Have you ever thought that there are just too many darn ports of Skyrim? I know I have, and I bet Bethesda has too. Heck, they made a whole trailer making fun of how many times they’ve released the game. But they immediately went on to make that joke trailer a reality. So are we finally done seeing Skyrim ports every year? Is Bethesda finally going to stop cashing in on their most popular title? It’s hard to say for sure. But if you want the company to stop, you may not want to buy any more copies.
According to the lovely Todd Howard, Skyrim was released on so many different systems because of its sales and popularity. This is fairly obvious, which is why some people are so annoyed that it keeps happening. Many gamers accuse Bethesda of taking the easy way out by cashing in on their most profitable property. As it turns out, that’s exactly what the company is doing. If you want the publisher to stop releasing Skyrim, Todd Howard says you should stop buying 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.” — Todd Howard
The man certainly doesn’t beat around the bush, and I think we can all appreciate that level of transparency. Honestly, this is why most games are ported to modern systems. They were popular when they released, so companies release them again to make some quick money. This is often thought of as a cheap sales strategy, but it can actually be a really good thing.
Most people don’t consider where their money is going when they buy ports of older games. They don’t cost that much to create and release compared to a new game, so developers usually make a decent profit from them. This money then goes back to the team so they can work on their next project. In Bethesda’s case, the sales gained from the many releases of Skyrim are probably funding The Elder Scrolls VI, which is what everybody has been clamoring for in the first place.
Ports also help new fans gain an appreciation for the franchise, which will inevitably increase sales for the next title in the series. This will also help fans make new friends and have conversations about a game they were unable to play before. The expansion of the gaming community is never a bad thing.
So in the future, if you have an urge to complain about a game being ported, think about why it’s being released again. Usually there is a massive audience for these types of releases. Otherwise, most developers wouldn’t waste their time and energy on them.
Todd Howard talked about many other things with Geoff Keighley at Gamelab 2018. They discuss a wide range of topics, such as E3, Howard’s legacy, The Elder Scrolls: Blades, the release of retro games on modern systems, and much more. You can read the full interview over on VentureBeat.
What do you guys think of the countless ports in today’s gaming culture? Do you think they have more of a positive impact on the community? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!