When it comes to The Elder Scrolls , people don't want to be told what to do. In fact, as developer Bethesda says, the more control they try to have over the player, the more it seems to chafe.
During a chat between Skyrim director Todd Howard and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson (as seen at Game Informer ), Howard said the idea is to "give the player tools and let them run wild." And every time the team tries to reclaim some control, they tend to "do it the wrong way." Bottom line? Know your audience. Said Howard:
"For us the world is the main character of the game. There are two types of people. [The first type] want to be told what to do, finish the main quest, see the credits roll and move onto the next game.
But the majority of our audience is more it's their game and they want to make the character, and just do whatever. That's why we put so much content in it, so that they feel like they have a lot to do, as opposed to 'go here, do this.'"
At the same time, Howard conceded that if a story isn't worth following, the players will simply avoid it. At that point, the player just goes- "Let the world burn. F*** 'em." The designers don't want to take things that far, and one of Skyrim 's new features supposedly gives us more incentive to follow that objective arrow.
But in the long run, the purpose of this game is to explore, discover, and make yourself stronger. No matter what they do, the narrative will play second fiddle to that…and the vast majority of the franchise's fans are plenty satisfied.
Related Game(s): The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim