With Starfield just out the door, no one was expecting The Elder Scrolls 6 anytime soon. But the FTC v. Microsoft case continues to deliver news today as we learn the next entry into the franchise will not be released until at least 2026.
Microsoft posted a chart (seen in an X post below) highlighting recent Bethesda games along with their release dates and platforms. For The Elder Scrolls 6, we see “TBC, but expected 2026 or later.” Microsoft also says the game will be coming to Xbox and PC only.
The news of Xbox console exclusivity shouldn’t be surprising, but this document does make it crystal clear. When Microsoft purchased Zenimax a couple of years ago, they made it a point to honor any existing deals with PlayStation (Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo) and continue PlayStation support already released titles (Fallout 76 and The Elder Scrolls Online). Since then, new games have been Xbox exclusive on consoles and released on PC. That trend will continue with The Elder Scrolls 6.
As recently as last week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that the team looks at platform exclusives on a case-by-case basis. “Yeah, we look at it on a case-by-case basis, with the games we that we built, we want to make sure our games are available in so many different places on our Xbox consoles, on PC also via cloud, these games can come to almost any web-enabled device.”
Yeah, The Elder Scrolls 6 was never coming to PlayStation after this acquisition. Not as long as there is an Xbox platform to push.
This news comes as Microsoft continues to work on closing its deal to purchase Activision Blizzard. One major sticking point with that deal is the question of exclusivity with Call of Duty. That question has been answered with Sony and Microsoft signing a ten-year deal to keep the franchise multiplatform.
Call of Duty and The Elder Scrolls 6 are vastly different when it comes to how players spend money. The Elder Scrolls is a one-time purchase with a premium expansion later. Call of Duty has the upfront purchase combined with cosmetic and battle passes every couple of months.
Huge multiplayer franchises with a heavy emphasis on microtransactions will remain multiplatform. But look for new IPs or single-player focused games from Activision and Zenimax to stay console exclusive to Xbox.