Bethesda Gearing Up for Next Game; Skyrim DLC Comes to an End
The saga of Skyrim — the fifth and most successful entry into The Elder Scrolls series — is at its end. After more than a year of supporting their fantasy RPG with updates and content (including a healthy dosage of story DLC), Bethesda is moving away from their “labor of love” and is ratcheting up production on a new, unannounced title.
In an open letter to fans on the Bethesda Blog, the studio revealed segments of their development team have been in pre-production on this project but now “that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet.”
Despite its resounding financial and critical success, this next project is unlikely to be Skyrim’s follow up, given the team’s track record. Instead, RPG fans may be plunged back into the Wasteland, if these rumors are to be taken at face value. Be it Fallout 4 or, maybe just possibly, a brand new IP, the only sure bet is that we’ll be well into the next-generation of gaming before we once again get to feverishly dedicate a hundred-plus hours into Bethesda’s next immersive world.
The Embargo’s Over, PS3 Faithful: Skyrim DLC Finally Releasing
Better late as hell than never, eh? After an exhausting wait for even the most weathered journeyer, Bethesda has announced Skyrim’s downloadable content is at last releasing for the PlayStation 3 next month starting with the Dragonborn expansion.
To date, the PS3 version of Skyrim has missed out on three separate DLC expansions that the Xbox 360 has already enjoyed and basked in, each originally planned for only a 30-day exclusivity period on Microsoft’s console. Technical difficulties, delays, and several months of seething fan anger later and it was painfully clear Bethesda’s original plans went tits up.
Understanding the almost scalable wall of disappointment and frustration this has caused PS3 Skyrim users, Bethesda is offering a week long discount of 50% Off for each expansion as they launch on PSN. Once Dragonborn is out of the gate, the company is backtracking by releasing the Hearthfire expansion for those with a penchant for medieval decorating, and then the Dawnguard DLC in all of its vampiric glory.
While Dragonborn’s PC date is marked down for February 5th, all three pieces of the PS3’s DLC are expected throughout the same month at unspecified dates.
Fallout: The TV Series?
This might amount to no more than the internet readily springing to the nearest conclusion, but when has Bethesda’s trademark filing antics let us down before? This go around, however, we’re not talking about outed DLC. No, it would seem this new filing points to the company’s intention to take over a whole different medium altogether.
Bethesda has recently registered a trademark for “an on-going television program set in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world.” Well, that’s a mighty interestin’ course of action considering Bethesda happens to be the current rights holder and publisher of the Fallout series. I’d venture to say the two notions are related in some inconceivably, far-fetched way…though I’d be damned if I knew how.
Sorry to disappoint those that thought we were on the verge of a Fallout 4 announcement thanks to voice actor Erik Todd Dellums’ tweet last week where he teased that his character Three Dog — Galaxy News Radio’s DJ last heard in Fallout 3 — would be making a return in some fashion. (That’s not to say there hasn’t been rabble about Fallout 4, though. This is the internet, after all.)
Video games on television don’t have a terrific track record — go ask Mortal Kombat: Konquest the sordid truth…if it’s not too drunk to respond, that is — but I’m not one to underestimate some of the creative minds coasting around in the entertainment business. It just takes the combination of the right talent with the right material to create the TV equivalent of cigarettes for your eyeballs. So judgement reserved until if and when this one actually happens.
New Skyrim DLC Incoming? Monday Holds the Answer
The above image found its way in the Tweetsphere (if we’re not calling it that, we’re wasting our time) courtesy of the folks at Bethesda alongside a brief message: “Full Trailer on 11/5.”
Earlier this month, a Eurogamer forum user was rifling around through Skyrim’s 1.8 patch source code and dug up a handful of interesting files pertaining to possible upcoming DLC content. The data entitled the content “Dragonborn” which — wouldn’tcha knowit? — is also a name Bethesda Softworks felt inclined to trademark recently.
Now, this could all be one big coincidence and Bethesda could be teasing something else entirely, but that sort of thinking is exactly how you blue-ball a perfect fangasm into submission. Go ahead, fuel the dungeon crawling beast within and jump to the only happy conclusion: more Skyrim DLC on the way!
