Bethesda Game Studios quietly releases The Elder Scrolls: Castles mobile game into early access

The Elder Scrolls: Castles key art
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What you need to know

  • Bethesda Game Studios quietly launched a new mobile game in The Elder Scrolls series on Android devices in early access.
  • Titled The Elder Scrolls: Castles, it's similar to Fallout Shelter, with players managing a castle including customizing the rooms, obtaining new subjects, solving problems, and more. 
  • The Elder Scrolls: Castles early access program is full at the time this is being written. 

Ready for a new experience in the world of the The Elder Scrolls?

Bethesda may have just released the science-fiction role-playing title Starfield a few weeks ago, but the developer already has a new game in The Elder Scrolls franchise out now in early access. Granted, it's not a traditional game, nor is it available on Xbox consoles or Windows PC at the moment right. 

Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and titled The Elder Scrolls: Castles, it's quite similar in structure to Fallout Shelter, with players managing their own keep, solving issues that subjects raise, customizing everything, and doing battle with ne'er-do-wells. 

The Elder Scrolls: Castles is in early access on the Google Play Store right now, and at the time this is being written, the program is full, so I'd recommend checking back in the coming weeks to see if more spots open up. 

Build your halls the way you want. (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Fallout Shelter was was also developed by Bethesda Game Studios and released in 2015 on mobile devices before later being ported to Windows 10 and Xbox, so it's certainly possible that we could see The Elder Scrolls: Castles ported to non-mobile devices in the future, especially since Bethesda Game Studios is now an Xbox first-party team.

This isn't the first mobile game in The Elder Scrolls series from Bethesda Game Studios, with the company previously launching The Elder Scrolls: Blades, which is traditional first-person gameplay for the series adapted to mobile devices. Publisher Bethesda Softworks also released The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a card game that pulled from different stories in the series.

Outside of The Elder Scrolls: Castles, Bethesda is currently working on updates for Starfield that will bring DLSS, an FOV slider, and more. The team is also developing a full-fledged expansion for Starfield called Shattered Space, as well working on The Elder Scrolls 6.

Analysis: Slowly expanding mobile presence

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has mentioned before that the team wants to build an Xbox mobile store in order to expand and unify the Xbox brand across Xbox consoles, Windows PC, and mobile. A huge part of that comes from the pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which is currently slated to finalize at some point before Oct. 18, 2023. 

Combined with the mobile efforts made possible by Activision Blizzardith Bethesda Game Studios dabbling into mobile games with titles like The Elder Scrolls: Castles. Fallout Shelter was a huge success, bringing in over $5 million in its first two weeks, so there's clearly a desire for these kinds of games. ZeniMax Media also has mobile developer Alpha Dog Games, which released Mighty Doom earlier this year

Combined with the mobile efforts made possible by Activision Blizzard, and I can see the potential for an Xbox mobile store coming together. Hopefully that can mean better integration including Xbox achievements and Xbox Game Pass perks.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.