Bethesda Explains Why Skyrim Is Getting Remastered Instead of Oblivion – Talks About How Mod Support Will Work

Fahad Arif
Skyrim Special Edition Update
Skyrim Special Edition will also release on the Nintendo Switch

Following tons of rumors about a potential remastered edition of Skyrim being in the works, Bethesda finally took the wraps off the renewed version of its popular role-playing game at this year’s E3 press conference. Of course, the Elder Scrolls fanbase is brimming with excitement centered around the upcoming The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition, but a large number of followers have instituted a rather practical question; why Bethesda chose to remaster Skyrim instead of the equally-popular Oblivion? The answer, as it turns out, is pretty straight forward.

The Amount of Work Required to Bring The Elder Scrolls V: Oblivion Back to Life "Was Mountainous" - Skyrim Special Edition Mod Support Explained

Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda PR vice president Pete Hines provided an explanation in response to the question that a number of Elder Scrolls fans have been asking. A tremendous amount of work would be required to bring The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion back to life, Hines clarified. Of course it is not something that the developer can’t manage to do, but the team’s effort would be better served towards creating a brand new game.

“Oblivion is 10 years old, so the amount of work for that engine and that tech to bring it and remaster it and do all the things we wanted to do was significant. It’s not impossible, but it was mountainous. It was either like, go make an entire new game or do Skyrim.”

Another cause behind choosing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to get a current-gen remaster treatment was the fact that the development team had already ported the immensely popular role-playing game to Microsoft’s Xbox One console as a technical exercise, so some of the work on recalibrating the last-gen game to run fit on current-gen consoles had already been done.

"It just seemed to be a much closer path. It was the most successful game that we had ever done before Fallout 4, so it already had a huge audience."

Hines went on to talk about Skyrim Special Edition’s mod support for both PC and current-gen consoles, explaining that it will basically work in the same way as Fallout 4’s creation kit. He said:

"The idea is that it's exactly the same way [as Fallout 4]. Skyrim Special Edition on PC is free only if you own Skyrim and all of the DLC... It also has a new creation kit. It doesn't just work with all of the existing mods; they will have to take that mod and run it through the new creation kit and publish it to Bethesda Net. Then that would be available on console."

Hines has previously clarified that Skyrim Special Edition will support old mods as well, but since the new PC version of the game is 64-bit, players will have to modify 32-bit mods in order to make them compatible. Bethesda, Hines added, will "continue to work on and evolve mods on Fallout 4," and that’s not all; those improvements will also make their way to Skyrim. Aside from mods, though, Skyrim Special Edition won’t come with new content. "Systems-wise and content-wise, it's the game plus all of the DLC," said Hines.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition is set to be released for Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 28, 2016. The game, as stated above, will come with full mod support. It will feature a complete graphical upgrade, and all three DLC expansions.

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