Skyrim Made Open Worlds Popular, Says Former Bethesda Dev

Skyrim Led To Explosion of Open World Games!

The Elder Scrolls is one of Bethesda’s biggest IPs, with Skyrim being the studio’s most successful release after selling 60 million units. As the studio works on The Elder Scrolls 6, many have reflected on the impact of this entry and its legacy.

During a recent episode of MinnMax interview, a former Bethesda developer discussed this RPG. He believes Skyrim became a major reason for the explosion of open-world games.

Why it matters: The open-world genre offers some of the most compelling and engaging games today. More linear franchises like God of War and Final Fantasy have also taken influence from this genre in recent years.

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Bruce Nesmith recently sat down with Ben Hanson to discuss his long history of game development with Bethesda. The developer was one of the leading forces behind the studio’s RPGs and worked as the Lead Designer for Skyrim.

When addressing the game’s influence, Bruce Nesmith said:

“We proved to the world that open-world games were the place to be. You can trace the explosion of open-world games to Skyrim’s success.”

Further discussing the open-world revolution, Ben Hanson pointed to GTA 3 as one of the first games that pushed the genre forward.

The former Bethesda developer acknowledged its influence, but he pointed out that Bethesda’s title was more focused on RPG elements than GTA 3, stating that the former definitely played a major role in the current popularity of this genre.

In recent years, developers like FromSoftware have implemented an open world into their signature gameplay style. This resulted in Elden Ring, the studio’s best-selling title to date.

Other games like The Witcher 3 also found incredible success after introducing a massive open-world. Skyrim came several years before such releases, and the freedom of exploration was a huge selling point for this RPG.

Freedom was at the heart of everything that made the game so impressive, with Bethesda claiming that players could go anywhere and explore each location in their sights.

Upon release, Skyrim was an instant hit, scoring 96/100 on Metacritic. Its excellence is still seen today, with thousands of players returning to the game every day despite its 2011 release.

Therefore, this RPG certainly left a mark on the industry, shaping the open-world genre as we know it today.

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We believe that while Skyrim may not have been one of the first open-world games, it inspired many studios to finally take the leap and bring their own flavor to this incredible style of games.

Following the release of Skyrim, Bethesda faces the incredibly challenging task of creating a worthy successor to the game. Nonetheless, the Elder Scrolls 6 is described as the ultimate fantasy simulator, with Todd Howard hinting at another revolutionary entry for this series.

This entry is expected to arrive by 2028 at the earliest, so the studio has plenty of time to introduce another revolution in a genre it helped pioneer in the past.

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