Bethesda is one of the biggest gaming giants today, and over the last ten years in particular, it has established itself as a powerhouse for open-world first-person RPGs. With the next-generation of consoles just around the corner, there’s reasons to think Bethesda may hit the ground running in the coming year.

Not only was Bethesda just recently purchased by Microsoft as part of a deal to acquire its parent company, but 2021 has particular significance for the studio. Fans of both Bethesda’s classic RPGs and gamers hoping to see the studio try out something new could have something in store for them in 2021.

Skyrim’s 10-Year Anniversary

Skyrim sold 20 million copies between its release in late 2011 and early 2014. Since then, it has also been remastered and re-released on so many different platforms that Bethesda even released a "choose-your-own-adventure version" for the Amazon Echo, while one fan even figured out how to get the game to run on a pregnancy test.

Skyrim originally released on 11.11.11, making November 2021 the tenth-year anniversary of one of Bethesda’s most beloved games. It also marks a longer gap between the main installments in the Elder Scrolls franchise than many fans may have expected, with The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion releasing just five years before Skyrim. Bethesda has dedicated a lot of the last decade to Skyrim, and the fact that the game still remains a best-seller on Steam nearly a full decade after its initial release makes it likely that the studio will have something to show for The Elder Scrolls 5’s ten-year anniversary.

With everywhere Skyrim has popped, it's uncertain what could be there for it. However, it is possible Bethesda may use the ten-year anniversary to finally release some more details about The Elder Scrolls 6, which the studio has been almost completely silent about since the teaser trailer dropped back in 2018. If nothing else, Bethesda could reveal details about the setting or even just the title of the new game to build hype for the series on the next-gen, though it is already confirmed not to be Bethesda's next RPG release.


Despite interruptions to many game developers caused by COVID, Starfield is also still rumored to be on track for a 2021 release date. Starfield is a space-set sci-fi RPG which appears to allow players to travel between worlds, though few specifics about the setting and story have been released yet beyond some possible leaked images of Starfield gameplay.

The game will be the first new IP Bethesda has worked on for 25 years, which could give the studio freedom to break away from its traditional first-person format for one of the first times since The Elder Scrolls: Redguard. Bethesda has confirmed that there will be no news about Starfield until 2021, so even if the game ends up seeing a later release, fans can expect more information about the upcoming RPG in the coming year.

Bethesda will likely be looking to land feet-first on the next-gen consoles with a hit to rival Skyrim’s success, especially with competition in the RPG industry increasing over the last decade from newcomers like CD Projekt Red, as well as old collaborators like Obsidian. With Bethesda’s acquisition by Microsoft, the new year could even present opportunities for Bethesda to collaborate with other RPG studios under the same roof as it once did with Obsidian and Fallout: New Vegas, but for now fans will have to wait and see what lies ahead for Bethesda as the iconic studio enters a new decade.