Whenever Bethesda Game Studios, the development branch of Bethesda Softworks, are nearing completion on a title, they always hold a competition to play through the game as fast as possible. These speedrun competitions pit the best Quality Assurance player versus the best of the Bethesda Game Studios development team to see who can beat the game with the fastest time possible.
The winner is given a trophy and a pie of their choice, courtesy of Bethesda Game Director, Todd Howard. So it was that the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim speedrun contest got underway with Bethesda posting the results today.
For obvious reasons, the players adhere only to the main quest and do not attempt anything outside of their requisites. This year saw Sam Bernstein of Quality Assurance facing off against Bethesda's Jeff Browne; coincidentally, these are the same two combatants who battled 3 years ago in a Fallout 3 speedrun. Back then it was Jeff who reigned victorious, so naturally one would assume he would take the crown again, right?
Wrong. Sam Bernstein took the day with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 10 seconds. Jeff finished at 2 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds. Twenty seconds slower than Sam, who is enjoying his trophy and looking forward to a pumpkin pie with Todd Howard.
Comparatively, the speedruns of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion were a full hour shorter than the Skyrim speedrun, suggesting that players who enjoy the fullness of the game are definitely going to get their money's worth in Skyrim. For more on the game, be sure to check out http://www.skyrimwiki.com/ and congratulations to Sam!