You'd be amazed at how fast a game developer and a quality assurance tester can burn through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when there's pie on the line.

It's a Bethesda tradition: When the company gets close to wrapping up development on a big title, one QA tester and one developer face-off to see who can finish the game faster. While a new player can expect to squeeze countless hours of enjoyment from Skyrim, the developers and QA folks have played it so much already that they know exactly where to go and what to do to get the credits rolling, and with the winner scoring a trophy and a pie of their choice from Todd Howard, you can bet the competition was fierce.

It all came down to two men. Sam Bernstein of QA, and Jeff Browne on the dev side. These two competitors were rivals during the Fallout 3 speedrun, with Bernstein winning by seconds (around 75 minutes).

Who wins this round? Jeff Browne's path to victory only took him two hours, 16 minutes, and 30 seconds.

Sam took two hours, 16 minutes, and 10 seconds, beating Browne by 20 seconds. Go QA team!


For the sake of comparison, the Oblivion speedrun took only an hour and 15 minutes. Considering none of us has a tenth of the skill and foreknowledge Browne and Bernstein were playing with, I'd say we're in for one lengthy game.

Jeff vs. Sam II: The Skyrim Speedrun (updated) [Bethesda Blog]