While it was only on display behind closed doors that were themselves behind closed doors, the presence (or lack thereof) of Skyrim‘s Dawnguard DLC was certainly felt at E3 2012. Bethesda’s booth presentation, which included closer looks at Dishonored, Elder Scrolls Online, and Doom 3: BFG Edition, was certainly a highlight of the show, but it didn’t give attendees everything they wanted.

But maybe Bethesda knew exactly what they were doing not bringing Dawnguard in full force to the show floor. In fact, maybe they figured that since many gamers would be playing the expansion in just a few short days it would be better to show them what is new rather than to tell them.

As was announced when Bethesda revealed Dawnguard, there would be a beta for Skyrim‘s first DLC and all players need do to participate was to opt-in using Steam. Today, invites into the beta have gone out, and now players are knee deep in a battle between vampires and their hunters.

Unfortunately, due to the immense demand for Dawnguard, only 1% of the players who applied to take part in the expansion actually received invites. Skyrim released over 7 months ago, and has only seen a few choice updates since then — the biggest ones being the inclusion of Kinect voice support and horse combat — but somehow fans were willing to come back and dive head first into this new experience.

For those other 99% of applicants who didn’t get in, it’s not all bad; Bethesda revealed that they would be doing this again. Dawnguard is a relatively large expansion, purportedly, compared to the types of DLC that were offered by Oblivion or Fallout, but Bethesda is clearly saying more content is on the way.

Any ranters out there lucky enough to find an invite to the Dawnguard beta in their inbox? What other parts of the Skyrim lore would you like to see explored in future Skyrim DLC?

Dawnguard doesn’t have a firm release date, but is targeting Summer 2012 for all major platforms.

Source: Bethesda