The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may never run correctly on PS3.

The answer is that it's in limbo.

Those of you that follow all the major PlayStation websites will already be aware of the game-breaking Skyrim bug, which essentially renders the PS3 version of the game unplayable. For those unaware, we'll provide a quick recap. Bethesda's latest fantasy adventure suffers from a variety of serious frame-rate and lag issues on PS3. As players explore more of the world, their save file increases, and thus the game starts to chug. The frame-rate dips to staggeringly low numbers, and controller lag is introduced as a result. As you can imagine, the glitch essentially breaks the game.

Bethesda released a patch last week promising to improve the game's performance, but in reality it's changed nothing. The game's still broken for some.

With Bethesda remaining quiet about the whole scenario, an Obsidian employee — who worked on last year's Fallout: New Vegas — has hinted that the issue may never be fixed. According to the developer, it's a deep-rooted problem within the game's engine. You know — the engine that had supposedly been overhauled and improved for Skyrim.

“It’s an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored off as bit flag differences compared to the placed instances in the main .esm and DLC .esms,” said Josh Sawyer.

“As the game modifies any placed instance of an object, those changes are stored off into what is essentially another .esm. When you load the save game, you’re loading all of those differences into resident memory.”

And if all that sounds a bit complicated, the take-away is that Sawyer believes there's no simple fix.

“It’s not like someone wrote a function and put a decimal point in the wrong place or declared something as a float when it should have been an int,” he said.

“We’re talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment. Obsidian also only had that engine for a total of 18 months prior to Fallout: New Vegas being released, which is a relatively short time to understand all of the details of how the technology works.”

It's a real bad situation for a game that should be a game of the year contender. We're frustrated at both Bethesda and Sony for letting the game through quality assurance in this state, but our biggest beef is with the developer. Some people are pointing to the PlayStation 3 hardware being at fault, but in reality Bethesda's had five years to prepare its engine for the PS3. If it couldn't manage it, then it should have kept the game off the platform.

To make matters worse, we're suspecting Bethesda knew the game was broken all along. We didn't receive our review code until day of release — which is awful late for a game of Skyrim's size. Turns out other publications were sent the XBOX 360 version to review. Perhaps we're being cynical — but there has to be a reason why Bethesda kept that PS3 code under wraps for so long.

So that review. Yeah, it remains in limbo for now.