It’s good to see some appreciation for the competition.
Bethesda’s Skyrim was a once in a generation kind of event, the kind of game that was the perfect storm that hit at just the right time, and managed to break into the mainstream like very few games have, With over 20 million copies sold, it is the highest selling RPG of all time that does not have Pokemon in its name, and its success naturally caused other publishers to sit up and take notice, with companies as varied as CD Projekt RED, Bioware, Bethesda, Capcom, Square Enix, and even Nintendo, to cite Skyrim as an influence for their future game design.
Ahead of the release of their very obviously inspired by Skyrim Dragon Age Inquisition, Bioware’s
“Skyrim changed the landscape for role-playing games completely,” Bioware’s Mark Darrah said to GamesIndustry.biz. “I mean Oblivion probably sold six million units, basically that range, Skyrim sold 20 million. So that, to some degree, changes everything.”
“People age, they typically have less time for games, so it changes their expectations in terms of gameplay segments. It also results in some nostalgia. So they may become even more firm in their attachment to previous features.
“I think that’s what we may be seeing here. I don’t know that role-playing games will be necessarily dominant but I do think we may see open-world exploration games being the dominant genre of this generation.”
“Now suddenly you have 15 million people that have basically had the first RPG they’ve ever played as Skyrim. They have totally different expectations of what storytelling is, what exploration is, and I think exploration is really where we’ve seen the biggest change.”
He’s certainly right in the seismic shift that Skyrim caused in the role playing game genre- in a lot of ways, it was very similar to the kind caused by Call of Duty for shooters and action games. Let’s hope games inspired by Skyrim, however, can do better than games inspired by Call of Duty did.