The biggest announcement by far arrived before E3 officially began: The Elder Scrolls Online
will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac
During the pre-show press conference, we saw a new ESO
trailer featuring all in-game footage, and of course, the voice of Max von Sydow
, who has kind of become the quintessential voice of the Elder Scrolls. Even though von Sydow appeared in Skyrim
alone, his voice encapsulates the feeling of the whole series. When his voice kicked off the trailer with, "A new dawn is upon us," the game suddenly became a bigger concept than what I had originally perceived it as. I don't think anyone was surprised by the scope of Skyrim
, but for some reason, I thought that ESO
was intended to cater to the niche of PC gamers who liked Elder Scrolls and also liked MMOs -- maybe adding a few new people to the fanbase of the MMO genre in the process. With this trailer (the first trailer for ESO
some people had seen), our niche game stepped into the larger world of gamers in general.
had announced that the game would appear on the WiiU, too, I would have flipped. Thankfully, that didn't happen, but proclaiming that TESO
will be playable on all other platforms both intrigues and concerns me. I love the idea that other types of gamers can experience the same satisfaction that I feel when playing an MMO. That's not to say that MMORPGs are perfect by any means, but there is no other gaming experience like it and no other gaming experience I'd rather have. It's about time that console RPGers can experience it, too. Yes, I know DC Universe Online
and a couple of other MMOs have crossed over to the console, but these games have really struggled at winning over either crowd fully. The Elder Scrolls already has a solid audience on both PCs and consoles. If I were to name an IP that could make the crossover, the Elder Scrolls would easily be in my top five.
Additional platforms bring with them additional problems. Obviously, the first question that popped up was, "Is everybody going to play on the same server?" and the second was, "Does that mean that the PC version of the game is delayed until the spring of 2014, too?" The answer is no to the first one, but unfortunately, the answer to the second one is yes.
Personally, I don't mind playing with console gamers. Sure, I'm a PC loyalist, but that not because I hate consoles. I just find PCs more flexible, and I have also found that PCs are ahead of the curve when it comes to graphics quality. But I know some people are so vehemently opposed to console gamers that they will refuse to play on a server that will support both types of gamers. Apparently, console players are the dredges of society to some PC players, but with 11.8 million players of Skyrim
(a game PC players like to say was made for them) on Xbox 360
combined, they can't all be that bad. But I'm glad that ESO
will be completely avoiding this issue by placing PC and Mac users on one server, Xbox users on another, and PS4 users on yet another server.
Unfortunately, opening up the game on other platforms also means that the game's launch date has been delayed until it can can be tested on the those platforms as well. I'm not sure that these other platforms are the sole source of the delay, but I'm sure that they have something to do with it. That being said, delays are not necessarily bad for business. They are certainly not bad for consumers. Consumers theoretically receive a better, more polished product in the end. And with all three platforms releasing at about the same time, the age-old debate of which platform received better treatment should be curbed. (Oh, whom am I kidding? That will never happen.)
With all the news from E3 this week
, I cannot fit everything I'd like to say into one article, so next week, I will certainly hit on more of the pros and cons of the convention announcements. But in the meantime, I'm interested in your take. What did you find most exciting about The Elder Scrolls Online
articles from E3? Is there a particularly good review or hands-on that I should know about? And of course, what's your take on the delay and cross-platform announcements? I'll be sure to post some of your answers in next week's article. Until then, pruzah wundunne. (Do I have to shout that since it's the dragon language
?)Each week, traverse the treacherous terrain of Tamriel with Larry Everett as he records his journey through The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMORPG from ZeniMax. Comments are welcome below, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. He promises to keep the arrow-to-the-knee jokes to a minimum.