Elder Scrolls Online console delay was "the right thing to do"

Bethesda talks about one of the challenges of bringing the game from PC to consoles.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners were originally supposed to be getting their hands on The Elder Scrolls Online next month, but the game's delay means fans will be waiting until at least the end of the year before playing it on consoles. The decision to hold the game back "seemed like the right thing to do," according to Bethesda's vice president of PR and marketing, Pete Hines, who has shared some new insight into what contributed to the delay.

"We're not happy about it -- obviously we much rather have the console version out in June," he told CVG. "But it seemed like the right thing to do, and we did spend a little time working with the console folks to try to come up with some kind of a thing so that the folks who couldn't play it could buy the PC version and then add a next-gen console version later for a lot less money. That seemed like something that was worth working on before we announced the delay."

Hines was asked how Bethesda goes about filling the gap it now finds in its release schedule with ESO out of the picture. While the publisher hasn't explicitly set out to release something new in the MMO's place, he pointed to that upgrade plan--buy the PC version by the end of June and you'll be able to get the console version for $20 and carry your progress over to it--as filling that hole in a way. "So maybe that's the answer to your question -- trying to come up with something to say, 'Look, this sucks and we're going to try to do this to [compensate].'"

When the delay was announced earlier this month, Bethesda offered little explanation, simply stating it was "still working to solve a series of unique problems specific to those platforms." Those problems were said to include integrating its systems with the networks used by the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Even with the similarities between the Xbox One and PC, Hines said it "is and isn't" surprising that bringing the game over is a challenge "because it's not an open system, it's a closed system. It's not just an ESO thing -- they have rules and regulations that govern all games, if you're going to do something it has to work a certain way. It doesn't matter the way that we want to do it -- it has to fit their requirements."

Payments are one such example: "When we do stuff on PC, we manage it ourselves, it goes through our store, we manage the whole thing. When it goes through somebody else, that someone is doing all of that; taking your money, charging your PayPal, and then transferring that information to us. This is just inherently a different process than the one that we have, where it's our store and we just have to make sure our system works.

"It's the same thing on PSN -- you have to just make sure that all of that stuff communicates. When you start adding up the pile of things and everything that we learned from launch, it was clear that we needed to take the time to do this right, because it has massive ramifications if it doesn't work right for the consumer experience."

While the delay was initially announced to be "about six months," Bethesda has since said it can't guarantee the game will be ready for launch on consoles before the end of the year. Keep in mind, the console market has seen the release of only a small number of MMOs, and this is the first from Bethesda.

The Elder Scrolls Online was released on PC in April and earned a 6.0 in GameSpot's review. Its first major update was released just last week, introducing the game's first adventure zone, a "Death Recap" screen, and bug fixes.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the PC-to-console upgrade offer? Has the delay or reception for the PC version impacted your interest in picking up ESO on console? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

49 comments
maximo
maximo

Is there any update as to when this will be released?

dementedseptin
dementedseptin

Im surprised no mmos take the "Runescape"  Method for Pay2Play/Free2Play  Making it Free to play for a chunk of the map, a bit of quests and most skills, while with Pay2Play you can take your experince further and explore the entire world and do all the quests. 

toophat2014
toophat2014

I'm someone who plays both SWTOR and ESO and can tell you from first hand experience that both MMOs are great and a lot better then what people claim them to be and most of the hate comes from old school mmo players who still prefer the old gameplay and style of old school MMOs and hate on newer MMOs like SWTOR and ESO because they represent a new kind of MMO! These MMOs offer you more of that AAA RPG experience you get from regular RPGs that you play solo on your consoles or pc along with your MMO features that makes an MMO what it is.

What ESO is going through is same thing SWTOR went through at first and still continues to go through even today even after the fact that SWTOR is so much better then it was when it launched and has come along way and continues on a good path with 2014 looking to be its best year if it gets everything developers have promised. Now if you have played ESO you would see that it has the same potential to become something much better and will be a year from its launch and is in fact a great and fun MMO if you like the experience it offers that is just lacking some MMO features that can easily be added and probably will as ESO matures.

