Bethesda quietly launches new Elder Scrolls game

Bethesda has quietly released a new Elder Scrolls game, although it is not the Skyrim sequel that many fans of the franchise are eagerly awaiting.

Reddit user u/tracteurman was among the first to spot The Elder Scrolls: Castles on the Google Play Store on Thursday, 28 September 2023.

The unannounced mobile video game is now available for free in early access on Android to some users, but not yet on iOS.

The Elder Scrolls: Castles is a building management game similar to Fallout Shelter.

Players are tasked with customising their castle with rooms, decorating them, and adding monuments to which they can appoint workers.

They can also create heroes to send on quests to fight against classic Elder Scrolls foes.

Unfortunately, although the game was listed on the Play Store when viewed from a browser, attempting to open the listing on a Samsung Galaxy S22 presented us with a “Something went wrong” error.

A screenshot from The Elder Scrolls: Castles

While a mobile game might help satisfy the hunger for new Elder Scrolls content for some fans, a new fully-fledged RPG in the world of Tamriel is still some way off.

Bethesda publishing head Pete Hines recently confirmed that the Elder Scrolls VI was in early development, but more details on the game were still years away.

The company released its first teaser video of the Elder Scrolls VI over five years ago.

The gap between that trailer and an actual release might be even longer than the one between CD Projekt Red’s announcement and the release of Cyberpunk 2077 — which was seven years.

There have also been no new Elder Scrolls RPGs since Skyrim debuted in 2011. The third and last expansion for the game — Dragonborn — was released on Xbox 360 in 2012 and PC and PS3 in 2013.

Bethesda has been satirised for the myriad re-releases of the game with minor graphical improvements and new features over the past decade.

However, Skyrim has a very strong modding community, which has helped keep it popular.

According to NME, nearly 100,000 Skyrim mods were available across 17 platforms — stretching over three console generations.

Gap between new games grows

The gaps between previous Elder Scrolls releases were much shorter.

For example, the fourth Elder Scrolls game — Oblivion — was released in 2006, just four years after Morrowind debuted in 2002.

Morrowind’s predecessor — Daggerfall — debuted six years earlier, while the first Elder Scrolls title — Arena — preceded Daggerfall by two years.

Including Skyrim, Bethesda launched five major Elder Scrolls RPGs in 17 years.

If Bethesda takes as long as it did with Starfield — its “Skyrim or Fallout in space” RPG — to complete The Elder Scrolls VI, it could be another eight years before release.

That means the company could only release a new Elder Scrolls game 20 years after Skyrim.

According to documents from the FTC’s case against Microsoft, the earliest possible release is 2026. That would still put it 15 years after the launch of Skyrim.

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Bethesda quietly launches new Elder Scrolls game