Do allegations that Bethesda overpriced the remaster hold any water?
Although Bethesda’s announcement of The Elder Scrolls Skyrim: Special Edition, the long awaited remaster of their 2011 hit for current generation consoles, has been met with general excitement and anticipation, there is that portion of the internet that seems to be rather unhappy- but their unhappiness seems to be more at the price than anything else.
Normally, I tend to dismiss complaints of that nature as nothing more than jaded cynicism, but this particular vein of discontent is one that merits closer examination- is a remaster ever worth $60? By purchasing something like this, are we sending the wrong message to game publishers? Are we essentially telling them that it is okay for them to re-release old games, and charge us full price for them?
In general, maybe that argument holds some weight, but in this specific instance, I can’t see how anyone can legitimately argue against Skyrim‘s price- the remaster is launching with the base game, that comes with hundreds of hours of content all by itself, as well as all the DLC and content updates that were ever released for it. By itself, this is enough to be worth $60- indeed, that is exactly what Game of the Year releases are in the AAA games industry. But Bethesda aren’t stopping there. Instead, they have fully remastered the game’s graphics, causing the game to look great on the PS4 and Xbox One, and they are also adding support for mods for the console versions of the game. That’s not even all- to anyone who owns the game and its DLC on PC, Bethesda are also giving away this remaster for free, which is excellent, and something that literally no other publisher would do.
Look, I understand fears and principled stances that supporting a full priced remaster might be sending the industry a wrong signal. But context is important, too- Skyrim Special Edition is a full priced remaster, but in terms of sheer value and content, it is more worth its price than most new games that release are, and it represents some very good industry practices too. The larger question of whether or not buying full priced remasters makes sense continues to stand- but for Skyrim, specifically, I can say there is nothing wrong if someone wishes to spend $60 on it all over again.