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VG247, which has been teasing us with bits of the piece for the last week, has finally posted the whole interview with Bethesda's Pete Hines. Here's a snippet:

Moving onto Skyrim. The releases of both Oblivion and Morrowind had issues at release which you guys set out fixing with patches. Is the team going to do a round of public beta testing to make sure Skyrim suffers the same issues?
Generally speaking, no. We don’t do public beta tests. We do closed beta; we do lots of testing. We’ve continued to improve and enhance that process. But, to be honest with you, throwing open the ability to thousands of people to sign up and try and download to play the game is not fruitful or helpful.
It’s not a multiplayer game that we need to stress test, or something like that.
When we need testers, we know where to find them. And we know how to find the kinds of people who can provide the feedback we’re looking for.Oblivion, at this point, was a lifetime ago. The last game that we did, Fallout 3, was similar in size and scope, and was remarkably stable, so i’m confident that we can continue to do even better and better.
Why has the number of skill classes in Skyrim dropped to 18 from Oblivion’s 21 and Morrowind’s 27?
Stuff changes from game to game. Look at Fallout; we changed a mix of skills and stuff from the previous Fallout games in Fallout 3. That list changed again and the way it worked changed again in Fallout: New Vegas.
We don’t stand still or keep things the same just for the sake of keeping them the same. We make the choices that we think will make for the best game possible.
Whether it’s the number of skills, or how things work, or whatever it may be, we’re not afraid to make changes. We don’t believe in just keeping things the same because that’s the way they were in the last game.
I think that’s how you run a franchise into the ground, by just iterating on the last one. We believe in sort of blowing things up and starting over and starting fresh each time.
The modding kit for Skyrim you guys recently announced; how does that differ from the one in Oblivion?
The specifics are still TBD, but, essentially, it’s the same approach as Oblivion, the same approach as Morrowind: the ability to mod and custom create content on the PC to your heart’s content and all the ways that we’ve done in our previous games.
It’s called it the Creation Kit because we call the engine the Creation Engine. We call the tools the Creation Kit. It’s all part of one suite, if you will, but the intent and the function of it is really not any different.

You can read the whole thing here.