Listings for a 5th anniversary edition of the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion have been sighted across a number of online, although largely US-specific stores. No information has been provided by Bethesda as of the time of writing.
Expected towards the end of June. This edition of Oblivion includes all of the game's downloadable content and expansion packs, as well as a $10 voucher for Skyrim and the strategy guide.
Todd Howard has revealed that dragon encounters are random, and unlimited. Fans of dragon encounters will no doubt be pleased, but for those that found running across annoying Oblivion gates in Cyrodiil, well annoying, will a pesky dragon, or several dragons coming along when you're enjoying a nice herbalist session in the forest get a bit tiresome?
“No, there is an unlimited number of dragons. One of our designers actually put in a random event I encountered, where I ended up being chased by three dragons and I thought “who the hell did this?” I felt like Frodo in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and was really frightened. So I asked him to remove it. But no, dragons are generated automatically (in addition to that there are a number of specific encounters, of course).”
Of course if Bethesda can pull of a truly terrified feeling when coming across a dragon, it might work. But don't make it annoying like the Oblivion gates, which in the end just turned into boring loot grinds.
In a recent interview with IGN, Todd Howard talked about how multiplayer always loses.
The two most requested features we get are dragons and multiplayer. We got one of them this time! We always look into multiplayer, put lots of ideas on the whiteboard, and it always loses. It's not that we don't like it. I can think of ways it would be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, that dev time is going to take away from doing the best single player game we can, and that's where our hearts are.
People have long asked for a multi-player Elder Scrolls game, but if it should take one ounce of dev-time from the single player, like Todd says, it isn't worth it.
Of course what we really want to know is if it'll have another dumbed-down leveling system, where the environment levels up with you, which is lets face it kinda lame. Oh great, bandits have glass armour, cha-ching.
We've always had some amount of that in our games, from Arena to Fallout 3. You do need some in a game like this, it's just a matter of how and when you do it. It's clear Oblivion had places it didn't work well. That's something I think we addressed well in Fallout 3, so Skyrim works similarly to Fallout 3. We want peaks and valleys, where sometimes you're really challenged, and other times you feel really powerful. The trick is telling a player in a wide open game, without locking stuff off, that "this area is too hard for you, come back later."
Well Fallout certainly wasn't as noticeable as Oblivion, so maybe it'll work better.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 1, 2011 -- Electronic Arts® (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company today announced the completion of negotiations with Bethesda Softworks LLC, ending month long talks over the acquisition of the multi-million dollar The Elder Scrolls brand and all associated technologies and materials.
First released in 1994, The Elder Scrolls® is widely recognized as a catalyst for the open role playing genre. Since its inception, the franchise has been one of the industry's best-selling RPG series on both Windows® PC and Xbox®. "We couldn't be happier" said Mark Kelly, EA Senior Vice President and General Manager. "This is a very important move for us, The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim® is one of the most anticipated releases on any format - its acquisition will allow us to penetrate into more advanced areas of the PC and console role playing markets".
This agreement reinforces EA's commitment to bring quality interactive entertainment to the broadest possible audience "it will now be possible for us to re-write and scale back the existing technology to better suit a more general audience, allowing it to run on the greatest number of platforms" said John Spinner, President and Chief Operating Officer at Electronic Arts "we will now release on Nintendo® Wii® this fall, with ports on previously announced platforms to follow shortly thereafter in 2012", "we also plan to add several new games to the franchise such as Vivec Street 2012™ and Cyrodiil Street 2012™ to further bolster our sports line up this fall".
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts® posted revenues of $2.5 billion for fiscal 2003. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS®, EA GAMES®, and EA SPORTS BIG®. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
About Bethesda Softworks
Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, Bethesda Softworks LLC® is a premier developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software and has produced numerous award-winning titles, most recently with the 2002 PC and Xbox Game of the Year and RPG of the Year, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrrowind. Among Bethesda's more popular franchises are The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout, and the IHRA Drag Racing series, as well as its licensed property, Pirates of the Caribbean. Its product line spans the sports, racing, RPG, strategy, and action genres. Bethesda Softworks is a subsidiary of ZeniMax Media Inc. For more information on Bethesda Softworks products visit http://www.bethsoft.com/.
There have also been reports of fans in some cities in the UK going into game stores and burning EA products, no doubt IMO the first of a long backlash against EA for what they will do to Skyrim. One angry 22 year old from Yeovil, UK said "I've seen the leaked screenshots of EA's Skyrim they've wrecked it - Daggerfall looks nice in comparison".
Also in an interview earlier this afternoon Mark Kelly is quoted as saying in reply to some questions of the quality of leaked screenshots (being far far worse then that of Morrowind) "We as a company always try to put the consumer first, we believe by allowing more consumers to enjoy this product we will ensure the continuing success of the Elder Scrolls brand".
Bethesda have just released a new trailer, unlike the old one we actually get to see the in-game graphics and some gameplay.
It is looking rather nice.
Bethesda have, by way of Game Informer released the first screenshot for Skyrim. Unlike the magazine scans floating around this isn't too bad, and certainly gives you a flavour of the scope and feel they're pushing towards with this game.
At the Video Game Awards Bethesda announced what they've been up to lately, as one might have expected it was a fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls, and as suspected it is called Skyrim.
Beyond the release date of the 11th of November 2011 there's not much else we know. We know it has something to do with dragons from the trailer, and someone dragonborn.
You should have acted.
They're already here.
The Elder Scrolls told of their return.
Their defeat was merely delay
Til the time after Oblivion opened,
When the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood.
But no-one wanted to believe.
Believe they even existed.
And when the truth finally dawns:
It dawns in fire.
There's one they fear.
In their tongue, he's Dovahkiin:
It will come as little surprise to those who are keeping on top of things that an Elder Scrolls game isn't going to be shown at E3. A couple of years ago there were suggestions that we could be seeing an Elder Scrolls V around this sort of time frame, but obviously with the success of Fallout Bethesda are keeping an eye on that for the time-being.
They do have a game in-development but have yet to announce it, maybe next year? Or maybe they'd wait for a new generation of consoles before revisiting the Elder Scrolls. Only time will tell.