In a Change.org petition, a fan of Bethesda’s popular Elder Scrolls games is requesting the publisher release the earlier titles for free on Steam.
Change.org is a website that allows people to create petitions for practically anything, to garner support behind whatever cause it is they want to put forward and make changes. One Elder Scrolls fan has done just that, and created a petition to bring the earlier pre-2000 games in the franchise to Steam for free, so newcomers can easily enjoy the series’ origins.
The Elder Scrolls is twenty years old this year, marking two decades since the first game, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, was released in 1994. Christopher Youde is a 19 year old aspiring games designer from the UK, and he is asking series publisher, Bethesda Softworks, to release The Elder Scrolls: Arena; The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall; An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire; and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard for free, with the possibility of the source code too, to enable the modding community to expand the experiences. The first two Elder Scrolls games are infact listed as freeware, and you can pick them up here and here, but if they were to be bundled together on Steam, with mod support, who knows where the community could take them.
An honest request, and I’m interested to see whether it will gain traction. As a fan of The Elder Scrolls universe myself, I’d love to play the earlier games in the series (they're on my bucket list). My only experience is with TES IV: Oblivion, TES V: Skyrim and TES Online. But, having the earlier titles opened up as free software would certainly make other people in the same situation as me take a look at them, I’m sure.
I got the opportunity to ask Christopher a few questions surrounding his petition too, the results of which you can read below:
AG: Why do you think Bethesda should listen to your request to release the earlier games for free?
CY: Because it's the 20th Anniversary of The Elder Scrolls, something which Bethesda is best known for. It's pretty obvious that they aren't getting profit from those first four games, and I generally think that Bethesda should give it to the fans instead of leaving such goodness to waste somewhere.
AG: What is it about the earlier Elder Scrolls games that you think fans of the newer titles will enjoy?
CY: I think they'll love the chance to get back to the roots of The Elder Scrolls, and it gives them a chance to learn how such a massive and amazingly built RPG started.
AG: And finally, if your petition is a success, what kind of content do you think the modding community would/should add to these games?
CY: I'd love to see "HD" versions/bugfixes, etc. of the games and/or extra stuff, items, tools, etc.
AG: Thanks again for your time, and good luck with the petition.
To some of you this may seem like a bold request, but I say ‘why not, eh?’ It’s worth a shot, and crazier things have happened. And like Christopher said, it would be interesting to see what modders could bring to the earlier games, like new items, tools and weapons - we've all seen the amazing and crazy things the Skyrim Steam Workshop has brought. So, if you’re a fan of The Elder Scrolls games and want give Christopher’s petition the best chance of succeeding, head on over to the Change.org petition page and add your name to the list.