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Bethesda explains Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim multiplayer omission

"It's not that we don't like it," says game director Todd Howard

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim director Todd Howard has discussed the omission of a multiplayer gameplay mode in its eagerly anticipated open-world fantasy RPG.

Speaking to IGN, the Bethesda man said discussions on a multiplayer component come up regularly in design meetings - but multiplayer "always loses".

"The two most requested features we get are dragons and multiplayer. We got one of them this time," he said.


"We always look into multiplayer, put lots of ideas on the whiteboard and it always loses. It's not that we don't like it. I can think of ways it would be a lot of fun."

According to Howard. creating multiplayer would also pull the development team from the single-player portion of the game and jeopardise the quality of the solo experience.

"At the end of the day, that dev time is going to take away from doing the best single-player game we can, and that's where our hearts are."

Howard went on to divulge a few more details on Skyrim, saying that "it has about the same amount of geography and content as Oblivion".

"I say 'about' because the scale always changes some, and things like mountains change how that geography feels, and the time it takes you to get to and from places. It has a different flow when exploring," he added.

Elaborating on the aforementioned dragons, Howard detailed a new 'shout' system that will allow the main character to make use of his dragon-born lineage to cast spells in his mother tongue.

"Shouting is based on certain words in the dragon language that, when used together, form magical attacks," he explained.

"You learn these throughout the game by finding the words on ancient wall carvings or being taught them...It's all part of the ancient Nordic culture in Skyrim. Each shout is formed with up to three dragon words. Some are crucial to progressing through the game, while others just provide you with more power or interesting things to do."

Earlier this year, Howard said he felt Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 'feels more believable' than Oblivion.