Why We Won't See The Elder Scrolls V at E3 2010

Elder Scrolls V

I predicted we'd see an Elder Scrolls V announcement this year, and sure enough, it looks like...well, who knows, but the scuttlebutt is we'll hear something about Bethesda's next fantasy epic at this year's E3 game show.

Granted it's mostly speculation steeped in conjecture stirred with spoonfuls of wishful thinking. Japanese games mag Famitsu reportedly claimed several publishing majors like Electronic Arts and Square Enix and Ubisoft have a bunch of surprises up their sleeves for E3 in a few weeks. Famitsu also (reportedly) included Bethesda on the "secret" announcement list. A games blog picked that up, then a games news aggregator that promotes stories based on user clicks (though not verification) ran it up the visibility flagpole, touching off a blizzard of silly comments about how the next game shouldn't be an MMO, how Fallout 3's just Oblivion with guns, and would Bethesda please use more than three voice actors in whatever's next.

I'd wager 10 to 1 odds against an E3 Elder Scrolls, list or no list, since I take Bethesda's Pete Hines at his word when he argues against E3 bombshells. In an interview with Joystiq a few weeks ago, he responded to a question about major E3 announcements with two words: "Probably not." In case that "probably" sounds ambiguous, Hines then drives the nails in with: "I just don't think E3 is a great place to announce anything."

Nitpickers will draw attention to the part slightly later where he says "I wouldn't expect any big announcements from us at E3, although it is only April and it's two months away." And, you know, Oblivion did come out roughly four years ago. I'd wager we'll see an Elder Scrolls announcement sometime this year.

But at E3 in slightly less than two weeks? Probably not. Bethesda's already showing Brink (their "ground breaking shooter"), Hunted (a third-person co-op fantasy action game), RAGE (id Software's next big first-person shooter), and Fallout: New Vegas, the latest not-an-expansion-to-Fallout-3 chapter in the Fallout roleplaying saga.

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