It's nearly E3 time, and that means, of course, that "leaks", rumours, and the tallest tales you can imagine are flying around the internet, some of which will be true, a lot of which will be a big, fat, disappointing lie; but is the rumour of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remastered likely to be true?
One of the weirdest, albeit not impossible, rumours doing the rounds today is that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is going to get a re-mastering from Bethesda. The rumor is, to say the least, questionable. It gomes from german website gamepro, who further source Shinobi602, an industry insider, who made a vague comment about Bethesda possibly re-mastering a previous title, and decided to assume that game would be Skyrim.
That's enough tinder to set the internet on fire with rumours and speculation, but here's why I think it makes no sense;
1. Skyrim is not an old game.
Okay, it's five years old now technically, but it's certainly still a beautiful looking game, and the most recent release, the Legendary Edition, which included all the DLC packs, was only released a few years ago.
This is where modding really shines, however; with high resolution texture packs, higher polygon models, and ENB lighting effects, the game looks great. I doubt any "re-mastering" work to any great scale will be anything more than what we can already achieve with mods.
2. It's a lot of work, for little reward.
It was one thing when Rockstar gave GTA V a bit of a facelift for it's PC, Xbox One and PS4 releases, but considering the roaring demand for such a release on those platforms, combined with the relatively small amount of changes, it made a lot of sense, and was one of the best ports I have seen in a long time.
Skyrim's game world, complexity of story telling and design would mean small changes, even on this scale, could prove time consuming and expensive to do; the game to this day has a lengthy list of potential bugs, which porting the game to a new platform would only make worse, not better; would there be any significant re-sale numbers for Skyrim at this point? I'm not sure the demand for a re-mastered Skyrim exists.
3. Who is the target market?
PC players are not going to re-purchase the game for the sake of what will essentially be a few changes to textures and the addition of a few features. For PC players to have any interest, it will require a total re-working of the game to Fallout 4's engine and level of standard, and that is no small undertaking, and one that's guaranteed to loose them money. This isn't gonna happen.
A direct port to Xbox One and PS4 is more likely, with higher resolution models and textures, potentially, although considering these consoles struggle even with 1080p gaming, is there going to be a significant enough visual benefit to playing these games that will cause most gamers to part with their hard earned cash? I doubt it.
4. Console mods aren't a good enough reason to do this.
A lot of websites have taken the rumour further, by adding that the re-mastered console version may include mod support. This would be very welcome, for sure, but again, one has to question weather the interest in this is high enough.
Mods for Fallout 4 on Xbox One have proven to be very popular so far, but until Bethesda settle down the system and release it on PS4, is releasing a legacy game, with a massive back-catalogue of mods ready for upload, such a great idea?
In conclusion, I certainly think an Xbox One or PS4 re-release for Skyrim is certainly plausible; but is it really desirable? Personally, I am more than happy to stick with the PC version, but it would be interesting to see what, if any, real changes would be made to the game if it did get a re-release. It looks like we'll have to wait for E3 to find out if there's anything in this.
Would you like to see a Skyrim re-release for next-gen consoles? Let us know!
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