Todd Howard Talks About 'Skyrim's' Success, Bugs, and Future

Skyrim Game Director Todd Howard Talks About Success, Bugs, Future

There's no need to completely re-hash what has already been said about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. From its incredibly expansive environments to its rich quest lines, Skyrim is simply one of the most successful (and better) games of recent memory.

Skyrim Game Director Todd Howard recently sat down with Game Informer and shared some thoughts on his incredible project. As the best selling game in Bethesda history, Skyrim has forged its way past genre barriers, selling millions upon millions of copies to gamers, who obviously cannot all be die-hard RPG players -- the segment of fans who typically were the ones to play the previous installments.

"People underestimate how many core gamers there are; people who want a lot of depth and will play a game for a long time. There are a lot of them. If you give them something unique and good, you don’t have to dumb it down."

"There are things we changed to make the game better, but not to appeal to a wider audience. I think we always benefited in Elder Scrolls early on, the fact that it is first-person and kind of walks this action line sometimes. We’ve always benefited from that. Even our own lofty expectations for how the game would be received or sell, it’s way, way beyond that."

Last Summer, Howard went on record to say that the current generation of games are too expensive, citing that not all games are created equal and that some could benefit from considerably lower price points. Howard expanded on this idea, saying he is constantly thinking about the gaming industry as it relates to pricing, and where he believes the industry should go next.

"I do think about the industry as a whole a lot. I think it’s a price point thing. I think it’s starting to get better with the mobile platforms and Xbox Live, for example. Developers can make games and put them out for $10 and be successful there."

"Right now, if you go to a store, there’s a stipulation that if it’s on a DVD or Blu-ray it has to be $59.99. Everyone knows they all aren’t created equal. I would like to see an avenue where more games can appear at multiple price points and be successful. There are sitcom shows and there are 14 hour epics."

"Our industry is getting way better, but people are getting comfortable spending that amount of money and it’s changing their perception."

The PS3 lag issue has been a thorn for Bethesda, going as far back as pre-launch, as the development team knew about potential issues but thought they had rectified the situation as a whole. Howard said that Skyrim's launch was incredibly stable, one of their best launches ever, and while the percentage of players having issues was relatively low, the raw number of players experiencing issues was something Bethesda was not expecting.

"We learned a lot about this. In particular with the PS3 version was,'Why aren’t we seeing this?' We saw some of [the bugs] that we were able to solve very quickly, but we eventually had to go to the consumer and ask for their saved game files."

Bethesda took saved game files from hundreds of PS3 users to pinpoint the nature of the problem, and according to Howard, most of the issues should have been resolved with the 1.4 patch released earlier this month. He also noted that the number of updates given to Skyrim has already exceeded that of both Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Looking to the future, there is always the inevitable question about how the franchise will present itself in other forms of media, be it comics, television, or even film. Howard isn't too sure that The Elder Scrolls is quite ready for that.

"I’d like to keep the content itself in the games. For example, if people like the dragon priests and what they do, then let’s maybe get that in some downloadable content. But I’d rather it be that avenue than a comic or something like that."

Ranters, what would you like to see from The Elder Scrolls, post-Skyrim?

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


Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1

Source: Game Informer

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