Rumors of another "Skyrim" DLC release after "Dawnguard" are nothing new for fans of Bethesda's widely popular "Elder Scrolls" series, but as the summer comes to a close rumors seem to be heating up more than ever.
Back in May ZeniMax filed a trademark for the term "Hearthfire," a term that is equivalent to the month September on the Tamrielic calendar. Although the company claimed ownership over this term a couple of months ago, it is likely that the rumor mill is churning again due to the fact that September is almost here.
Perhaps a new "Skyrim" DLC will be unveiled next month? ZeniMax claimed ownership over the term "Dawnguard" in April, roughly about 2-3 months before the DLC was released in last June. The trademark for "Hearthfire" was filed in late May, and if Bethesda announces new DLC content next month, it will be a similar time frame.
The nature of the trademark filed for "Hearthfire" indicates that that there could be more gameplay content to come. The official documentation from the United States Patent and Trademark Office reads as follows:
"Computer game software for use with computers and video game consoles; downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices."
When asked if this could be the title of the next "Skyrim" DLC, Bethesda responded to Venture Beat saying that the company does not comment on patent filings. However, the description alone provides strong evidence that the term "Hearthfire" will play some sort of role in a DLC expansion, whether or not it will be the name of the pack is unclear.
During the "Hearthfire" season in "Skyrim" lore, a holiday called "Tales and Tallows" takes place. This is a day of necromancy celebrated by the Mages Guild on the third of "Hearthfire." According to the official Elder Scrolls Wiki, most people avoid the streets on this day.
"A few of the oldest, more superstitious men and women do not speak all day long for fear that the evil spirits of the dead will enter their bodies," reads the "Tales and Tallows" description on The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages.
This has led to speculations that the next "Skyrim" DLC release will feature slaying zombies during this undead holiday. The previously released expansion known as "Dawnguard" gives players the choice of either playing as a vampire or joining the "Dawnguard" in slaying these blood-sucking creatures.
Perhaps the next DLC will take a similar route with zombie gameplay. It would be interesting to see what kinds of perks and abilities would be available to characters in a zombified form. Some have even likened this possibility to Rockstar's move with" Red Dead Redemption," when they decided to launch "Undead Nightmare" close to the Halloween season.
In the 2012 D.I.C.E Summit, a video was revealed that showcased what the creators behind "Skyrim" would put in the game after having one week to create whatever they pleased. This included a long list of mods and features, some of which have appeared in the "Dawnguard" DLC. This has led some fans to believe that this Game Jam video could provide some insight as to what Bethesda has in store for the next "Skyrim" expansion.
One of the revelations in the video was new spell combinations. When looking closely, it can be seen that one of the combinations reads as follows:
"Flame Raise Zombie = Conjure Flame Atronach"
This could be a clue pointing to zombie gameplay in a future DLC. The "Dawnguard" DLC release date for PlayStation 3 players has yet to be announced, as Bethesda has said earlier this month that they are "not satisfied yet with Dawnguard's performance on the PS3."
Check out the video below to see the creations from the Bethesda team for yourself. Do you think "Hearthfire" will be the next "Skyrim" expansion pack? Sound off in the comments below.