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Bethesda: "We need to treat our updates with greater care"

Skyrim publisher admits patching is too aggressive and clumsy

The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda has admitted it needs to better care when releasing patches for its games, as its latest update to fix issues on console created more problems for players.

On release, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim suffered from serious lag issues on PlayStation 3, with a recent patch only partially solving the problem. To make matters worse, the patch also unbalanced gameplay and created embarrassing visual bugs such as backwards flying dragons.

"We'll continue to do everything we can to make the game better and better for as many people as possible every day," said the company on its blog.

"We've also realised that with the millions upon millions of people playing Skyrim, we need to treat our updates with greater care. If we get too aggressive trying to fix a minor issue, we run a risk of breaking something larger in a game like this.

If we get too aggressive trying to fix a minor issue, we run a risk of breaking something larger in a game like this

Bethesda spokesperson

"To be safe, we are prioritising code side fixes right now over data fixes. Quest and balance issues are usually data, and those will start rolling in a large way with the January updates."

The problems are disappointing for consumers as the game has been one of the best received this year, across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC formats.

Updates for the console version of the game are hampered by the slow approval process at Sony and Microsoft, said Bethesda, but players should expect a lot more patching over the coming months.

"After the holidays, we'll continue to release regular updates for the game - through full title updates, as well as incremental 'gameplay updates' to fix whatever issues come up along with rebalancing portions of the game for difficulty or exploits.

"We plan on having a lot of these, not just a few. Overall, you should expect updates to be hitting the PC and Steam earlier and more often, as that's a process we control. Console updates will follow, as they must be certified and processed by those manufacturers."

The company also said it will release free PC development tools in January along with a Creation Kit for users to create their own content. Incorporating Steam Workshop, users will be able to upload mods, browse, rate and flag content for download.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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