Yesterday, fans around the world celebrated the anniversary of a game that has an important place in their hearts. A few highlights from the Skyrim 10th anniversary celebration & concert will be covered in this article. I covered some highlights from Todd Howard’s AMA as well, which can be found here. Ten years ago, Skyrim determined the next decade of video games. Bethesda’s masterpiece has touched many lives, including mine.
Pete Hines and Jessica Finster Pre-concert Hype
Prior to the main event, senior community manager, Jessica Finster, and SVP of global marketing & communications, Pete Hines, hosted a pre-show. They talked in detail about their experience and memories working on Skyrim. Also, they did a few giveaways to spice things up.
Pete Hines told viewers that most of his favorite memories are from before Skyrim was released. Many Bethesda employees seem to feel a certain drive when the vision for a game starts to come together. These “reveal moments” are special to Pete Hines.
Pete Hines (43:44): Like you know Todd loved that big reveal moment, so like getting to see what that was gonna be for the first time is something I’ll always remember. When I was at home and playing for funsies killing a dragon for the first time like for real where it counted and it was my game was a proud moment.
The experience was slightly different for Jessica Finster. She started her career on the QA team, which is where she was when Skyrim was in development. Being new to the company just before they released the game of the decade must have been very daunting. Jessica Finster recalled her feelings at the time.
Jessica Finster (44:18): And then moving over into community and getting to experience the community at large and how much love and passion there is for the game post launch like that’s one of my favorite memories about Skyrim.
Todd Howard’s Introduction
Todd Howard (1:37): We had some things running, and then we did the music. And we had pictured The Elder Scrolls theme sung by a barbarian choir and the voice of dragons.
That’s quite a vivid vision for the game’s music. It’s very captivating to look back on 10 years of playing Skyrim knowing that it all started with the vision. Barbarians and dragons singing a tune.
Todd Howard (2:00): And then we cut this trailer to the early music with the concept art and the early footage. And it sang. It was incredible. Everybody in the team can probably remember that moment. And even today, when I hear the music and it rises up at the end in the trailer as the dragon flies through the valley, the hair literally stands up on my arms.
I know the feeling. When I watch the official Skyrim trailer I get goosebumps and my heart beats a little faster. So even during production, the team knew they were onto something, but they couldn’t have known just how much gold they had struck until post-release. Their vision dawned on the next era of video games, and fans still play Skyrim with the same passion they always have.
For those who don’t know, Kevin aka Trainwiz is a very talented and popular modder. However, he’s more than just a modder now, he is a developer. A few years ago he started his own company called Pastaspace Interactive. They developed a great space arcade game called Underspace which is available on Steam.
Trainwiz’s mods often involve trains. A few popular ones are Aethernautics: A Space Travel Mod, The Wheels of Lull, and Blackreach Railroad. Kevin gave viewers some insight into Bethesda’s support for modders.
Kevin (37:41): There’s such a support from the developers themselves for mods, and allowing mods to be done in ways that they probably didn’t foresee, but they are absolutely okay with. It really gives you an opportunity to express yourself in those ways with its editing tools.
Bethesda pioneered a modding movement, which gave many people opportunities to shine. They were among the first companies to embrace modding and offer official support for it. Many young developers got their start by modding Skyrim.
In addition to modding, Bethesda also opened a door for enthusiasts to grow with the Bethesda.net forums. They recently replaced those forums with Discord servers. One of the first exposures I got to this industry was doing miniature mod reviews on Bethesda.net, which I will provide more details on later.
Laila’s company, Learn District, runs a wonderful program called Girls Make Games. Its mission is to motivate and assist women in joining the video game industry. Girls Make Games does that by hosting summer camps, workshops, and other various functions for young women that have an interest in games.
Laila (47:07): We just wanted to run one summer camp and meet a whole bunch of girls who self-identified as gamers and asked them, you know, what they liked about games and whether they would consider working in the industry growing up. And it was such an emotional experience for everyone. They had found a place where they felt validated.
What a touching quote. Everyone deserves a place where they feel validated and Laila has given that to many young women.
After the concert Todd Howard delivered some closing remarks then he introduced composer Inon Zur. He spoke very briefly then closed with the following line.
Inon Zur: Let’s fly away from the snowy peaks of Skyrim, right into the stars.
The London Symphony Orchestra then played a song which the video called, “Starfield Suite.” This was the beginning of a Starfield teaser. Parts of this song have been played before in trailers, but hearing the London Symphony Orchestra play it all the way through was special.
Starfield has been described as “Skyrim in space” and that is actually how I would describe the song. Also, parts of it reminded me of the tune that plays in the opening loading screen to the Call of Duty Zombies map Ascension.
A montage of images played during the song. Some of which have been seen before, but some are new. I have placed a few of them throughout this article.
The celebration truly took me down memory lane. Skyrim inspired me to follow my dreams. Without Skyrim, I would never have done my amateur work on Bethesda.net, started the Black Rose Blogger, or ended up here at KeenGamer. So, thank you to everyone at Bethesda for inspiring me to follow this career path and to be the hero that I watched protect Skyrim.
Thank you to everyone that has been a part of Skyrim’s journey, and I hope you enjoyed these highlights from the Skyrim 10th anniversary celebration & concert.