The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition arrived on Oct 28th to PC and consoles. Designed as a remaster with expanded content, the game enhances one of the most popular installments in the entire Elder Scrolls franchise. And according to SteamSpy, fans are plugging more time into the game than they did in the original Skyrim.
As SteamSpy notes, playtime in the last two weeks has resulted in a 7hr and 56min average playtime in Skyrim Special Edition, with a 1hr and 34 min median. In comparison, the original Skyrim‘s playtime in the last two weeks rests at 7hr and 19min for an average, with 1hr and 37min as a median. Comparing minute for minute, players are spending more time inside Skyrim Special Edition than its original. Which suggests the added content is drawing in players to stick around a little longer inside the game than the original release did.
Player numbers in the last two weeks are quite high, too. Skyrim Special Edition hosts 1,307,721 players, compared to the original Skyrim’s 1,229,994. Granted, there’s a margin of error here of 29,317 and 28,436, respectively. But even if that margin plays in the original Skyrim‘s favour, Skyrim Special Edition still holds more users in the past two weeks.
Remasters are a touchy subject for many fans in the gaming community. While some fans enjoy repurchasing games for enhanced content, others fear re-releases on principle because remastered games are largely identical to their original versions. This tends to affect playtime for many games as well. Compare the original BioShock to the BioShock Remaster, which saw mixed reception from many PC fans. In that game’s case, total playtime proves much higher for the original, with 7hr and 12mins averaging BioShock‘s total over 3hr and 24min for the remaster.
Dynamic games with added content and significant enhancements tend to see strong total playtimes break through. Compare The Binding of Isaac to its remake, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. The original Isaac sees a total playtime for 30hr and 49mins on average. Rebirth, meanwhile, shows an average of 97hr and 32min. In the past two weeks, the average playtime for the original is 2hr and 39min; for Rebirth, 6hr and 25min. That’s approximately three times the amount of hours spent in game. When a remaster brings added content, fans play the game longer, as The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth goes to show.
Granted, it’s too early to say that Bethesda will continue remaking and remastering their titles on PC and consoles. But if Skyrim Special Edition is any indicator, fans are interested in playing remakes. As long as the in-game content is worth replaying, that is.