Is “Hearthfire” the title for Skyrim’s new DLC expansion? Even though the first DLC Dawnguard was just released on PC (and with no PS3 release on the horizon, mind you) it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Bethesda would already have something in the works for their hit game.
In May, Bethesda parent company ZeniMax filed a trademark for the name Hearthfire. The official documentation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Hearthfire reads: “Computer game software for use with computers and video game consoles; downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices.” Well, that seems pretty cut and dry to me. And of course Bethesda is keeping tight-lipped dishing out the usual “we don’t comment” line.
The name Hearthfire itself wouldn’t be too big of a deal if it wasn’t actually a part of Elder Scrolls lore. For those who don’t know, Hearthfire is actually a month in the fictional world of Tamriel and considered to be the beginning of fall (September for us). The third day of Hearthfire is a holiday called “Tales and Tallows” and according to the Elder Scrolls Wiki Hearthfire is a “holiday celebrating Necromancy, and as such, most people avoid the streets on this date.”
Does this mean Skyrim’s next DLC will focus around zombies? We’ve already had vampires so why not do zombies. They have worked well for other series in the past. The Call of Duty franchise had lots of success in its addictive zombie mode. When Rockstar released the “Undead Nightmare” expansion close to Halloween for Red Dead Redemption it garnered universal praise. October is almost a month away and the timing would make sense not just for the game but for the lore.
Adding more fuel to the fire are rumors from Reddit user derptemp6698 (who had previously leaked correct details to Mass Effect 3 DLC). That summary is as follows: “Hearthfire, the next official game-add on for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has arrived. For the first time in the Elder Scrolls universe, purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with armory, alchemy laboratory, trophy room, and more! With Hearthfire, the possibilities of what you can build are endless.”
While these details might not sound as excited as a zombie expansion, keep in mind that they could simply be a small part of the DLC. If you consider the title “Hearthfire”, however, it could in fact apply to a home building system. It wouldn’t be too crazy to assume that Bethesda would add the ability to create your own living quarters in Skyrim. Make a house, pick the layout, fill it to the brim with items, and then spend a night sitting by the hearth cooking one of those crazy soups in the fire. See what I did there?
Whether it is zombies or house construction, no details are clear but I doubt gamers will be left in the dark for long (especially if Hearthfire is meant for a September/October release). Until then, everything is up for speculation and PC and PS3 gamers should hope that this won’t be another botched “timed exclusive” for the Xbox 360.