With the whole Skyrim on PS3 debacle finally behind us (hopefully), Bethesda’s Todd Howard has offered up comment on just what was behind the problem and revealed, shockingly, that the developer knew of the issues pre-launch.
“The way our dynamic stuff and our scripting works, it’s obvious it gets in situations where it taxes the PS3,” Howard told Kotaku. “And we felt we had a lot of it under control. But for certain users it literally depends on how they play the game, varied over a hundred hours and literally what spells they use. Did they go in this building? [And so on.]”
It’s highly-assumed that the problem was with save data size, not this memory issue. But this isn’t the case as Howard explained: “That’s the common misconception. It’s literally the things you’ve done in what order and what’s running. Some of the things are literally what spells do you have hot-keyed? Because, as you switch to them, they handle memory differently.”
But here’s the kicker; Howard also revealed that Bethesda knew of these issues before the game released, and simply planned to fix it with patch 1.2.
“The 1.2 patch [released in November] took care of a lot of it,” he said.
Obviously though, problems persisted on quite a large scale. But while it’s easy to quickly condemn Bethesda and claim that it should have delayed the game, that would have undoubtedly made the majority of fans angry, and the developer did not know that the problem would have reached this scale back then.
And now that we’re on the other side of the issue? “Now that we’ve been through this, we’re not naïve enough to say, ‘We have seen everything,’ because we have to assume we haven’t,” Howard said. “There are still going to be some people who have to come back to us and say, ‘Ok, my situation is this.’ [Our response is:] ‘OK, send us your saved game.’
“We literally need to look at what you have running. We tried doing it through e-mail. We need to open the saved game comes up and look at it. We’ve got one guy who has seven dragons on the other side of the world, and a siege about to happen in this city and another 20 quests running. And, ok, this is what the game is trying to do and it’s having a hard time running that.”
No doubt this whole issue serves as a message to developer’s dependence of the early patch to fix issues. Hopefully this is the last of Skyrim‘s PS3 problems.