Bethesda’s Todd Howard reveals Skyrim was ported to Xbox One during Fallout 4‘s research phase, implying its possibility of becoming backward compatible for the console.
As many gaming fans are aware, once Bethesda had completed work on Skyrim, the studio almost immediately began planning for its next release, as learning from prior problems helped improve and create Fallout 4. During that time, developers didn’t specifically know the hardware specs for the consoles on which the retro-futuristic RPG would release, but Microsoft and Sony kept the company in the loop about what was planned for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
While Bethesda kept communication lines open with both of the tech firms, the game development company didn’t want to force the creation of Fallout 4 into existence, and risk making a poor title. Instead, the Maryland-based studio opted to run some studies and compile data first, so as to find out precisely what kind of results the then next-gen consoles would be capable of yielding. In order to do that, the studio made Skyrim playable on the Xbox One as a test.
Todd Howard, Bethesda’s Game Director and Executive Producer, said converting Skyrim to the Xbox One’s hardware and software parameters was just an exercise that allowed him and his team to understand Microsoft’s console more quickly. However, when speaking to Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner about the issue, Howard implied that the open world fantasy RPG could eventually be a candidate for the Xbox One’s backward compatibility program, saying, “The first thing we did was port Skyrim to Xbox One. Don’t get your hopes up yet.”
Howard didn’t explicitly say that Skyrim would be officially obtainable through Microsoft’s current-gen console, but the operative word he used is “yet”, which leaves the door open to the game being ported in the future. Should it ever happen, it’s safe to assume that fans wouldn’t complain one bit.
After all, it makes sense that Bethesda would ultimately make Skyrim backward compatible with Xbox One. For starters, not only is the title one of the most popular Steam games in existence, but it’s also a sales juggernaut across the board. Within two days of its launch, 3.4 million physical copies were sold, and it went on to sell more than 20 million copies overall. Not to mention, the fifth entry in The Elder Scrolls series is critically acclaimed as well, with many gamers considering it one of the best titles ever made. Our review of Skyrim should be evidence enough that it’s a hard game to put down no matter how it’s ported.
Then, of course, with Bethesda having exclusive deals with Microsoft to promote Fallout 4—pre-orders of the post-apocalyptic sequel on Xbox One including Fallout 3 for free immediately comes to mind—it’s only natural to expect the studio to provide the system with more content like, say, a backward compatible Skyrim. Nevertheless, with Fallout 4 less than a week away, fans should anticipate Bethesda initially developing Season Pass and DLC content for its newest title before any Skyrim-related material becomes a priority.
For the time being, Skyrim is currently available for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
Source: Game Informer