To say that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a success is a vast understatement. Released Nov. 11, 2011 to critical acclaim, the game shipped over seven million units during the first week, and has sold 20 million across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. It also has the added benefit of being one of the best RPGs ever made, or perhaps even one of the best games ever made. Period. To date, almost all sandbox games with role-playing elements are judged by the standard it has set, with very few games — such as last year’s The Witcher 3 — coming close to giving Skyrim a run for its money.
Three expansions kept the fires burning, two of which are regarded as some of the best downloadable content out there, but soon after Dragonborn dropped, the announcement came from Bethesda that there would be nothing further for the game besides patch updates. The only thing audiences could hope for was a Remastered Edition as consoles made their way into the new generation. For a while, even that seemed like a lost cause, which was a darn shame considering how many existing properties were able to trade ships. In this writer’s opinion, a lot of those properties were far less deserving of surviving the transition. Comments by Bethesda Softworks Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, drove the final nail in the coffin during an interview with Examiner over why people were getting a Definitive Edition for Dishonored rather than Skyrim: Remastered.
“I think it’s largely because it was the last thing we did on previous-gen. It was the year before the new consoles came out and it felt like a good fit. We had a plan and an idea to get it so all of the folks who bought next-gen consoles and might have skipped out on the game at the end of the [Xbox] 360 and PS3 cycle, [now] had the chance to play it on next-gen.
“Plus, the fact that we announced [Dishonored 2], which is coming out next year, it does serve as a way to get [the series] in front of more folks. Again it’s another way to bridge the franchise until Dishonored 2 comes out.”
Not that Dishonored is a bad game by any means, and Hines’ business strategy is sound. Dishonored was received almost as well as Skyrim, regarded as one of the best games of 2012, and moved 2.45 million units (not to mention it being on top of Steam for a good few days). But on paper, Skyrim is the bigger hit both critically and financially, and a Remastered Edition would’ve been just as ideal a sales strategy, if not even more so, as Dishonored: Definitive Edition.
Bethesda might have finally realized that, because it just so happens there’s word on the street that a Skyrim Remastered Edition will be announced at Bethesda’s E3 press conference tomorrow. The rumor in question was, of course, without sufficient substantiation until just a few days ago, when the UK Retailer Base.com leaked a listing for a Remastered Edition for Xbox One and PS4 with a release date of Nov. 23, 2016. The game was said to be able to support mods like Bethesda’s other major RPG title, Fallout 4. No further details were given.
Should this prove to be true, it would be a huge development for the Elder Scrolls fanbase, particularly those craving for a good reason to return to the snow-blasted fantasy kingdom. The addition of mods should also be a treat since Skyrim has an extremely dedicated modding community, with new content ranging from the hilarious to the spectacular.
This writer is definitely keeping his fingers crossed for Bethesda’s presentation come Sunday evening, where we will hopefully see a remastered Skyrim showcased alongside Dishonored 2.
The Bethesda E3 Press Conference begins on Sunday, 7:00 PM PDT.