Skywind, the ambitious mod remaking Morrowind in Skyrim, has over 3,000 characters—three times as many as the original Skyrim

A khajiit character in Morrowind in a house
(Image credit: TES Renewal Project)

I know Fallout is the big topic of conversation when it comes to Bethesda these days, but let's pull our eyes away from that flickering Radiation King and focus on The Elder Scrolls for a moment. It'll be quite a while before we see The Elder Scrolls 6, but in the meantime we've been eagerly anticipating the rebirth of one of the earlier TES games: Morrowind.

Skywind, the mod remaking Morrowind in Skyrim's engine, has been in the works almost since the moment Skyrim was released in 2011. In the years since, a team of volunteer modders have been diligently working on the ambitious project, and a new video released today lays out the history of the mod, how much has been done, and how much work is still ahead.

No, that release date we're all hungry for still hasn't been announced. On the plus side, the modders have shared a few early names for the project, which included MorroSkyrim, Morrowrim, and Morrim. They eventually settled on Skywind, the first in a series of excellent decisions.

After nearly 13 years of development, why isn't Skywind ready for primetime yet? Well, completely rebuilding Morrowind is a big job. Really big. Just to highlight one of the challenges, the base game of Skyrim has about 1,100 NPCs voiced by 70 actors. Skywind, on the other hand, has about 3,000 different characters voiced by around 300 performers. That really puts into perspective what a monumental task this is, especially since it's all done by volunteers in their spare time.

The contents of Morrowind aren't simply being copy-pasted into Skyrim, either, but recreated and enhanced. There are entirely new characters, encounters, skills, quests, and conversations, and before all those actors can read all those lines, someone has to write them. Those thousands of NPCs also need "dynamic daily routines" created for them so they can work, travel, and live in the world. That all takes time, years of it.

While there's still lots of work to do, and Skywind is currently recruiting more volunteers to help get it done, it's pretty remarkable how much has been finished. Level design is estimated to be 70% complete, voice acting is 80% done, and nearly all the quests have been written. "We have made huge strides in recent years," the video says. "And while we aren't there yet, the end is now starting to come into view." 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.