Earlier this month, The Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online Studios broke the news that the console versions of their recently released MMO would not be following right behind their PC brethren. Rather, ZeniMax figured that the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Elder Scrolls Online were at least 6 months away…if not more.
The announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online's delay brought with it a ton of disappointment, as most gamers were looking forward to seeing how the MMO would port to the console. Gamers have long been waiting for a competent MMO on console, with only a handful of titles even attempting the task, and to mostly mixed results.
And even if The Elder Scrolls Online didn't live up to gamers' hopes — reviews of the PC version suggest it likely won't — many were still left wondering why ZeniMax delayed the ports. Creative Director Paul Sage has the answer.
While out celebrating and detailing the release of Craglorn, the first Adventure Zone for TESO, Sage spoke with IGN about the delay on PS4 and Xbox One. Ultimately, as Sage reveals, it came down to timing.
See, while ZeniMax was hard at work on the PC version of The Elder Scrolls Online, they began to consider the possibility of developing console versions of their MMO. The PC version was always in the cards, from the very beginning, but the prospect of bringing the game to the PS4 and Xbox One arose later into development. That, in turn, put those console versions slightly behind their PC counterpart.
But while the console versions will get to learn from the PC version's mistakes, Sage was quick to point out that mouse and keyboard players should not consider themselves "beta testers."
"What we wanted to do when we started the game, it was meant for PC and then with the new consoles coming out we thought they were great and we went, 'Hey, this is something we hadn’t considered originally that we can do now', and if anything it’s to do with that rather than anything nefarious. It’s about production and we want to obviously have the best game possible on consoles as well as PC."
Ultimately, it's a situation we've seen before: a console version (or versions) delayed simply by virtue of timing. A developer starts off with one goal in mind and then, at some point in development, that goal balloons to include more ambitious ideas. That isn't to say gamers are happy about the delay, but at least they have an answer. Now, if The Elder Scrolls Online slips into 2015, however, then that might be a different issue.
How do you feel about The Elder Scrolls Online delay? Does hearing a reason for the delay change your opinion?
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