LAS VEGAS–It’s not surprising to hear that an Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim player spent 75 hours playing the game. It’s a little more surprising to hear that’s what the average Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim player spent in Bethesda’s open-ended role-playing game.
Delivering the opening keynote of the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit tonight, Bethesda Game Studios creative director Todd Howard said the average Skyrim playtime for the PC version of the game was 75 hours. That’s not exactly a small sample set, either, as Howard said multiple millions of people had picked up the PC edition of Skyrim. Combined with the console versions, Skyrim has sold more than 10 million copies, Howard said.
Beyond that, Howard also showed off a video clip compiling some last-minute work on the game. Once development on Skyrim was essentially complete, Bethesda gave its developers a week to work on whatever they wanted, provided it could be put into the game. The week that followed was among the most creative and productive in company history, he said, with a host of new features being tossed into the game.
Among the week’s additions were seasonal foliage, spears, dramatic camera angles for magic and ranged combat kills, hanging structures and moving platforms in dungeons, dragon mounts, mounted combat, goblins, spell combinations, the ability to build a home, and even Kinect speech recognition for spells. Unfortunately, Howard was vague about how the new features could be added to Skyrim, saying it might be downloadable content packs, or possibly free downloads.
The keynote–which is available to watch in its entirety on GameSpot–covered a variety of subjects, from Bethesda’s design philosophy to the reasons Howard believes this is a golden age of gaming.
The D.I.C.E. Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) is a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. It is organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and hosts the annual Interactive Achievement Awards, which celebrate the best games of the past year, as voted by AIAS members. Comedian Jay Mohr will return to host the awards show–which takes place on February 9.
For more, check out GameSpot’s coverage page, which will feature full video of every panel and keynote address from the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit.