‘Skyrim’ Patch Makes Steam Mandatory To Play

Nov 22, 2011 by  

Skyrim Patch Makes Steam Mandatory

The release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a commercial and critical success for developer Bethesda, but hasn’t been without a few technical hiccups. So when the first patch for the massive game was released, many expected it to be fixing random glitches and other issues. However, it looks like the patch does far less than that. After installing the update, players found that Skyrim could no longer be played without Steam, and the amount of RAM available was completely throttled.

To say that this comes as somewhat of a disappointment would be an understatement, since we would much rather see Bethesda fix the Xbox 360 install issues, the PlayStation 3 system crashes, or the myriad graphical glitches the game is suffering from. But instead, Bethesda released a meager 18MB patch that Rock, Paper Shotgun is claiming does nothing other than making the game’s executable unable to run without Steam. That, and make 2GB of RAM the absolute maximum that even super-powered gaming rigs can utilize.

The large address aware third-party patch that granted unrestricted RAM also made several of Skyrim‘s more interesting mods possible, so why it is that a publisher so fond of mods would go out of their way to make them impossible is something we can’t understand. With debates over DRM and the removal of modding from several substantial titles it’s become the norm for companies to keep their heads down to avoid controversy. Could that be why Bethesda waited this long to release this unexplained update? We can only wonder.

There are almost certainly good reasons to keep Skyrim from being completely open and able to be tampered with, even if it’s easy to argue that a game should be allowed to look as good as it possibly can. But with a game world that apparently includes both Morrowind and Cyrodiil, there’s the possibility, however slim, that Bethesda has plans that they don’t want spoiled by crafty gamers.

In case you’ve already downloaded and installed the new update, RPS has uncovered a work-around that will allow more powerful rigs to boost visuals, so be sure to look into that here. But beware, since technical issues as a result are always a risk. Hopefully Bethesda will explain exactly why they felt it necessary to impose new DRM and restrictions at this point, but until then we can only speculate.

Do you have any theories on this besides the obvious? Run into any issues yourself? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available now for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Rock, Paper Shotgun

56 Comments

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  1. Somebody get a lawyer because Bethesda just broke an agreement with its retail disk buyers. The back of the game box says;

    “Requires internet connection and a free Steam account to activate”

    No where does it say ‘you need Steam to play it”

    • Imagine your car maker forced you to pre-install a limiter on your car, this limiter forces you to close a add every time you try and start your car. This limiter also claims it’s capable of going 60MPH, while in fact in most cases it can reach 30MPH then shuts down.

      Fortunately people have found a way to remove this sh!tty “app”.

    • What about creating an underclass that can’t play it’s game AT ALL, the stand-alone gamer. I have no internet connection, I go to a nearby town’s Online Access Centre to email etc. Mind you, even if I did have access to interet connectivity I wouldn’t expose my sweet gaming machine to it. Bethesda has built a HUGE karmic debt by stomping on gamers with it’s Steam-boot!!

  2. You guys are some of the biggest babies ever! Steam is mandatory to play? Who cares?! It doesn’t affect you at all. Jeez you guys are worse than women. If this news pisses you off that much, then you have bigger problems lol

    • WRONG. It does. Every single time. Every-Single-Time.

      My game crashes every 5 minutes with the PoS installed. Some hacker has made the game better playable then the add machine Steam. Imagine that.

      How about not being blind?

      • Just saying, but short for advertisement is “ad” with one d, add means to get the sum of something… Just saying, kind of annoys me when I see people say add when they’re talking about advertisements, lol. :-)

        • Ahh I see. I don’t really pay attention to the little details. Till after being corrected…

          • Haha, just pointing that out, not disagreeing with anything you said, just every time I see “add” I think about math, haha.

    • Actually running steam in the background causes the game to be very laggy. Enough said.

  3. They did this AFTER the pre-orders and the giant rush to get the game. Now, for those of us who paid to get the game, we’re forced to suffer with this STEAMing pile. Forced to update steam/forced to use steam/forced to see their advertisements pop up just to play a game I already paid for? Now they’ve capped out our ram usage… I’m sorry, but Bethesda can take their game and shove it. I won’t be buying anything from them after this horses ass of a move.

  4. Perhaps all this mess is a result of Bethesda’s decision to ignore the stand-alone gamer and sell us out to the evil empire, Steam (hoik, spit, ting!!)

  5. i hate steam so much i rarely have internet its very slow (the net) when i do have internet i notice also when steam is running its slows my computer down sooooo slow and my game crashes. i like the mods but i cant even play it in offline mode (why is it called that if its not true) its not even a online game its single player for gods sake!!!

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