 teaser, initial predictions online have been centred on High Rock, in the North Western region of Tamriel. However, since that region did appear TES II: Daggerfall, we could also expect to see somewhere entirely new. Could it be in the home of the Bosmer wood elves, Valenwood? Or maybe it will take place among the swampy backwaters of Black Marsh, which also has its fair share of coastal real estate.

Todd Howard and the rest of the Elder Scrolls team at Bethesda have confirmed that they’ve locked in the setting for The Elder Scrolls VI, which has yet to get a subtitle. Usually, it’s the location of the game i.e Skyrim, Morrowind, and Daggerfall. In an interview with Eurogamer, Howard was asked directly if the game would be set in Hammerfell, to which he replied: “You can rule some things out. And you can rule some things in”. Cryptic and enigmatic as ever, that Todd!

The Elder Scrolls and Fallout veteran did concede that it was possible to work out the location of the upcoming Skyrim sequel based on the trailer alone, hinting that it is, in fact, fairly obvious. To him, maybe, but to outsiders, the only settings we can definitely rule out are Skyrim and Cyrodil, the locations of the two previous titles, neither of which contain the landscapes seen in the E3 announcement teaser. In the Eurogamer interview, Mr Howard also stated that the setting is always the foundation for the rest of the development process; Bethesda builds everything else based on that, so they have “know for a while where it’s set”.

At the end of last year, Bethesda went ahead and trademarked the name ‘Redfall.’ Nobody knew what it meant then – heck, nobody realised they’d even trademarked it – and nobody knows what it means now. What we do know, however, is that it is currently causing a bit of a stir.

The ‘Redfall’ name is also the title of a series of books by science fiction author Jay Falconer. He took to Twitter to express his regret that ZeniMax Media – Bethesda’s parent company – hadn’t first contacted him before filing the trademark. As a result, Falconer writes, the game publisher can expect a wonderful bout of legal action to ensue.

If this does happen to be the current name for the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI game, and if Falconer manages to take the entire kerfuffle to court, it may well have an impact on the game’s launch schedule. A launch schedule that, let’s not forget, is currently a closely-guarded secret. Our prayers are with Todd Howard and his merry band of developers.

Rumours about the setting will no doubt circulate ad nauseum, but until we have seen more footage or get an official announcement from Bethesda, or the game’s location is leaked – like the time when Kotaku spilt the beans on the Fallout 4 Boston location– we’ll just have to sit tight and wait.

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