Hello, fellow Dragonborn. Today is the 15th anniversary of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. And yes, I just used an Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim reference to mark the occasion. Oh, how you must despise me.
Forgive me. I made you suffer to prove a point. A lot of Elder Scrolls fans are newly-minted individuals who came into the fray thanks to Skyrim's accessibility and popularity. I'm one of them: My first Elder Scrolls game was Skyrim on the Xbox 360. The long journey across the Nords' homeland kindled my interest in Tamriel, its history, its politics, and its people (though a few people have told me "Just read 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and call it a day"). I'd love the chance to visit Morrowind, but I'd prefer to do so on a modern platform. Something small. Something portable, and easy to tote around.
Something like the Nintendo Switch.
It so happens we're getting Skyrim Special Edition on the Switch. In fact, it was one of the initial games Nintendo showed off in the system's debut trailer. That's great: As we've already established here, I love Skyrim. But I've played it, and I've played the Special Edition as well. Wouldn't it be grand if Skyrim Special Edition for the Nintendo Switch somehow changed into Morrowind Special Edition? Maybe with the aid of a little Daedric magic?
(Did I get that reference right?)
It's not as if Morrowind isn't a good candidate for the HD remaster treatment. For one thing, it first hit the PC on May 1, 2002 – a lifetime ago. It was also the first Elder Scrolls game to receive a console release, specifically the Xbox. Skyrim catapulted The Elder Scrolls into mainstream culture, but the journey started when console players found their way to the party.
Morrowind is a special game for other reasons. Unlike earlier Elder Scrolls games, its content isn't randomly generated; every item, dungeon, and notable location is individually designed and placed on Morrowind's island of Vvardenfell. Though very impressive for its time, Morrowind's custom-built world forced Bethesda to keep the game's events contained to a relatively small area. Expansions gradually opened other parts of the Morrowind province, but a remastered Morrowind wouldn't have any trouble mapping every corner of the Dunmer lands.
"Stop right there, criminal scum! Isn't this just port-begging and / or encouraging Bethesda not to try anything new?"
I don't think so. 15 years is a respectable amount of time between a game's original release and a remake. A lot of advances have been made in game development since 2002, not the smallest of which is the advent of HD visuals. Frankly, a remade Morrowind would probably yield a vastly different product from what Bethesda released near the start of the millennium.
Some fans of The Elder Scrolls would understandably treat the very idea of a highly-altered Morrowind remake as sacrilege. I don't mean to give anyone a stroke at the thought of updating and modernizing Morrowind. Heck, include the original game in there, too. I just really like the idea of playing through portable Morrowind on my Nintendo Switch instead of playing Skyrim yet again.
Let it happen, Nintendo. Bethesda. Don't make me pray to the Night Mother.