The Elder Scrolls series getting an entry from a developer other than Bethesda lies within the realm of possibility, game director Todd Howard has said.
Chatting in an interview with Edge, Howard said that while keeping things within Bethesda is the goal, an externally-developed addition is not ruled out. It certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented.
In the case of the Obsidian-developed Fallout: New Vegas, it came down to timing and past experience with the property (Obsidian was formed by key members from Fallout 1 & 2 developer Black Isle Studios). With a post-Fallout 3 Bethesda moving on to Skyrim, their pitch came at just the right moment.
“New Vegas was unique: as a publisher, we wanted to do something with Obsidian; we knew we were moving on Elder Scrolls; they had a team available,” Howard says.
“They gave us the pitch and we were like, ‘That would be a really fun game’. But they had experience with the IP, and with Elder Scrolls we don’t have that.”
Nevertheless: “I wouldn’t rule that out, but generally with everything we want to keep it internal.”
First things first: Skyrim‘s out this November.