For those he keep claiming it will go f2p I highly doubt that because just from elder scroll's fan base alone it will be ok never mind people that are new to elder scrolls on PC and then the fans that are waiting on console alone as well that don't mind paying to play and have something they enjoy. Being sub only is actually one of the best things about ESO because having a steady flow of income every month and not having to rely on micro transactions like with most F2p models (except maybe one model) means the focus is always on the MMO and the MMO only and the money is always there to ensure a steady flow of new content and expansions which is what an MMO needs to be successful and survive. Just in case some of you don't know no matter sub or f2p they are all just different models and ways of making the money needed to maintain servers day to day and pay developers for developing new content/expansions, so none are actually free someone always has to pay.

When an MMO starts sub only and then goes F2p it's not good for the players it's only good for the business (them) because all it does better is make them more money from micro transactions through an in game or online store/market that isn't needed in first place and doesn't mean or make the MMO better for us the consumer but in fact for them. The only time sub only or F2p especially works is if its either or straight from the beginning and stays that way so an MMO switching models halfway is never a good thing for us. Either way you want to know the truth about a game or MMO I recommend to always judge for yourself and not always take what you hear from the media or others because you might find out that you in fact like it and it's not what everyone is saying and at least you can say you know for a fact.

runningman5ksmak
runningman5ksmak

with the console delay  I bet the game will get a better review then a 6 it got on pc

decias
decias

I still love this game, despite its current issues.  I'm sticking it out for the long haul.  I'm having too much fun to put it down.


Today's mmos forums and blogs are filled with so much misinformation it's crazy.  Honest opinions are one thing, but blatant spewing of hatred tells me the person needs more help than they think the game does.

blueboxdoctor
blueboxdoctor

If I didn't have to pay 2 sub fees then this would be good, but as is this is a no go for me.  The deal is decent but those sub fees aren't worth to pay double to play on both platforms.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

From what most PC people say about ESO, it would be "the right thing to do" by indefinitely delaying the PC version altogether.

matthd
matthd

As someone who actually enjoyed the game quite a bit the big problem I see with the game (leaving out the bugs and bots, which every MMO to this date has had) is that fact that it fails to distinguish itself. It's a cool concept to have a single player story that archs into a multi player world conceptually, but realistically they didn't incorporate it correctly. What they should have done was kept the two separate. They never should have put single player quests into the multiplayer world. You can't label yourself an MMO and then have quests in the environment that you can only complete solo. Graphically the game looks great for an MMO but then you start to realize that the view distance is so short that they're sacrificing depth of field so the graphics that are right in front of your face look better. It's almost like an optical illusion. Can ESO be fixed? Of course it can. But they're going to need to take the bull by the horns and realize it's not a single player experience. It's an mmo. It needs chat bubbles. It needs floating combat text. It needs dueling. The view distance needs to be adjusted. The combat still needs improving. And I know this comment will piss off a lot of people who enjoy the single player Elder Scrolls experience (I am one of them by the way) but this isn't a single player game. One more thing that really ended up bothering me personally was the sheer amount of rain that's in the game. Upon hitting v5 I would literally just try and find a zone with some sun and just go run around that zone for like 5 minutes. No Elder Scrolls game has been that rainy. It can be fixed, but can they do it in six months? That's a big task. Pushing out games is never a good idea. 

bruta
bruta

lmao, its gonna be f2p on pc before console 'launch'

Leeric420
Leeric420

Besides the bugs, this game is fun, Im still playing it. I wouldn't pay 2 sub fees to play it though. Whoever buys this on Xbox One in "about 6 months" is crazy.

shinerman77
shinerman77

Meh, I was so excited when I first heard this game was coming out.  I played the beta 4 times, and I was just not that impressed.  It was cool, but something was missing.  Maybe because it was on PC, idk.  I'm more of a console person. Now the monthly subscription fee, I'm almost completely turned off.  If the game was 20-25 bucks and subscription fee, maybe, but once the majority of people play through it and get tired of it, they cancel the subscription.  And then what?  I think a yearly subscription fee would of been better.  or 8 bucks a month or 59 for the year.  And then if you renew, you get some sort of credit or weapon perk or level upgrade.  Anyways, now they are postponing the release 6+ months, and say if you buy a PC copy get the console for 20.  What about the monthly subscription cost?  Does it port over?  Or do i have to pay for that again?!  Ugh....  This might have just been better if it was like GoW, just play multiplayer with 1-3 of your friends.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

