Bethesda's upcoming The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most highly-anticipated titles of the upcoming holiday season. Despite the likelihood that Modern Warfare 3 will once again break industry sales records and invade countless homes across the country, it may actually be Skyrim that has the most energized and excited following - leading in to the title's November 11 release.
Bethesda has periodically chummed the waters with fan-pleasing promises such as an "unlimited" number of dragons as well as tantalizing pre-order bonuses. Now, the developer is looking beyond the game's actual release - and promising to serve-up robust, crowd-pleasing, DLC content that, while less frequent, will be more substantial.
Speaking with AusGamers, Skyrim game director Todd Howard, discussed the DLC strategy for the upcoming Elder Scrolls title, emphasizing that Bethesda is aiming for "expansion pack" quality content - even if it comes around less frequently:
"We would like to do DLC; we don’t have any specific plans yet, but they’ve been really successful and we like making them. Right now I can say that we’d like to do less DLC but bigger ones - you know, more substantial. The Fallout 3 pace that we did was very chaotic. We did a lot of them - we had two overlapping groups. We don’t know what we’re going to make yet, but we’d like them to be closer to an expansion pack feel."
Some fans may be discouraged by the "less DLC" part of the comment - but it's hard to deny, in the growing world of useless DLC add-ons and brief half-hour long DLC missions, that bigger and "more substantial" offerings are definitely a better value for consumers. Similarly, expansions will more easily fit with the larger story as well as the epic world and environments that Skyrim is set to deliver.
Howard also commented on the backlash the developer faced in their post-launch Fallout 3 DLC offerings - namely the fact that the campaign conclusion closed-off the world - forcing players to initially work-off earlier saves (pre-campaign clear):
"That was a mistake, yeah. We were really confident about that, then the game came out and we heard pretty loud and clear that was not what [fans] wanted. So we’re not gonna do that again. No, you’ll definitely be able to... When you finish the main quest you can just keep playing."
It's surprising to hear that Bethesda thought, at any point, that players would want to be locked-out of exploring the fascinating world of Fallout 3 - after the conclusion of the game. So it's definitely encouraging to hear they learned their (albeit obvious) lesson.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what kind of DLC you prefer - more frequent or more substantial?
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases November 11, 2011 on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.