Since I like to post Skyrim rumors, some that even end up being right on the money, I guess it's time to talk the latest: Redguard.
My track record on Skyrim DLC predictions has been pretty good so far. I think only expecting Hearthfire to be bigger than it was as a very early prediction was my biggest miss, but for the most part the rumors have come pretty close if not exact. That is because the rumors have been based on leaks of some sort, whether a beta tester, cracked code, or trademark registration. The last is what started this newest rumor from digitalspy.com, but I'm not so sure this one will go into the "win" category for us.
Bethesda has an expiration coming up for the name "Redguard" in February for a trademark filed in March of 2011. The only difference is every other trademark registration that led to a DLC occurred just months before the DLC's were announced. The fact that Redguard is simply a common Elder Scrolls term (being one of the human races) it is all too possible that it was registered for future game use as well.
Some dismiss the extension as just Bethesda trademarking names, but once you realize they don't have trademarks on all their races and locations and you see Redguard standing out from the pack.
The city of "Dragonstar", said to be a site of conflict between Skyrim and Hammerfell (The country for the redguard people) and "Dragons Gate". Having a connection to dragons and the possibility of limiting the DLC to one city and some small amount of countryside helps eliminate one of the cons listed below. Not to mention the city itself was a divided city between the Redguards and Nords, similar to the way Berlin was cut in half in the cold war. This area has a strong connection to Skryim.
The "In My Time of Need" quest from the main Skyrim game: the hero helps either the Alik'r (redguard warriors) find a redguard woman they are looking for or help the woman and get rid of the Alik'r. Nothing else has been touched upon from this quest and out of many sidequests in Skyrim, this one seems to leave something hanging.
Hammerfell has played a different role in the war between the Thalmor and the Empire than most other countries. They were given up by the Empire in a treaty, but rebelled against the Thalmor and became their own independant country. This could offer some interesting story opportunities dealing with the war.
The early registration makes it stick out from the other DLC, they even registered this name before Skyrim launched. I almost see it more as a bigger possibility for Elder Scrolls VI, than for a DLC. Plus, let's not forget that Zenimax, the company that owns Bethesda, is also developing Elder Scrolls Online and it could be connected to that.
Redguard is a pretty odd name for a DLC. They've never named a game or DLC after a race of people.
Another reason it is more fitting for a whole game and not a DLC is the size. We are talking about a map as big or bigger than Skyrim. We definitely won't see all of Hammerfell in a DLC, but why give up a piece of it when it would make a great game on its own?
In the end, I see more pros for this to become a DLC than cons, or I'm just talking myself into wanting to believe it, but we really only have this trademark situation to go by for now. As soon as I have more solid news, I'll definitely post it, but for now, it's interesting to think about.
Well, besides talking myself into wanting this to be true; I've found little more at this point other than other sites slowly posting the same rumors.
Additional information about the copyright though: It was registered as a "downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices", which is often how DLC is registered.
And our good buddy Pete Hines that handles PR for Bethesda offered this tidbit when asked about the rumor (which is why I don't bother much anymore with contacting them):
Another theory from XBox Mag is that a Redguard DLC could take us to the Hammerfell island of Stros M'kai (which was the setting for the old Redguard: Adventures game). The island is filled with Dwemer ruins, the artifact "The Orrery" and where the imperial dragon Nafaaliagus was defeated by a Redguard Mercenary. The island also is in a strategic location near the Summerset Isles. Personally, I put my money on Dragonstar, but Stros M'kai shouldn't be ruled out yet.