The "right thing to do" would be to announce Fallout 4. I don't care!!

oroelf
oroelf

Sounds like poor planning on their part for the console port.  Course they have enough problems with their PC release to iron out from the sound of things.

devilzzz2014
devilzzz2014

WildStar is where it is at.  Yes it doesn't have the hard group questing that I want from an mmorpg but it still will have no nerf content, 40 man raids, and the game definitely is a good alternative to WOW.  Still with that said I hope for the perfect mmorpg one day and that does include hard group questing and right now the communities out there just do not want it so I will be waiting I think quite a long time til I get my perfect mmorpg.

As for ESO I wanted to play it but glad I didn't take the plunge even with price decreases.

BuBsay
BuBsay

It's clear the game's not doing well, the current assumption is that they were sitting at 1.2 million players at launch, and it's only gone down from there. Not bad by any means, but it's on the same level as what SW:TOR was at launch (and look at how well that did). So, does ESO have a chance at staying afloat? Potentially, no one will know until Zenimax actually releases the full numbers of subscriptions, which they probably won't do if numbers are dropping.


In comparison, even at WoW's lowest subscriber numbers, essentially ever (not counting the constantly rising vanilla WoW numbers), they still are over 6-7 times as large as ESO is. So the hype of this being the new "MMO to end all MMOs" is clearly dead.

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

My ship sailed on this one; everything I hate about current MMO's is present here.  No thank you.

straightcur
straightcur

I think they missed the boat on this one. All the hype is gone already and by the time they release, there won't be much of a fan base left.    Maybe if it lived up to the hype, it might've survived.  But it's only mediocre and people know that now, so I don't see too many subs coming their way.  

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

We already know it was the best thing to do now stop making excuses you don't need!

hitomo
hitomo

get your head out of your ass and a decent System


this game is a bomb if you cant realize it because your an addict looking for the next fit,

you are pethetic


regards

Fursnake
Fursnake

I am playing this and enjoying it for the most part (well taking a break to play Watchdogs), but I feel like it was more a case of the ONLY thing to do...

Zemus
Zemus

The PC version needed 3 months MINIMUM more of Beta Testing and QA work to even maybe be ready for release.  The state is released in was a joke.  Broken quests, tons of bugs, half the skill morphs did not work, and its severe lack of content once your got to veteran rank was either quest grind or AvA which sadly did not get the population numbers they were hoping for.  Add to the fact that they let a TON of players exploit XP to hit V10 in 3 days and did NOT do a roll back making AvA almost impossible because a group of V10's could control the whole map even if an armada came at them.


They screwed up on this game on a lot of levels.  Craglorn is out now but I don't care because I never subbed.  I raged quit after hitting VR5 and was fed up with everything,  and so did everyone I played with and the majority of our guild.


First impressions in MMO's mean EVERYTHING.  And they screwed it up

starhowl
starhowl

 If it's for me, you can delay your crap indefinitely.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Because they know the game is utterly mediocre.

billzihang
billzihang

Let me have a guess: They know that it will have to switch to free-to-play in 6-months; and as they know the game is going to be dead by then--- they will have a huge marketing campaign for "Free to play! and now, on consoles" To intice the console users further, as they would refuse to pay a Live sub, and a game sub.

Lostat
Lostat

My view of the real reason for the 6-month delay (assuming there are no more delays), is that the PC-version has received very poor reviews of the game generally & from the public who bought the game and felt disappointed with it.  So, they didn't want to release the console version "under a cloud" which may have harmed its console's sales' figures.  By holding off on the console release by 6-months they are probably hoping to have mostly forgotten the poor PC reception & kinda have a fresh "re-launch" of the game in the hope most people are revved-up for it once more & thereby hoping to improve the sales' figures.
To be honest, I doubt it was really due to their stated reason of it being due to "poor optimisation" of the console's game.  They had ages to work on it and they didn't announce the delay until just the start of May.  If they had known there was a problem then they would have known this a long time ago & been able to adjust accordingly.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

Not doing that game at all would have been the best thing to do.

