Skyblivion team reveals roadmap to 2025 release, says quests and NPCs are done in 'around a third' of the map but The Shivering Isles will have to wait

The Elder Scrolls 6 may be "five-plus years away" according to Phil Spencer, but at least we'll have Skyblivion before then. The team of volunteers remaking Oblivion in Skyrim's engine as part of the larger Elder Scrolls Renewal project announced in January that Skyblivion would be done by 2025—or earlier if enough new volunteers chip in. The team's latest update is a 10-minute video detailing its progress so far, and the roadmap to that release date.

Skyblivion's to-do list includes landscaping more of the world map's cells, of which 87% are already done, including all 803 cells of Blackwood—where you'll find the city of Leyawiin, The Drunken Dragon Inn, a couple of my favorite Daedric shrines, and a whole lot of swamps. There are 40 spaces that exist beyond the world map, however, like the land inside a painting you visit in the sidequest A Brush With Death, as well as the Daedric realms on the other side of Oblivion gates, which are being saved for last. (And which will apparently have "MUCH more diversity" than they did in Oblivion.)

Once cells have been landscaped they can be navmeshed, overlaying the pathing information that tells NPCs where to walk. "We're currently around a third of the way through this mammoth task," the team says, "which means that NPCs and quests are fully functional in those completed parts of the map." Of the 199 quests from Oblivion, 97 are currently playable in Skyblivion, with another 25 described as work-in-progress. The entire Dark Brotherhood questline is among the playable ones, which will please its many fans, while the Thieves Guild and main storyline are the least complete.

Oblivion wouldn't be Oblivion without its often quirky systems, and Skyblivion is bringing a bunch of them with it. Spellcrafting is done, as is alchemy, underwater combat, and the weather systems, while its classes, magic, attributes, and the inexplicable disposition-altering speechcraft minigame are currently work-in-progress. Oblivion's level-scaling isn't on the board, thank goodness, and last I heard Skyrim's leveling mechanics were being adopted instead.

Unfortunately, to get Skyblivion done by its release date the team won't be launching it with any of the expansions like The Shivering Isles, which was the most visually interesting element of Oblivion, as well as the home to its most twisted characters and quests. "In regards to DLC," the team says, "our focus is 100% on Skyblivion for now in order to release the base game at some point in 2025. Once Skyblivion is in your hands, we shall turn our attention to The Shivering Isles and other extra content."

The plan is for Skyblivion to be playable in both Skyrim and Skyrim: Special Edition, though you'll need to own a copy of Oblivion too. If you'd like to lend a hand in getting it done by 2025, the Skyblivion volunteers page has all the info you need. 

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.