‘Course, last time we speculated on (and got overly excited for) prospective Skyrim DLC, that resulted in something akin to a medieval version of This Old House. Actually, might wanna dial back that fangasm until Monday rolls around.
UPDATE: Well, Monday rolled around and this rumor finds itself certifiable fact. Bethesda is releasing Dragonborn, a major DLC expansion centered on the first Dovahkiin and seemingly the lost art of riding goddamned dragons, for Xbox Live on December 4th, pricing in at 1200 Moon Points. Skyrim has seen timed exclusive content on the Xbox before, so as such, no official statement on either a PC or PS3 release date has been announced (let alone whether or not the PS3 will remain the content-less odd man out once again).
Next Skyrim DLC, “Hearthfire,” Turns You into a Real Estate Tycoon?
The winds traveled the news to us a short while ago that Bethesda had trademarked the name “Hearthfire” pertaining to the Elder Scrolls license, leading fans to suspect a DLC follow-up to Dawnguard was on the way.
Once again thanks to the leaky well of information that is Reddit, we’re rumored to have our first synopsis detailing Heartfire. For the story driven, it’s probably not quite what you expect:
Hearthfire, the next official game-add on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has arrived. For the first time in the Elder Scrolls universe, purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with armory, alchemy laboratory, trophy room, and more! With Hearthfire, the possibilities of what you can build are endless.
Hmm, well there goes all that speculation pegging Hearthfire as a potential in for a zombie infested add-on similar to Red Dead’s Undead Nightmare or Borderland’s Zombie Island of Dr. Ned. Sure, I wanted to Dragon Shout waves of the undead into a massive, red pulp but, uh, this is good, too. Can’t wait to accessorize the shit out of my dungeon, I guess.
Of course, Bethesda has yet to comment or announce anything solid. This could very well be a clever misguide or outright bull. And with Dawnguard an absolute no-show on the PS3 (still), it’s going to be some time before we get around to whatever Hearthfire ends up being…fantasy-world real estate simulator or not.
UPDATE: Count this one as true. Bethesda has announced the home improvement focused Hearthfire will be available for download through Xbox Live on September 4th. It’ll set you back 400 MS for any of you would-be, virtual Bob Vila’s. No announcement has been made regarding a PC or PS3 release.
Is The Commonwealth to Be Fallout 4’s New Wasteland?
Bethesda’s open-world RPG formula has had the good fortune of going from popular in Fallout 3 to insanely fucking popular with the release of Skyrim. While a return to the Fallout franchise has not been made official by the company, it’s probably a safe bet that Bethesda is already pouring resources and development time into a successor considering their upward acclaim from title to title.
With that in mind, we can sink our teeth into this irradiated slice of a rumor. Speaking through the information laden avenues of Reddit, an anonymous user that “may or may not” be affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claims Bethesda is scouting the Boston region, researching the locale with the intention of using the city as a backdrop for Fallout 4.
The proverbial Pip-Boy fits given that The Commonwealth — Fallout’s apocalyptic version of the greater Massachusetts area — has already been referenced in series lore. Specifically in Fallout 3, a Blade Runner-esque subplot involving androids escaped from a place called “The Institute” (need I mention MIT?) serves as one of the more prominent mentions of The Commonwealth.
What’s the most important information we can glean from this rumor? That there are even rumors circulating in the first place, which equates to the first shaky steps in seeing this franchise continue. If this rumor be fact, that means pre-production has commenced…unfortunately that also probably means we won’t see Fallout 4 until the next console cycle. That’s the industry, kids. It never changes.
Go Back to Hell - Remastered Doom 3 BFG Edition Announced
Bethesda, id’s new parent company, is releasing a retouched version of Doom 3 for the PC (surprise!), PS3, and Xbox 360. The game earns its BFG moniker through the inclusion of the original Doom 3, the Resurrection of Evil expansion, and seven brand new levels composing “The Lost Mission” — an entirely original chunk of hell developed specifically for BFG rather than assets left out of the game eight years ago.
