The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (opens in new tab) originally debuted in 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Since then it's been ported to *deep breath* PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC (again), and VR systems. And by making Skyrim: Very Special Edition (opens in new tab) available via the Alexa smart assistant, you could even play Skyrim on the toilet (opens in new tab) (which, to clarify, is different from playing Skyrim while on the toilet, a thing you can also do thanks to the Switch version). So, why does Bethesda keep shoveling more Skyrim into the world?
According to director Todd Howard, the reason is simple: people still really like playing Skyrim.
During an interview with Geoff Keighley at Gamelab Barcelona 2018 (opens in new tab) and reported by Gamesindustry.biz (opens in new tab), Howard said that "millions of people every month" still play the fantasy open-world RPG. Although Howard himself didn't give any specific metrics, Skyrim and Skyrim VR are indeed listed among Steam's top sellers of 2018 (opens in new tab), so plenty of people out there are still buying it. "That's why we keep releasing it," Howard said. "If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it."
Of course, the concept of 'vote with your wallet' is nothing new, though it's refreshing to hear someone as high-profile as Howard be so honest. But it's not just that the game is continuing to make money seven years after its initial launch, it's the legacy it's creating at Bethesda; it shows that there's a permanence and future for The Elder Scrolls and Howard's other games.
"I'd say I want it to be sustainable. Eventually there will come a day where I'm not making games at Bethesda," Howard said. "Hopefully that's a long time away. But I want to make sure that who we are, what the worlds are, what the company is, that's sustainable far beyond me."
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