A lot has happened since I wrote a blog post last year anticipating the first release of Skyrim DLC. With the eventual release of Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn, Bethesda met (and indeed exceeded) many of my hopes and desires. Like many of you, I’ve poured hundreds of hours exploring the wonderful world of the Dragonborn, and the DLC packages were like sugary icing on top of a freshly baked sweet roll. Skyrim’s expansive world got just a bit bigger and a whole lot more interesting every time Bethesda released downloadable content, and like a famished Whiterun guard I was always hungry for more.
Well, that’s all coming to a end, and like the rest of you I guess I’m just gonna have to cope with hunger pains.
If you haven’t heard the news, Bethesda officially announced that no more Skyrim DLC would be released. Say it ain’t so! The announcement was made on the Bethesda Blog ten days ago, and you can read the news in its entirety here. In essence, the Bethesda team is moving on to other projects, although they indicate they’ll release minor Skyrim updates from time to time:
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.
I have to admit that I was shocked when I first read the announcement. After the initial disbelief wore off, I experienced my own stages of grief. Shock gave way to anger. Anger gave way to sadness. Sadness gave way to a reluctant acceptance. Sure, I’m cognizant that the ride would have to end at some point, and that the DLC releases would stop. I accept the fact that Bethesda has their hands full with many worthwhile projects (the venerable Fallout series and the upcoming The Evil Within for example). In their news release, Bethesda even promises that they’re working on their “biggest and best work yet,” but I still can’t help feel that the loyal legions of Skyrim fans are being cheated out of something spectacular. It’s like the time I saw R.E.M. in concert when I was still in school, and the band played a measly two songs for an encore. Two songs? At least Bethesda released three DLC packages, but I feel that something is missing and that Bethesda needs to release one more DLC. Not because we the fans deserve it necessarily, but because Skyrim deserves it. To create such a majestic work of art and not fully bring the game to a sweeping climax is a travesty of sorts.
So what do you think? Should Bethesda have released one more DLC package, or was it time to put an end to Skyrim and move on to other projects?