The Elder Scrolls is one of the biggest franchises in the industry. Its very name carries weight and expectations. Its previous title, Skyrim, is one of the most successful, well-known and beloved games of the last few years, and it shows no signs of stopping in terms of sales or the traction it still has in the market. It’s obvious that whenever Bethesda announced a sequel to the series, no matter how far away that announcement is, people will lose their minds.
The anticipation and excitement surrounding The Elder Scrolls 6 is already palpable, and as it stands right now, the game does not even exist. Imagine how insane the hype for the game will be when Bethesda do officially announce it. Which is why they need to make sure that they temper the expectations of fans a bit, in order to help themselves in the long term rather than looking to boost sales in the short term.
Sure, insane marketing and hype for the game will mean insane, boosted initial sales, but if somehow the game doesn’t match up to all that hype, which in today’s day and age is a very real possibility, then that will have a pretty detrimental effect in the long term. Not only will the sales slow down, the game’s critical response will also suffer, while both Bethesda and the Elder Scrolls brand names might lose a great deal of goodwill and fans. What happened with No Man’s Sky last year is a perfect example of that.
Take Skyrim for example. Skyrim had a lot of anticipation surrounding it, but Bethesda managed it pretty well, and as an effect, the game’s popularity grew, and as it did, so did its sales. The game is still selling well even today, despite being six years old now. There is no evidence yet to suggest that that will change with The Elder Scrolls 6, but ours is now a market that relies more on big budget marketing and insane hype cycles than actual quality (not saying that quality doesn’t matter), so it’s an easy trap to fall in. Let’s hope Bethesda continue being as mature as they have been over the years.
This article is part of our series on Bethesda’s next big entry into the world of The Elder Scrolls. Through this series we take a look at the possible new features that Bethesda can add into the next The Elder Scrolls game, based on what they implemented in the previous entries and player feedback.