Howard: It’s a “common misconception” Skyrim’s PS3 issues are tied to save data

Wednesday, 15th February 2012 18:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Bethesda’s Todd Howard has said the team working on Skyrim knew it would experience a “bad memory situation” when developing the game for PS3, and worked extra hard on the code to prevent issues from occurring; however, problems did arise with “a small percentage” users.

Speaking with Kotaku, Howard said regardless of how small said percentage was, Bethesda was adamant about the issue through patching.

“We did a ton more testing this time around, so the game is definitely our most solid release regardless of platform,” he said. “The way our dynamic stuff and our scripting works, it’s obvious it gets in situations where it taxes the PS3. 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.”

Howard said the issues had nothing to do with a large amount of save data stored on the system, saying the theory was a “common misconception.”

“It’s literally the things you’ve done in what order and what’s running,” he explained. “Some of the things are literally what spells do you have hot-keyed? Because, as you switch to them, they handle memory differently.

“The 1.2 patch took care of a lot of it, [but] there were clearly some people [who the fix didn't work for]. We didn’t know why. So they sent us their saved games.”

Howard said patch 1.4 hopefully “takes care” of the issues the team has seen “that are bad”, and the team is “very confident a lot more people are going to be in a very good situation,” but at the same time Bethesda’s not “not naïve enough” to assume its seen everything which needs to be fixed.

“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,’” he said. “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. Wr’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.”



  1. Razor

    Exactly, it’s caused by non-existent QA on Bethesda’s part.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    Funny how it’s always a “small ammount of people” isn’t it?

    Skyrim was better than most of the things they’ve done in terms of being less broken, but it nevertheless affects the entire experience when you do run into a quest that can’t/won’t be completed.

    I feel sick to my stomache when I look at my Eyes of the Falmer that I can’t turn in because I didn’t stand on spot X for Y ammount of time.

    On the other hand I’m doing another playthrough of Fable 2, and that’s half the content with twice the bugs.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    @2 “On the other hand I’m doing another playthrough of Fable 2, and that’s half the content with twice the bugs”.
    twice less or twice more the bugs?, because i dont recall that many bugs on fable 2

    #3 3 years ago
  4. splynta

    After reading this article of what he has said, it still sounds like save data problems to me.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TickleMyElmo

    “But for certain users it literally depends on how they play the game,
    varied over a hundred hours and literally what spells they use.

    “Some of the things are literally what spells do you have hot-keyed?”

    “We literally need to look at what you have running.”

    Wow, Chris Traeger works for Bethesda!

    “Anne Perkins!”

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gigabomber

    What I’d like to see Howard say: “I’m always disappointed that they never budget enough time nor allocate enough money for proper testing: If every single game from our studio is like this, they should triple the testing budget.”

    They already have our money, maybe instead of per-ordering for DLC we should have a signed order that “if we pre-order, you give us less BS in your interviews/press releases and we return that with a middling amount of respect that is already dwindling as you are ruining the industry” clause.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. deathgaze

    ^ lol this

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    @3 Dude, don’t even get me started.

    From the simple fact that it’s lagging all over the place (in spite of looking like a PS2 game) to quests not triggering properly, to saves corrupting, Fable II is one of the most aggrevating games I’ve played in recent time.

    Yesterday I lost about an hour of game time because the game decided to jump back to a quest I had finished an hour ago.

    It’s definitely not working properly :P

    #8 3 years ago
  9. ManuOtaku

    @8, well then i guess i was one of the lucky few, because i dont remember having that many things on fable 2, or maybe i do have a very selective memory, well ***shrugs**** 8D

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    I dunno! I got the 360 Classic edition. For one it looks really foggy (like PS2 foggy) it’s got lag, and when I’ve been looking over the wiki, I’ve seen quite a few mentions of bugs.

    I haven’t seen one as bad as the “quest jumping” thing personally. It basically deleted all my progress and reverted to an old save while I was trying to load a new region.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    I thought the common misconception was that Bethesda can’t program for shit.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. fearmonkey

    With a game like this there are bound to be bugs and issues no matter how much is tested. Everyone plays differently, and the world is alive with the game processing events in the game that your not even seeing. It’s funny though that the PS3 always has these issues with Bethesdas games.
    The 360/PC versions have its own problems, and the latest patch didn’t fix the issues that I’m having, regarding quest issues.
    Of all the Bethesda gamebryo games, Fallout:New vegas was by far the buggiest title I have ever played. Even though I didn’t get the game till 6 months after it released it was horrible, Obsidian was worse than Bethesda.

    #12 3 years ago

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