Elder Scrolls Online, Developer Bethesda and Publisher ZeniMax’s MMO treatment to the popular RPG series that has spanned generations, has never had a promising future. Originally releasing back in July of this year, it was critically panned for lackluster content and being an overall poor game wrapped behind both a $60 price point as well as a monthly fee. ZeniMax has promised gamers that The Elder Scrolls Online would reach its console counterparts on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year, promising a “holiday 2014” release date.
This promise is no more. Well known hacker and sleuth, superMTW, has shared with LevelSave his insider scoop on the matter. MTW, who was partner to world-reknowned hacker and Xbox One legend superDAE, has shared with us that while the game “could be shipped,” it will not be. MTW tells us that Bethesda does not want to “poison the well … that the product isn’t very good at the moment, and they don’t want to destroy the image and the minds of the console audience and possibly hurt a future mainline Elder Scrolls release. (these are MTW’s words, paraphrasing what his source told him, not Bethesda’s wording)
The oddest part of this news is the fact that the game is “in a very functional, playable state,” it’s just “being restructured, with plans to be relaunched at some point as free to play with a big content update.” It appears this reason comes not only from the fact that the game is, for lack of better words, bad, but also that the infrastructure to support monthly subscription based access isn’t properly supported. While Microsoft recently added the capabilities with Electronic Arts’ “EA Access” service, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has no form of support for subscription based monthly access.
MTW tells us that there isn’t even a staff working on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Elder Scrolls Online. While big updates to the PC version will be patched in to the “completely playable” console versions, that’s all that’s done. This news comes two months after Bethesda laid off a large portion of their staff back in September, with reasoning being that they were scaling back development now that the game was six months in to the wild.
We’ve reached out to ZeniMax and Bethesda for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
You can find SuperMTW on Twitter, @enMTW.