Want to Play Skyrim Early? Bethesda’s Working On It
By Matt Peckham
One national Steam release timeframe to rule them all, that may be what Skyrim publisher/developer Bethesda Softworks is pulling together for the roleplaying epic’s release late next week. What that would entail, for those of you on the West Coast: the option to play the game early, on November 10.
Skyrim officially launches on November 11. That’s next Friday, or 11-11-11 for calendar-related numerology wonks, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time. Traditionally, midnight launches have been staggered by time zone, meaning if you live somewhere between Michigan and Florida, you can unlock (after downloading) the game an hour earlier than Midwesterners, two ahead of those living near the Rockies, and three ahead of everyone on the West Coast. A three-hour delay, in other words, from one coast to the next.
Bethesda’s apparently working to remedy the lag and bring the game to everyone simultaneously. Don’t fall off your chair looking for half a week, or even a fully day, but if you live in any of the three time zones not Eastern, you could see the game from an hour to three earlier than you might’ve otherwise, meaning—yep, a late November 10th release date.
“Steam is going to unlock every hour on the hour for all the various time zones? Every steam game I’ve gotten is usually 12am PST,” wrote Twitter user ScottLufkin to Bethesda vice president of public relations and marketing Pete Hines.
“[One] for oz, one for UK/Europe, one for US (EST is planned), etc,” wrote back Hines.
I’m not sure how “holy $&#%” a three hour bump is, and I’m pretty sure other Steam games have followed this route, but hey, it’s Skyrim—some of you have probably been waiting (not patiently) for this thing since 2006.
I dropped Hines an email just to be sure, and he confirmed as much: The company’s working to make Skyrim unlock on Steam nationwide at 12:01 a.m ET rather than at each time zone’s local time. “Stores will still do midnight openings at their local time,” says Hines.