Monday, 15 April 2013

Bethesda confirm they are now moving on from SKYRIM

Bethesda have confirmed that they have completed their release schedule for Skyrim, the fifth title in the Elder Scrolls series. Work is now underway on their next game, which will most likely be Fallout 4 based on the company's previous comments.

The news surprised some people, first for suggesting that work on the next game was not further advanced than it appears to be: Fallout 4's release had been anticipated for 2014, if not a surprise release for late 2013, as Bethesda had indicated that their next game would be on the current-gen Creation Engine that Skyrim also used. This news hints that Fallout 4 (assuming it is their next game) will not be out until a lot later and will either use a new engine or the current one will be tweaked for next-gen systems (given the impressive scalability of the engine on high-end PCs, this is possible).

More surprising is the indication that Skyrim's expansion cycle is complete. Bethesda had suggested that their DLC (downloadable content) packs for Skyrim would be substantial in size and quality. However, they only released one such substantial expansion with Dragonborn. The first DLC, Dawnguard, was a relatively short adventure, whilst the second, Hearthfire, only added a few cosmetic tweaks to the game. Rumours had abounded that two more substantial DLCs were planned. If this was true, they clearly have now been abandoned.

Whilst we are unlikely to see Elder Scrolls VI for another five or six years, hardcore fans will get to play The Elder Scrolls Online before the end of this year. An MMORPG, The Elder Scrolls Online has been developed by Bethesda's sister company, Zenimax Online Studios, but (personally speaking) looks rather underwhelming at this point.


Scott Lynch said...

I am not particularly pleased to have to admit that the Elder Scrolls Online MMO holds absolutely zero appeal for me, as well. The folding/spindling/mutilating of races and politics to create three MMO factions leaves me snoozing.

Although I am delighted at the prospect of more Fallout games (I vote for Chicago or London this time around), their precipitous shut-off of further Skyrim content is a little weird and off-putting. I wonder what the issue was? Since they never offered physical retail packages for any of this DLC, I can only imagine it was more profitable for them than ever before on a per-sale basis.

Adam Whitehead said...

I know their DLC for FALLOUT 3 and NEW VEGAS was highly popular and profitable. However, it's less clear how successful SKYRIM's been. SKYRIM is a ludicrously huge game, with easily twice as much content as FALLOUT 3 and all of its DLCs combined. On that basis, people may not simply have been crying out for more content in the same way they were for the FALLOUT games (they were big, but you could do everything there was to do in them in well under 100 hours).

Also, both DAWNGUARD and HEARTHFIRE got pretty negative reviews. DRAGONBORN reversed that somewhat, but by that point the damage might have been done. It's also possible that Bethesda realised that to do more DLCs the size of DRAGONBORN, they'd have to delay their next full game by a lot more, as well as delaying the release of the SKYRIM Game of the Year or Ultimate Edition. Apparently Bethesda makes a ton of money out of these collected editions, and I know a lot of people wait for them (I waited for NEW VEGAS's Ultimate Edition myself, which was also useful as all the bugs were fixed by then), and Bethesda may have not wanted to have delayed it past the end of this year.

Personally, I think Bethesda should concentrate on TES, lease FALLOUT full-time to Obsidian and have them make FALLOUT 4. It'd make a hell of a lot more sense, allowing Bethesda more time to do SKYRIM DLCs now and then they can move onto ES6 whilst someone else does the leg-work of getting FO4 out in the meantime.

Russ said...

I still play FO:NV Ultimate Edition after all this time. Great, great game.

I think you may be on to something concerning Dawnguard and Hearthfire. It was simply impossible (for me, at least) to run any mods with those and that's half the fun. So, you could say that put me off their DLCs.