20 Years of Elder Scrolls

The list of entertainment products that thrive over a twenty-year period is a short one. It’s a joy to be part of one. When I look back over the last 20 years I’ve spent at Bethesda, I think how lucky we’ve been to keep a group together that continues to grow, both in talent and number, while being able to create games we love.

One thing that has kept the series vibrant for so long is that as opposed to simply adding to the previous game for a sequel, we always started over. It was our desire that each game be its own thing; had its own tone, its own soul. As the years went by the technologies changed, we changed, you changed. But the goal remained the same – to create a game that transported you to another place. A game that fueled you with the ideal of endless possibilities. A world you could make your own.

This has always been a partnership with you, our fans. The support you gave us each time has been amazing. The feedback, both positive and negative, made us better. When you spend so many hours, over so many years, on something, it becomes part of you. It’s certainly done that for us, and we know it’s done that for many of you.

There are many memories of what this series has meant to us, and to you. But I often think of one. When we were making Skyrim, but before it was announced, we were visited by a teenager through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That day in our area, the foundation had arranged for several kids to spend time with President Obama, another with Spider-Man, and this amazing person with us. That was his wish – to see the new Elder Scrolls game. He was the first person outside the team to ever play Skyrim.

And that’s the thing not just about The Elder Scrolls, but experiences like it. They’re important. Yes, they are just games, or just entertainment. But how we all spend our time is important. The best experiences can fill you with the wonder of discovery, and the pride of accomplishment. The fact that you have spent so much time in these worlds with us, and have supported us each and every game, has meant the world to us.

And now The Elder Scrolls is ready to head in a new direction – online. The great folks at ZeniMax Online have brought the same passion and dedication to that game that we brought to ours. And like the other titles, it will be its own thing. We hope you give them the same support and feedback you’ve given us for so long.

Where does The Elder Scrolls go over the next 20 years? Time will tell. But I know it will continue to be an amazing partnership with you. And we can’t wait to play it.

Until then, all our best,

Todd Howard
Game Director
Bethesda Game Studios

Moving to our next adventure

Skyrim has been a labor of love for us since we started designing it in 2006. We never imagined it would become the phenomenon it has. And that is because of you, the fans. It was all of you who made it a success. We can’t thank you enough for embracing the game, spreading the word, and making it your own.

For the last year and a half we’ve been working on new content for Skyrim; from the game updates, Creation Kit, Steam Workshop, Kinect support, to DLCs. Parts of our team have also been in pre-production on our next major project, and that game is at the point where it requires the studio’s full attention to make it our biggest and best work yet.

Even though we’re moving on, we’ll still have minor updates to Skyrim as needed. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into Skyrim and will never truly say goodbye to it.

We loved hearing your stories, your in-game triumphs, and your suggestions. One thing stuck out to us through those emails, letters, and postings. And that is – video games matter. They’re as important to you as they are to us. It’s not just about entertainment, it’s about your time. And you chose to spend it with our game.

Thank you again for all your support. We hope you stay engaged in the gaming community here and elsewhere. Keep spreading the word. Games are the world’s best entertainment because they can do what other forms cannot – fill you with the wonder of exploration and the pride of accomplishment. We look forward to sharing our next adventure with you.

Until next time,

Bethesda Game Studios