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Bethesda has no plans to remaster more games, Elder Scrolls 6 is still 'a very long ways off'

As far as remasters go at Bethesda, Skyrim Special Edition was a one-off.


Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine (via Games Radar), Bethesda VP Pete Hines discussed the studio's approach to remastering games.

"Generally speaking, our approach has usually been that instead of spending all this time on a thing we've already made, why don't we instead spend that effort on something new, or on the next version of that thing?" Hines explained.

In effect, HD upgrades like Skyrim: Special Edition and Dishonored Definitive Edition were exceptions to the rule at Bethesda. Bethesda had incorporated lots of bells and whistles into 2015's Fallout 4—which used an updated version of Skyrim's engine—that the studio wanted to roll into Skyrim, such as support for mods.

Dishonored Definitive Edition was a special case. "We did one for Dishonored but that was a unique case where it was a new IP at the very end of the last generation of consoles. So remastering it and bringing it to this gen wasn't a ton of work and it made a lot of sense given the proximity of those two."

Given the way Bethesda has staggered Fallout and Elder Scrolls releases, one could presume that an Elder Scrolls 6 is next up on the developer's docket. While it's in development, players shouldn't expect any news on that front for a while.

"I think that's kind of the elephant in the room, always, when we talk about anything," director Todd Howard said at E3 2016 in regard to an Elder Scrolls 6. "I think it's good in these moments to tell our fans, 'Yes, of course we are.' It's something we love. But I have to be careful what I say. It's a very long ways off. I can sit here and explain the game to you and you'd say, 'That sounds like you don't even have the technology, how long is that going to take?'"

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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      January 10, 2017 1:27 PM

      I'd guess that ES6 is probably two years out. So, maybe holiday 2018. I assume they're having to spend a good deal on the tech. But, that also kinda makes me ponder if Bethesda might be looking for another IP to use that tech for. If they're having to invest so much into tech, they may want some additional series to use it to help offset the increasing development cost. That said, maybe that new series is set to hit this year if they're working toward a tick-tock schedule. This is all just wild speculation without any insight.

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        January 10, 2017 1:35 PM

        I kinda get the feeling ES6 is closer to 2019.. :(

        They really need to adopt a new engine or nearly gut the current engine to get something that doesn't feel dated as this point. Slapping on some shaders and effects onto the existing engine isn't going to fix that broken POS.

        Fallout 4 really just fell flat on it's face partly due to the dated engine but also some very poor design decisions. Biggest issue for me was the hollow characters and animations

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          January 10, 2017 4:41 PM

          This. That busted-ass Gamebroyo engine needs to be taken out back and shot. Hopefully Bethesda is finally ready to double-down and get themselves on to a new code base, securing a much brighter future for their games. With any luck, maybe they'll get some folks from id to help out with that engine building...

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          January 10, 2017 5:03 PM

          Honestly I hope that it's at least 2019 just because that gives them plenty of time to work on a new engine instead of using a newer version of Gamebryo.

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          January 10, 2017 5:05 PM


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          January 10, 2017 5:06 PM

          haven't people been saying they 'have to' do this since like before Skyrim? They keep refusing. They can see fixing writing and characters and such as sufficient without incurring the cost of a new engine.

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          January 10, 2017 5:24 PM

          It seems like there are plenty of engines out there capable of doing what they would want... Just Cause 3 engine or Witcher 3's engine come to mind.

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            January 11, 2017 5:37 AM

            I just don't think that's true. If it were that easy, they'd have switched by now.

            They need an engine that can handle the insane number of physics objects the player (and NPCs, and other effects) can manipulate, along with relatively easy modding. Those two things are huge parts of what make their games unique.

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          January 11, 2017 6:44 AM

          I agree with everything you just said and Im willing to wait as long as it takes

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        January 10, 2017 5:09 PM

        I really hope this means they have a new engine in the works. I've been re-playing the Skyrim remaster and it really doesn't hold up these days.

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        January 10, 2017 6:10 PM

        I'd love to see them top Skyrim, I mean they had you fighting freaking dragons! In the land of vikings, being a hero from legend. Truly epic.

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      January 10, 2017 5:33 PM

      Bummer. I'd love a new elder scrolls. But I'd rather them do it right.

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      January 10, 2017 5:40 PM

      Hopefully they learn how to write a decent story in the meantime.

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      January 10, 2017 5:49 PM

      Hopefully they learned some hard lessons from Fallout 4. Because they're going to need to really improve from a technical and writing standpoint.

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        January 10, 2017 8:27 PM

        I suspect that part of the problem with Fallout 4 derives from them spending so much time on technical stuff that they weren't able to get a bunch of other stuff done in time.

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      January 10, 2017 6:30 PM

      Didn't they also disavow Skyrim Switch, after Nintendo showed it to us in the video?

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      January 11, 2017 4:36 AM

      Force every dev team member to play Witcher 3.

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      January 11, 2017 5:35 AM


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      January 11, 2017 5:58 AM

      but dont worry, when it does arrive, it will still be infested with bugs

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