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News video games 25 September 2023, 23:00

author: Adam Celarek

Bethesda Hoped to Make a Fortune on Starfield, Though Not as Much as on The Elder Scrolls

The recent leak of Microsoft documents continues to provide interesting information. We've been given a glimpse of the financial projections associated with Bethesda games such as Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

Recent leak of company documents related to Microsoft's court battle with the Federal Trade Commission reverberated through the gaming community. The disclosure of a range of internal information gave the public a unique insight into the corporation's activities and plans.

One more interesting thread was highlighted today by Insider Gaming. One of the disclosed documents from several years ago contained a table showing estimated revenues from Bethesda's already released and upcoming titles. Of particular interest are the projections for the recently released Starfield and The Elder Scrolls game.

Profitable RPG titles

According to figures from this classified document, expected earnings from the space RPG by Bethesda were expected to be just under $1 billion, over the four years following its release. Naturally, a significant portion of the total (600 million) is attributable to the first year after release (described in the table as fiscal year 2021, the originally planned debut date of Starfield).

Bethesda Hoped to Make a Fortune on Starfield, Though Not as Much as on The Elder Scrolls - picture #1
Source: Insider Gaming; Microsoft.

The author of the text was also tempted to make some loose calculations, which show that more than 10 million players that Starfield can boast may indeed confirm the publisher's bold predictions as to revenue from the investment.

And while the amount of nearly a billion dollars is awe-inspiring, it doesn't hold a candle to the projections associated with the release of the much-anticipated The Elder Scrolls VI. According to the publisher the follow-up to Skyrim would earn a round billion dollars on its own in just its first year on the market (of course, the release of this game in fiscal 2024 is out of the question).

Assumptions about the strength of the TES brand can also be confirmed by the forecast for the MMO The Elder Scrolls Onlinewhich, despite being many years old at this point, is still expected to provide about $200 million in revenue each year.

The information provided in the document is, of course, only a corporate estimate, which may not necessarily prove accurate - especially since the document was written several years ago.

  1. Article on Insider Gaming
  2. Starfield Review: A Stellar Masterpiece
  3. Starfield - game guide
  4. Starfield - official website

Adam Celarek

Adam Celarek

He has been interested in video games since an early age. He graduated film studies and new media, and defended his thesis on ludology. He started working at Gamepressure in early 2023. He is primarily a guide writer. Enthusiast of RPGs, unconventional indie games and competitive e-sports titles (mainly brawlers and MOBAs). In addition to games, he's also interested in table-top role-playing games and collectible card games. A fan of old-school technology and retro style!