You can expect bells and whistles like troph’s and cheevos, including online multiplayer, but little-big changes can be found such as an established checkpoint system, tightened controls, and an armor-mounted flashlight (I’m told this will help greatly). Past that, the original Doom and Doom 2 are being quietly yet triumphantly added to the collection. I suppose the publisher avoided calling the set Doom Trilogy since the titles aren’t doctored anymore than the re-releases you can find on XBLA, but I’m excited to call all of these circles of hell mine. (If they wanted to add a cherry on top that literally pries my wallet open, they’ll include a demo of Doom 4.)
Doom 3 BFG Edition is slated for the third quarter of this year. You’ve been warned.
The Red Herb Roundup - May 20th Edition
Welcome back to the roundup, folks. These be the stories The Herb didn’t quite get to because get off my case, you don’t understand the amount of pressure I’m under. On that note, I’d like to send a hearty shout out and welcome to our new followers out in the Tumblrvoid, and a sincere thank you to our veteran followers whose continued support keeps the blog from caving beneath my incredible laziness.
I’d also like to thank the gang from the witty, titty, and fun gaming podcast Smarter Than AI for having me as a guest on their fine program. Some refined discussions were had about gaming at large over more brews than I should’ve been allowed. The results were crammed into Episode V!
And now for some poorly cobbled together news:
- Not only is Univeral’s Battleship adaptation a turd in the water, Double Helix’s first-person shooter tie-in is also dead in the aforementioned turd inhabited water. I’d make a “You’ve sunk my Battleship” pun but that’d be as stupid as spending $220 million goddamn dollars on a movie based on a board game.
- ZeniMax Media, Bethesda’s parent company, went ahead and filed for a trademark on the term “Dragonborn.“ This action was a rung down on the priority ladder, though, as ZeniMax filed for “Fus Ro Dah” first because saying you’re Dragonborn means nothing if you can’t shout the words of power.
- Rocksteady scoffed at our secret hunting abilities, revealing that there are at least 3 to 4 hidden Easter Eggs still remaining in Batman: Arkham City. You seriously thought the Batman plays all his cards at once? Fool, this is why you’re unconscious with a batarang lodged in your shoulder.
- June 12th is the official date the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection heads to Sony’s Vita. The package is a little less collection-y than its console counterparts due to the absence of Peacewalker (because Konami already kindly offers the HD-less PSP version on PSN, fully equipped with none of the upgrades featured in the HD edition — you’re welcome). Oh, and I’m obligated to add this: transfarring.
- Apparently Diablo III had some difficulties at launch. There were consequences.
- Bioware wants to hear from you about where you’d like to see the Dragon Age franchise go next. You’ll find no sarcasm in this bullet point; communication between consumer and creator should be applauded.
- What happens when Nintendo’s favorite little outsourced developer, Retro Studios, can’t decide between another Metroid or a new Star Fox? If you’ve ever been painfully afflicted by Linkin Park and Jay-Z’s Collision Course, you already know where this is going: mash-up! Mark it as an extreme rumor for now but whatever the hell they’re working on, E3 may definitely be the platform for a big reveal.
Concept imagery for Zenimax Studios’ The Elder Scrolls Online.
That Was Quick, Internet: The Elder Scrolls Online Screens and Info Leaked
A PDF of Game Informer Online’s June edition looks to have been leaked early (and when I say “leaked,” I mean downright poured), unleashing the entire featured write-up on Bethesda’s run at the MMO market, Elder Scrolls Online. Included in the article were several concept and in-game images from the game. With the MMORPG’s announcement, Game Informer promised fans would get a singular glimpse at the new game today. Instead, nineteen images surfaced. That’s more than sneaking a peek; that’s lifting up the game’s skirt and snapping photos.
I don’t imagine Game Informer is anywhere within the realm of pleased regarding the leak. If this was an accident, hopefully no one’s job security (or life) comes into harm’s way. I can assure the magazine’s staff and Bethesda that we all feel really very guilty about all the screens our eyeballs are enjoying. Sorry for the, uh, whole photo and skirts thing.