We keep getting Skyrim ports because we keep buying them

Posted on July 12, 2018

It can sometimes feel like Skyrim has been ported to almost every device imaginable.  Whilst it hasn’t quite reached “playing the original Doom on your school calculator” levels of omnipresence, there are a lot of versions available. Bethesda Entertainment clearly have made sure to make Skyrim available on as many platforms as possible, and there is a good reason for that.

Speaking recently to a local gaming publication in Barcelona, director Todd Howard stated the reason Skyrim gets remade and ported so often.  He pointed out how Skyrim’s average player count remains in the millions, despite being seven years old by now. “That’s why we keep releasing it,” Howard said. “If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it.”

Whilst this may seem kind of obvious, this does show the impact of voting with your wallet. After all, players have shown that they are perfectly willing to buy Skyrim again when it is re-released, and millions of people clearly enjoy it to this day. Gamers buying Skyrim on a gaming console, PC or even Nintendo Switch are abundant enough that Bethesda can afford to essentially re-release the game many times; if there wasn’t a market for it, people would stop buying them.

That said, whilst Bethesda’s apparent obsession with Skyrim has reached meme status, some innovation is happening in the Elder Scrolls franchise. Among the announcements at the recent E3 was a somewhat cryptic teaser for The Elder Scrolls VI, a true sequel to Skyrim set in another land.  In addition, a new mobile focused game set in the Elder Scrolls setting has also been revealed. And of course, the Elder Scrolls Online MMO has been chugging along successfully for several years. As a result, whilst it can seem like Bethesda are making nothing but Skyrim ports, change is eventually coming.