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News of the new Oblivion game will make PC gamers happier than Glarthir spying on his neighbors in the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion  (Source: gamepressure.com)

The Elder Scrolls Oblivion set the bar in 2006 for PC graphics and quest-driven gameplay. Many subsequent games tried to varying degrees of success to follow its formula. What surprises and innovations might the next game in the franchise, due in 2010, hold in store?  (Source: IGN.com)
Fans of Oblivion will be pleased to hear a new Elder Scrolls title

Bethesda Studios made a name for itself with the wildly successful Elder Scrolls series.  By grafting a thin layer of RPG mechanics over a hack-and-slash framework, and combining it with deep quest driven gameplay, the company became a wild success.  When it released Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in March 2006, one of the most graphically intensive PC games at its time of release, it cemented itself as one of PC gaming's elite.

Its latest hit is Fallout 3, a reimagination of the classic series of PC games.  Released this week, the title covers the exploits of a nuclear holocaust survivor who has been living underground in a protective vault.  While many hardcore fans were (and some still are) wary of Bethesda's handling of this cult favorite, Bethesda is cited as doing a good job including the series dark retro-humor and many familiar mechanics.  The game drew rave reviews thus far and has garnered many awards for its scope, despite minor criticism.

Now fresh off what is sure to be its latest commercial success, one of Bethesda's employees leaked news of the company's upcoming plans, including a new Elder Scrolls game.  Paul Oughton, publishing executive for Bethesda states, "At the moment we've got Fallout 3 for this year and potentially there's a new Elder Scrolls title in 2010.  At the moment we're not that interested in the Wii. We're going to stick to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. We'll continue to pursue three or four titles a year and go for big titles"

While obviously the most interesting piece of news for Elder Scrolls fans is word of the new game, also interesting is Bethesda indifference toward the wildly successful Nintendo's consoles.  Mr. Oughton says that Bethesda may eventually develop products for the system, but it’s still adjusting to the idea of the seemingly odd games that are very popular for the systems.  He adds, "We've seen games selling in the past 18 months that we never thought we'd see. We wouldn't have thought that pet games and cooking games would have a viable market five years ago. No publisher would have taken those products on."

He sees the market as becoming saturated, a possible obstacle to seeing Bethesda titles on the Wii.  He continuess, "But Nintendo bought new products in with vast amounts of marketing money to launch these into the minds of the consumer and made a market for them. Every other publisher then very quickly developed DS and Wii products and we're getting to saturation now."

For PC gamers, though, all the talk of Nintendo, PS3, and Xbox 360 is nothing compared to the announcement of another chapter in one of PC gaming's most successful franchises.  The news will likely make PC gamers happier than the wood elf Glarthir after a sanguineous spree.





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