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Skyrim small install size for PC, Bethesda bragging rights

Yesterday we told you all about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s minimum and recommend requirements, at the time we listed 6GB of hard drive space as one of these necessities, we thought that this was very low, however it turns out that this is in fact accurate.

Recently it hasn’t been unusual for games to require 15GB+ of hard drive space, therefore we thought that such an expansive game like Skyrim would be similar, but as it turns out Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming game for PC needs just 6GB of free space, that’s nothing.

Like us, many gamers were sceptical about this, however Bethesda’s VP of PR and Marketing has been clearing things up about the relatively small install size, we can’t help but think he is taking a stab at other developers with the following tweet:

Content doesn’t take lots more space if you know how to build an open world game, which we do.

In other tweets it has been said that the small install size is possible thanks to the new engine and much better compression methods than ever before, especially for voice and video – you can see the tweet which revealed this here.

Finally another tweet mentions the fact that Elder Scrolls VI: Oblivion required just over 4GB of space, despite this the game consists of far more content than many games which require larger installs – this should lay to rest people’s worries who thought a 6GB install size would equate to a small game.

It is great to see Bethesda’s devs fit such a large game into such a small install size, it just makes us wonder what other game developers are playing at when lesser games require 2 or 3 times the free space of Skyrim, also lately we have seen Xbox 360 games struggle to fit on one disc, perhaps the problem is not with the disc format entirely…

Does it surprise you that Skyrim requires such a small amount of free space? Let us know below.

Written by Jamie Pert

Jamie has a background in computer repairs and maintenance along with network administration, he now enjoys utilizing the benefits of new technologies and enjoys writing about anything that brings new technology to the world.

He began writing for Product Reviews in mid 2009 and has since expanded his knowledge across a wide-base of devices, he is looking to get more hands-on experience with new devices to gain a better understanding of the latest and greatest technologies.

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JosemaArt RichardsXavierJustSomebodyJuto Kuto Recent comment authors
Art Richards

Their engine for Fallout is a physical simulator with an autonomous agent communication framework, they rely on real interactions to fuel much of the story, at least in their last game.  This helps free up developer needs to program in every happenstance in the game, and instead allows the engine to perform much of the dirty work.  This makes for a less “cinematic” experience, as many of these interactions are not planned for the sake of the camera, but for the sake of the simulated world.  Think of Final Fantasy’s Artwork, this required alot of space because it was all… Read more »

Juto Kuto

“we thought that such an expansive game like Skyrim” Oh you mean like fallout 3 that they copy paste the same dungeon texture a billion times over? I go to a dungeon in fallout 3 in 2008, vist a 100 more with the same textures, buy ALL 5 dlcs and they ALL have that texture, i buy new vegas and ALL the dlcs and they ALL have that texture. 2008-2011= 700 hours of fallout looking at the same texture. “Content doesn’t take lots more space if you know how to build an open world game, which we do.”You mean copy… Read more »

David A Whitesell

“perhaps the problem is not with the disc format entirely….”  Really?  Take a look at Battlefield 3 for example, the game comes on two discs for PC and the install size is 12GB, double that of Skyrim.  You insinuate this is a fault or failure in development, take a look at both games running side by side and at a quick glance it will become very apparent why there is a drastic difference in data size between the two titles, there is nothing “great” about them achieving a small install size.  Bethesda’s engine is a very minimal upgrade over their… Read more »


For anyone rocking SSDs in their PCs this is what they want to hear


I think I also heard them say that they owed a lot to the fact that a lot of things like environmental generation is non-scripted and done by the game itself requiring less space. Don’t know how true this is.

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