The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year (GOTY) edition ships today for PC and Xbox 360. In GOTY, you’ll find the entire original, award-winning game, Oblivion, plus Knights of the Nine and the official expansion pack, Shivering Isles. We also include the title update so all the latest fixes and optimizations are included.
I’m particularly proud of this version, even more so than the Morrowind Game of the Year for Xbox, which also let you play Morrowind’s expansions on your Xbox. That was not an easy implementation for us. It also required you to import your original Morrowind saves to Game of the Year.
For Oblivion’s GOTY implementation, we wanted to make the process easier – both for us and for our fans. We’ve been working on this version since late last year. The main challenge was figuring out how to include content from Xbox Live on a disk. We asked Microsoft to keep it as simple and intuitive as possible. We wanted the experience of playing Knights and Isles to be exactly the same whether you downloaded them off Xbox Live or purchased them on a disk. What Microsoft came up with was exactly what we needed.
When you open up GOTY for Xbox 360, you’ll see two disks. The first disk is the original game, Oblivion – in fact, its the same disk as what is currently at stores now. The second disk has Knights of the Nine, Shivering Isles, and Oblivion’s title update. When you insert the second disk, it asks to install the title update first. Afterwards, you have the choice of copying Knights and/or Isles onto your hard drive – as if you purchased them off Xbox Live. Once they are copied, you insert Oblivion and play. We also use this same functionality for the Shivering Isles for Xbox 360 retail disc.
I hope more publishers and developers take advantage of this functionality to offer expansion packs and downloadable content on disk. I think that Microsoft says 50% of Xbox owners are off line, so that’s a pretty big audience there.
As for the PC version, it works the same way. Two disks. The first disk installs Oblivion. The second disk installs Knights, Isles, and updates your game to the latest version.
Some fun facts:
- Your original saves will work fine with GOTY. This is the primary reason why we wanted to ship the original game in the box – so you can continue to play with your old characters right away. No wacky importing necessary.
- The title update is mandatory. You won’t be able to install Knights or Isles without it since they both require it.
- Oblivion GOTY will retail for $50 (PC) and $60 (360) — a pretty good deal when you consider it includes Knights and Isles, which cost $10 and $30 on their own, respectively.
- What about the Playstation 3 version? We’re working on it.
The Xbox 360 version was developed jointly by Bethesda and Microsoft. I’d like to thank the following people at Microsoft: Momin Al-Ghosien, Dennis Mooney, Dave Aronson, Moses Mwangi, Richard Moore, Amy Suter, Robert Craig, Michael Maston, Rich Dalton, Kelly Tofte, David Tapang, and Chenelle Bremont. Special thanks to Clifford Garrett, who — after hearing on a podcast last year that we wanted to put downloadable content on a disk — emailed us brainstorming ideas on some possible ways we could do it, unsolicited, out of the blue. In the end, he ended up putting it all together for us, anyway
On our end, Chris Krietz, GOTY’s QA Lead, has done an incredible job testing and tracking all the versions of GOTY (and the Japanese versions, too!). Other props go to Guy Carver, Mike Lipari, Craig Lafferty and all our GOTY testers: Aaron Mitschelen, Chris Steidel, Dan Geske, Dan Ross, Jared Angus, Jason Hammett, Jason Little, Matt Weil, Michael McGinn, Mike Mazzuca, Philip Georgatos, and Robert Clark.