Why You Shouldn’t Expect A Console Version Of Elder Scrolls Online…Or Want One

Why You Shouldn’t Expect A Console Version Of Elder Scrolls Online…Or Want One

The Elder Scrolls Online has been one of the oddest MMO’s to release in quite some time. From announcement to release, the development window was rather short, even more so given the apparent scope of the game. Given the promise of both a PC and PS4/Xbox One release, the short development cycle comes off as rather suspect. After a PC release, and a console delay, Elder Scrolls Online turned out to be a bit off a mess, a MMO failing on core mechanics. Elder Scrolls Online is limping along, failing to live up to the hype, or even stand side by side competition, is a console version even a viable option any more?

While the Elder Scrolls Online has all the distinct Elder Scroll elements, the imagery, the lore, music, it’s MMO components often fall flat on it’s face. Group questing is a utter mess, a mess that leads to frustration more than fulfilment. The questing experience on the whole is simply nothing to write home about it. Keeping in the grounds of kill quests and fetch quests, with only some sub-standard voice acting in between, the bulk of the quests feel forced. It’s not that the quests are all that bad, it’s just they’re done better in other games, especially when they involve group interaction.


Elder Scrolls Online suffers, at least in its PvE, from truly finding it’s feet in a MMO environment. The core game feels like it’s built as a single player experience shuffling around trying to fit into the MMO genre. While the PvP is genuinely quite good , the PvE is just a inconsistent, often barren, experience. This is a issue that feels a little beyond a simple patch or two, it’s a issue at the heart of the game.

Given the issues, the decreasing subs, a console version feels more like a hope rather than a expectations, and even so, is it worth hoping for? It’s hard to see a console version lighting the world on fire. The bland, eerily lifeless, nature of the game would still be there. Perhaps the console market, which doesn’t hold too much experience with MMOs, would be able to see past the quality life issues Elder Scrolls Online suffers from. The main stumbling block that console version would run into would be the subscription fee.


While people may be used to paying for their Xbox Live and PSN Plus, most struggle with the concept of paying full retail and then paying a sub on top of that. The subscription fee is just as much as issue for the PC version, people expect content, expanding content, that justifies monthly fees. Elder Scrolls Online is simply not providing the content to justify the asking price for the masses. It’s hard to envision what a console version would look, and play, like. Elder Scrolls Online isn’t visually impressive, there’s a shade of doubt that the visuals would be acceptable on the two newest consoles.

A console version simply does not seem like a valid concept, and the silence around the console version suggests ZeniMax and Bethesda are all too well of that. The core game has far too many issues in its current state to truly sustain a working monthly subscription model. The expectation is Elder Scrolls Online will hit free-to-play within a year, a plan that has been adopted successfully by a number of companies when their MMO’s have ran into the subscriber/user issues. The most notable of these free-to-play adopters being EA/Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.

After a initial period of success, The Old Republics subscribers plummeted, in reaction to this a free-to-play model was adopted, breathing life into the game and propping up the game for a sustainable future. The free-to-play mode, that also offers a premium monthly subscription option, is a perfectly serviceable option for most MMO’s that don’t command the huge or consistent user bases.

Elder Scrolls Online has a issue with any potential plans to adopt a free-to-play model. If a console version is still in development, adapting a free-to-play model for the PC version will almost certainly render a console version with a retail price, plus subs, as utterly unserviceable. How could they possibly convince console users to buy, and pay monthly, for a game that is available as free-to-play on the PC.

The future of Elder Scrolls Online is certainly unclear. A console version simply does not seem like a legitimate option any more and should no longer be expected. With nothing but words, no screenshots or gameplay, from Bethesda it’s a safe bet a console version of Elder Scrolls Online is dead in the water.



Sean Halliday


  1. Dirk
    July 15, 2014, 11:24 am

    A console version for all the reasons the author stated seems unlikely. In addition if the game doesn’t feel like it measures up to the last great Elder Scrolls game for any console it could irreparably damage the brand for years. Besides that we already have Skyrim – what can ESO if made into a console game truly give us that Skyrim has not already done better? The best MMO will allow interactions on a players terms. Quest alone if you want, but interact through guilds, shops, etc.

    • Sean Halliday
      July 15, 2014, 9:25 pm

      I honestly think they need to give ESO at least another year on PC, fix the issues, beef the game up, before they bring it to consoles. Sqaure Enix nailed reworking a MMO with FF, i’d hope Zenimax could do the same

  2. Shitsite
    July 16, 2014, 7:11 am

    What a bullshit website you have here. Sucks to be you bitch.

    • Sean Halliday
      July 16, 2014, 10:25 am

      Oh, errr a elder scrolls fan I take it? Not liking/agreeing with something is fine, running your mouth however…not so much.

      Then again, you were stupid enough to buy Sky Broadband. Guess there’s not much else to do in Cheltenham bar make angry comments on people’s sites?

      But seriously mate, when you comment you give us your IP, address and name. Are you that thick that you thought a troll name would change that?

  3. Tris
    July 18, 2014, 2:11 pm

    All these points are true. But the game’s lack of quality would be easier to swallow if they dropped the subscription. Xbox one desperately needs games at the moment that offer something more than 360. ESO would be a great addition even if it’s worse than skyrim. Next gen consoles need next gen games. Lots of mmos with no subs wild be an ambitious start (which I was hoping for after Microsoft suffocated me with advertisement that droned on about their next step in gaming) Aka If Japan can get PSO 2 on the Vita I’m sure xbox can do something a lil better if not at least similar!!

  4. WhoCares
    July 25, 2014, 2:58 am

    People will buy it and pay the sub on console. They long ago stated that they are working with PS and XBOX to lighten the load on console players. The way I see ESO failing is if it follows your advice. One of the best things about ESO is that it is not F2P.

    Around 80% of Skyrims sales were on console. People who bought the new consoles have money and expected more community types of games. The console version of ESO will get much better reviews. It wont have the narrow mind reviewers rage quit because they found bugs.

  5. I Guess
    July 27, 2014, 7:28 pm

    I’m sorry, but using SWTOR as an example of viable f2p, is utterly ridiculous. It is widely accused for having one of the worst f2p models for any western MMO, rivaling that of a Korean MMO. While you can’t directly buy overpowered weapons, armour, etc. Through their cash shop, they do a wonderful job of penalizing you by disallowing trade, shorting you on xp gain starting at level 10, and limiting the number of flashpoints and operations you can do a week, if any at all. It’s basically pay to function, at that point.

    I’m not saying free to play means that everything should be free to play, nor am I a huge fan of it, but SWTOR’s model is just an absolute horrible example. The author also seems unable to grasp the concept of professional journalism because of how they responded to a previous comment, calling that person stupid. Just because they’re a troll, doesn’t justify reacting in such a manner if you want people to take your opinion seriously as a journalist.

    Other than that, you’re entitled to your opinion, and yes I do agree that ESO is most definitely in a tight bind right now, and needs ALOT of work.

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