The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open world action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth main installment in The Elder Scrolls series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2011.
The game’s main story revolves around the player character and their quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon who is prophesied to destroy the world. The game is set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion, and takes place in the fictional province of Skyrim. Over the course of the game, the player completes quests and develops the character by improving skills. The game continues the open world tradition of its predecessors by allowing the player to travel anywhere in the game world at any time, and to ignore or postpone the main storyline indefinitely.
Skyrim was developed using the Creation Engine, rebuilt specifically for the game. The team opted for a unique and more diverse game world than Oblivion’s Imperial Province of Cyrodiil, which game director and executive producer Todd Howard considered less interesting by comparison. The game was released to critical acclaim, with reviewers particularly mentioning the character development and setting, and is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time. However, it nonetheless received some criticism, particularly for its numerous technical issues present at launch. The game shipped over seven million copies to retailers within the first week of its release, and sold over 30 million copies across all platforms.
Three downloadable content (DLC) add-ons were released—Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn—which were repackaged into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Legendary Edition, which was released in June 2013. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition, a remastered version of the game, was released for Windows, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in October 2016, which includes all three DLC expansions and a graphical upgrade, along with additional features such as modding capabilities on consoles. Versions for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR were released in November 2017.