The upcoming The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition, announced as part of QuakeCon 2021, serves as something of a successor to 2016’s Skyrim Special Edition. Alongside the inclusion of all three Skyrim DLCs and the same graphical improvements seen in Special Edition, the Anniversary Edition brings with it additional Creation Club content, including the new Skyrim fishing mechanic.
Skyrim Anniversary Edition comes with over 500 “elements” from Bethesda’s Creation Club, allowing players to experience new quests, bosses, items, and spells created by Bethesda and outside developers at no additional cost. For the time being, it’s unclear what exactly all of these elements are – and, particularly, how many of them will be new, as opposed to just items from existing Creation Club add-ons – but more information is likely to be revealed as November approaches.
Included among this Creation Club content is Skyrim Anniversary Edition‘s fishing mechanic, a first for the series. Fish could technically be caught in the base game, but players had to do so manually, swimming through the water and nabbing fish one by one, rather than with a fishing rod. Given that fish are an important part of Skyrim‘s cooking and alchemy mechanics, this feature is a small but significant step forward, in terms of immersion and roleplaying.
Although Bethesda did not explicitly say why it decided to add the mechanic, Bethesda Game Studios Managing Director Ashley Cheng noted that “it really adds to … the immersion of the world.” Immersion is the goal of many Skyrim mods, and Anniversary Edition will include other Creation Club content aimed towards that same purpose. Survival Mode, for instance, adds a new gameplay mode to Skyrim that provides more realistic environmental challenges, such as hunger, fatigue, and cold. Combined with this, fishing could help make Skyrim more engaging, particularly to longtime players who may feel they’ve already done everything it has to offer.
Another motivation could simply be the popularity of fishing in other games. Games like Stardew Valley and Final Fantasy XV – both of which were released in 2016, the same year as Skyrim Special Edition – include fishing as an optional element for players to engage with, and many open-world RPGs like Skyrim also include the feature. Either way, it seems like a deliberate move to help increase the replayability and longevity of Skyrim even further, providing something new for fans to do in Skyrim Anniversary Edition all these years later.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition will be released on November 11, 2021.