Why has Skyrim been so successful? - item

Why has Skyrim been so successful? - item

On December 13, 2010, on the Bethesda Softworks YouTube channel, the announcement trailer suddenly appeared for Skyrim, the new iteration in the historic The Elder Scrolls series that longtime fans have been waiting for almost five years. Two months later, fans were delirious: a full-bodied video was released that began to show the first majestic glimpses of the northern region of Tamriel, revealing an impressive growth compared to the previous episode and an ambition to say the least out of scale. br>
The video ended with the confirmation of a certain release date, that is November 11, 2011, a day that would forever change, both positively and negatively, the story of Bethesda Softworks.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sold 3.5 million copies in 48 hours and more than seven million by the end of the week, grossing half a billion dollars within ten days. By the end of the year, the units placed exceeded 10 million. In January 2012, thanks to Skyrim, Steam broke its record of connected users by hitting the astronomical figure of 5 million, and the RPG became the platform's most played title by a huge margin on the runner-up, who was Team at the time. Fortress.

The Skyrim universe is one of the best ever made. The average of the votes of the main newspapers settled at 95/100, making it one of the best-rated titles of all time. While some well-deserved criticism floated around a technical sector that was certainly not refined, the average hours dedicated by each user to the work grew dramatically, burying in fact any metric known up to that moment.

Today, almost 10 years after the original launch, Skyrim has exceeded 30 million copies sold - even if the latest official data date back only to 2016 - being released 15 times on 10 different systems and cashing in a sum that has largely exceeded one and a half billion dollars. And the story is far from over, as a new next-gen version of the most recent chapter in The Elder Scrolls saga will soon see light.

The crater left by Skyrim's fall on Earth is over to irretrievably condition the same story of Bethesda, a company that, yes, had already tasted the great success through Oblivion and Fallout 3, but had never found itself faced with such a large amount of income. This changed the house's approach to the market, prompting it to try new avenues and test the ground for unprecedented business models, such as those offered by Fallout 76 and The Elder Scrolls Legends.

The question arises: why ? How is it possible that an entirely single-player video game, moreover a Western RPG, has managed to create such a big break in the video game industry? What is the secret that made Skyrim an immortal production?

Watch on YouTube. A completely incidental feature that is often not taken into consideration lies in the luck of intercepting a particular creative current. Think for example of the zombie renaissance that characterized the end of the 2000s: Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops and AMC's The Walking Dead show reached the pinnacle of a parable of successes destined to die out quickly in the following years. .

The same thing happened in the case of Skyrim, which debuted on the market together with the first season of Game of Thrones, and both productions ushered in a golden age of the fantasy genre so long lasting that also transform The Witcher 3, four years later, into the Game of the Year. It is evident that we are talking about works of great caliber, but we must take into consideration the weight of the fashions that develop in pop culture, transforming excellent products into real blockbusters.

A similar argument can be applied to the immense current of open-world video games that characterized the entirety of the seventh and eighth generation of consoles, and it is no coincidence that Skyrim represents the epitome of that movement. In an era of open-ended philosophy breaking record after record, Bethesda has packed the prince of vast and open titles, capturing millions of freedom-hungry people in its web.

Skyrim, Game of Thrones and also the Hobbit trilogy have intercepted a very rich fantasy current. These very simple fixed points, which shone even before clicking on "New Game", have dragged an immense fringe of audiences to the north shores of Tamriel that had never heard of the Elder Scrolls series. Considering that Oblivion and Fallout 3, in the span of 15 years, have sold just under 20 million copies combined, it is evident that a lot of people unfamiliar with the history of Bethesda and the RPG world have thrown themselves headlong into Skyrim. >
Add to the cauldron the fact that in those years the modern content creation market was emerging, and that video games ended up monopolizing the offer of a giant like YouTube for a long time, and that's it. It was enough to register a simple bug among the many that dotted the title to skyrocket the number of views, while between a meme and a legendary line of dialogue Skyrim was turning into a phenomenon of costume in all respects. Simply put, by not playing Skyrim you would have found yourself completely excluded from the loop.

And then there was the world across the screen. A world that presented itself as a completely blank canvas to be painted from time to time through original characters, unique stories and extraordinary feats, giving breaths of freedom and scents of uncertainty to the experiences of each player. A world where you could be whoever you wanted and do whatever you wanted.

Replayability comes from the blank canvas of Skyrim, which allows you to do what you want and be whoever you want. Pulcinella's secret in Skyrim's success lies in the construction of a universe designed to put itself completely at the player's service, bending to his will and timidly guarding hundreds of secrets. Today, 10 years after the original release, it is almost impossible to go back to the sensations that emerged during the first confrontation with a title that has been completely gutted over the years, but it was an extraordinary spell to say the least.

World-design specifically represented a lesson any developer should treasure, as demonstrated by the successes recorded by CD Projekt RED and Larian Studios through The Witcher 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2. Modern audiences want worlds dynamic and meticulously characterized in which to move as an acting figure, revealing tons of collateral stories and details invisible to a superficial glance.

That of being able to hold the pad, take a random direction and experience a unique, conclusive and satisfying, is a feature common to very few works, and the entire construction of Skyrim, with its over 60,000 lines of dialogue and its monumental offering secondary, rests all its weight on the pursuit of that goal.

The Dawnguard and Dragonborn DLCs are among the best ever made. A mosaic, this, finally bowed by the extraordinary replayability. If already in the vanilla version the users accumulated hundreds of hours reliving the work from different perspectives, the modding undergrowth did the rest of the work, crowning Skyrim as the most "modded" video game of all time, to the point that over the years they are even real expansions entirely created by fans have blossomed, complete with original voiceovers and unpublished maps.

Post-launch support should not be underestimated, in this sense, since the Dawnguard and Dragonborn DLCs probably represent two of the best content injections ever made for a single-player title. If these could count on impactful stories, memorable characters and dozens of mechanical novelties, the Hearthfire DLC instead managed to perfectly read the wishes of the players, now willing to move permanently in the mountains of the region.

Ultimately the greatest strength in The Elder Scrolls series, and not just Skyrim, lies in the fact that it is an unrepeatable experience, impossible to replace with palliatives of any kind. Just like in the case of Grand Theft Auto, it is impossible to replace it with something like this, precisely because something like this does not exist and fans are forced to wait years before receiving a new episode.

It will be difficult to make it happen. an imagery and an inspiration capable of replicating the success of Skyrim. Most read now

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That said, it is possible that Skyrim's achievements have ended up disrupting Bethesda's supply chain. It's hard to blame the company, because even just imagining a new chapter in the saga capable of replicating the success of the fifth episode is an effort to the limit of the impossible.

How can you replace a fascinating region like that of north? What can be invented to replace unique creatures like dragons? And the Thu'um instead, also destined to fall into oblivion? Repeating itself after a huge success is an extremely complicated operation, especially in the video game sector, and the fact that Skyrim continues to be re-released net of the inaction of the new iteration is a concrete testimony of this difficulty.

L ' announcement at the QuakeCon of Skyrim: Anniversary Edition should not be surprising, because it is now clear to everyone that we are in the presence of an immortal video game, destined to re-emerge, sooner or later, even in the guise of a complete remake. But while it's always great to be on that wagon near Helgen, listening to the familiar voice of Ralof of Riverwood, the time is now more than ripe for a new journey, a universe eagerly awaited by over 30 million people.

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