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The OXM Podcast - Bethesda talks Skyrim DLC, multiplayer, bug jars and the future of sci-fantasy

Vice-president Peter Hines on the future of Elder Scrolls

Some developers would have you believe that releasing DLC months after release is like burning money, but the intimidating success of Bethesda's various Elder Scrolls and Fallout DLC packs suggests otherwise.

The company has yet to publish data for the likes of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Dragonborn, released over a year after the main game, but given that Skyrim was one of Xbox 360's most popular titles in 2012, estimates in the multiple-million range are hardly inappropriate. It's a pleasant turn of events for a publisher that's been criticised in the past for over-priced DLC - though as vice-president Peter Hines never fails to remind us, Oblivion's horse armour continues to sell despite its notoriety.

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The strength of Skyrim's DLC packs in particular is a sheer question of bang for buck - even now, there are probably still secrets and Easter eggs waiting to be plucked from Dragonborn's glacial, fungal immensity, and you may be surprised by what's left to uncover in Dawnguard, too. It's also a question of how successfully the new areas, characters and scenarios are integrated with the existing universe: re-introducing the Isle of Solstheim from Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion was a masterstroke, reinforcing continuity between the games while gifting the design team something in the way of a blank canvas.

For more insights - and for thoughts on the franchise's future, competition in the fantasy genre and what, exactly, is up with all them bug jars - Jonty and I sat down with Hines for a lengthy chat, just prior to the release of Dragonborn on PS3. The result is another instalment in our hilariously irregular OXM Podcast series. Grab some lunch and catch the full thing below - you'll also (eventually) be able to download it from iTunes, once Apple gets its act together.

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