Unfortunate news breaks on Twitter, as Bethesda Vice President of Public Relations Pete Hines tweets that the game is highly unlikely to meet its initial release date deadline at the end of 2015.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends was first announced at E3 2015, where a debut trailer featured a voiceover discussing the various ways in which heroes of Tamriel are remembered, before inviting the player to carve their own destiny into the land’s rich history. Aside from the game’s existence and the fact that it will be an online collectible card game in the same genre currently occupied and dominated by Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, not much is known about the Bethesda project. The trailer didn’t show any details on how gameplay might work, although it featured portraits of several heroes which might indicate a similar class system to the one enjoyed by millions of players in Hearthstone.
Beyond that, however, players have been largely left in the dark about what to expect from The Elder Scrolls: Legends. The game will be released on both the PC and the iPad, once again mimicking the path to online CCG success laid out by Hearthstone.
If Legends proceeds along a similar path of progression, gamers might be able to enjoy a mobile release like Hearthstone later on as the game expands and grows more popular, providing it lends itself well to that kind of porting. Hines clarified on Twitter that despite the game’s delay, he was playing it while tweeting about it, suggesting that there is already a playable version and that Bethesda simply wants to ensure the game is in the best possible state upon its release.
If most of the news regarding Legends so far is easily compared to Hearthstone, it’s unlikely Bethesda will mind much. Blizzard’s CCG has been an incredible boon to their games lineup and attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers for its World Championships earlier this year. The release of Bethesda.net, amusingly similar to Blizzard’s Battle.net, is just another similarity that hints toward Hines and crew’s understanding that the Blizzard business model is unparalleled when it comes to the online CCG genre.
With that being said, it is safe to say that Legends is likely going to be drastically different in terms of gameplay. The game is being developed by Dire Wolf Digital, a studio that houses team members who are professional Magic: the Gathering players. While Hearthstone appeals to a lot of casual card players because of the way it embraces random elements in its mechanics, Legends might find itself more heavily influenced by the Magic pros and play out in the same vein as Magic‘s chess-like strategies and competitions.
Unfortunately for those gamers who enjoy slinging digital cardboard around, the wait for a serious competitor to Hearthstone will have to continue a while longer. Do you enjoy playing card games on the computer or your tablet? Do you think Legends, or any game inside the online CCG genre for that matter, will be able to threaten Hearthstone‘s stranglehold on sales? Let us know in the comments below.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends will release sometime after Q4 of 2015, and will be available for the PC and iPad.