EdAl2112
EdAl2112

Of course it was "the right thing to do". No use in getting more bad reviews on this game. Hell, you even got fanboys of ESO saying it is a disappointment. By the time they release it, this boring game will be forgotten.
 

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Well console gamers shouldn't expect anything other than disappointment.It wasn't that great on PC so I guessthere's very little they can do for the console versions.Wonder when they'll launch TES 6 and Fallout 4.

chris230990
chris230990

@bruta You know it's bad when the swtor community laughs at this piece of trash.

zcrisis2
zcrisis2

@Leeric420 I've bought this on the PC and took advantage of the offer so I will be buying it on the Xbox One, I certainly wont be paying 2 subs I'll just be cancelling my PC one as everything is transferable to the Xbox version.

matthd
matthd

@eternal_napalm Well ya know.. The fact that Bethesda isn't the developer working on ESO... research...

matthd
matthd

@VegasAceVII So you just don't like MMO's. What made you think you'd like this?

matthd
matthd

@straightcur If FF14 can make a comeback with all the mediocrity that game possesses so can ESO.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@hitomo really? I didn't notice anything revolutionary about this game

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

@xx_soul4eva_xx

Bethesda Game Studios works on the Fallout/TES franchises, and every indication is that they are still working on the next Fallout game.

Zenimax Online Studios made ESO and doesn't impact that development at all.

Bethesda SOFTWORKS is the publishing arm of Zenimax, responsible for publishing games for all of the studios now under the Zenimax umbrella, such as Arkane Studios [Dishonored], MachineGames [Wolfenstein], id Software [next Doom], Tango Gameworks [The Evil Within], Zenimax Online Studios [ESO] and the new Battlecry Studios [Battlecry].  They also published the awful Rogue Warrior.

Unfortunately GameSpot fails to make the distinction between the two Bethesdas in these articles, which leads to this confusion.

AzatiS
AzatiS

@Zemus I can feel you ... i couldnt stand playing BETA for more than 2-3 hours ... After that period i uninstalled it. I wouldnt give it another try even if it was free to download and free to play ... let alone cost 60 and with 15 montly fees.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

They need to stick to traditional ESO SP experiences.

matthd
matthd

@chris230990 @bruta At least ESO had some form of swimming. And something to do at level cap. And a better community. 

RawhideSphinx
RawhideSphinx

@AzatiS @Zemus  I felt the same way playing FF14, but people think its the greatest ever, soo, I don't know what to think.

Zemus
Zemus

@matthd @chris230990 @bruta ESO did not ship with a raid.  SWToR did.  so no SWTOR had MORE content at release than ESO did.  Not saying it wasn't buggy or didn't work but it HAD MORE.  don't be foolish

Zemus
Zemus

@matthd @Zemus @Silverspeed85 @RawhideSphinx @AzatiS It also had the Binding Coil of Bahamut,  and Primals,  And just because maybe you cant do some of that content doesn't mean it doesn't have it.


Now it has 9 high end dungeons, 9 Turns of Coil, Crystal Tower, 2 new Primals + Gilgamesh, and Extreme Mode Primals. and tons of new gear.


Lets not forget the Glamour system to make your own appearances on your gear.


Look we understand why some people don't like FFXIV because its the same type of MMO we have played for a decade.  However what it does, IT DOES WELL, and its challenging, something MMO's have lacked over the years and its a welcome change.

matthd
matthd

@Zemus @Silverspeed85 @RawhideSphinx @AzatiS FF14 has LOTS of content at level cap? LOL. When FF14 was released, prior to the patch it had a HUGE bottleneck because all you could do was farm 2 dungeons for tokens and sit in que for 45 minutes trying to get into a hard mode boss group. And all the gear looked the same for each class. It's why I quit. 

Zemus
Zemus

@Silverspeed85 @RawhideSphinx @AzatiS @Zemus The thing though with FFXIV and its success (it has nearly 1mil subs and its been nearly a year) is that it HAS content and LOTS of it at the level cap. There is so much to do that it can justify the sub attached to it because at the timeframe they go by to release content it makes it worthwhile.  No other MMO has done that for many years MANY years.  Yes FFXIV is the same type of MMO were used to but the battles are challenging and fun at high levels.