Bethesda's Todd Howard on the success of Skyrim and its many re-releases


‘If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it’

At E3 this year, Bethesda poked fun at the joke that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is available on basically everything. They did this not only with a funny trailer but by releasing an actual working version of the game for Alexa devices (even if it was hardly a game). Skyrim is one of the most successful video games released in the past few years, but surely people have had their fill. The title originally launched seven years ago, so there can’t still be people playing it…right?

At Gamelab this past week, Geoff Keighley sat down with Bethesda’s Todd Howard and talked about the success of Skyrim and its many re-releases. As Howard put it, “Even now, the amount of people who play Skyrim seven years later; millions of people every month are playing that game. That’s why we keep releasing it. If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it.” It’s hard to argue with that logic.

Howard went on to elaborate that he wants the worlds that Bethesda creates to be sustainable for longer periods. Instead of plopping out yearly sequels or contrived spin-offs, Howard likes the idea of a single setting being sustainable for longer durations. “Every year there’s a new idea we can’t do, and a new technology for something that excites us,” Howard states. “I’d say I want it to be sustainable. Eventually, there will come a day where I’m not making games at Bethesda…But I want to make sure that who we are…that’s sustainable far beyond me.”

“Millions of people” are still playing Skyrim every month []