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Nope, there won't be any new Elder Scrolls special edition games, Bethesda says

In a recent interview with Xbox: The Official Magazine, Bethesda vice president of public relations and marketing Pete Hines confirmed that the company has no plans to release additional special edition versions of its popular Elder Scrolls role-playing games. Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on October 28, 2016, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC to take advantage of the latest hardware for a visually enhanced experience compared to the original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.

According to Pete Hines, Skyrim Special Edition is the result of the studio’s work in preparing Fallout 4 for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They moved the Skyrim engine over to the new hardware to see how it performed and what it needed to run optimally at a higher detail level. This was before the team even started on Fallout 4 content.

He also noted mod support that was eventually built into Fallout 4 the Xbox One. The team wanted to add this feature to Skyrim on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well (the PC versions of Fallout 4 and Skyrim have mod support by default), requiring what he described as “effort and manpower.” Thankfully, Bethesda already figured out how to add support for mods with the Xbox One version of Fallout 4.

“Generally speaking, our approach has usually been that instead of spending all this time on a thing we’ve already made, why don’t we instead spend that effort on something new, or on the next version of that thing?” he said in the interview.

Will there be another special edition of an Elder Scrolls game? No. This was a unique situation similar to what Bethesda did with Dishonored. The company released that game, a new franchise for Bethesda, at the very end of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation in October 2012. Bethesda then remastered the game for beefier hardware in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles in August of 2015. This version, aka the Definitive Edition, includes all the previously released DLC and improved graphics.

On a side note, Bethesda just released a new update for Skyrim Special Edition on PC and the PlayStation 4 console. The big news is that the game now provides better support for monitors with a 144Hz refresh rate. Otherwise, the patch addresses a few minor issues.

Here is what version 1.3 brings to the platforms:

  • General stability and performance improvements
  • Fixed an issue where Slow Time effects weren’t behaving properly
  • Better support for 144Hz displays
  • Fixed issue with being unable to log into Bethesda.net

Finally, Hines talked about Bethesda moving beyond strictly serving up role-playing games. He said that the company set out to find and work with developers who have the same philosophy as Bethesda: To try something new or take a different approach. Just look at Wolfenstein and The Evil Within as prime examples.

“Things that aren’t just saying, ‘Well everyone’s doing X, so we’re going to do X, too,’” he said. “And you’re now seeing the continuing maturation and execution of that idea.