When it was announced back in May 2012, fans of The Elder Scrolls series and MMO players justifiably had high hopes for The Elder Scrolls Online. Although recent Elder Scrolls releases Skyrim and Oblivion captivated players with the huge scale of their worlds, the experience was a lonely one. Every picked lock, arrow to the knee and murderous WereChair rampage had been enjoyed alone and so TESO was a chance for players to finally enjoy these things together.
The MMO didn’t quite deliver upon that when it released in April 2014 with bugs, gold spammers and flawed objectives leading to negative launch reviews. It didn’t capture the gameplay or experience of traditional Elder Scrolls experiences. There was hope that these things would be ironed out before The Elder Scrolls Online‘s expected console launch two months later in June 2014 but that launch didn’t materialize.
At the time, publisher Bethesda explained that “Integrating our systems with each console manufacturer’s networks–which are both different from the PC/Mac system as well as different from each other–has been a challenging process” citing hardware troubles as the issue rather than extra time needed to fix the negative aspects of the game.
Bethesda estimated that an additional six months would be needed for The Elder Scrolls Online to launch on PS4 and Xbox One and eager players had a chance at getting in on the action before Christmas. Sadly, the publisher confirmed that it would miss that date too but a temporary release date listing suggests that we could finally be playing The Elder Scrolls Online on consoles in February.
The suggestion comes from a listing on the official Microsoft Store which listed February 24th, 2015 as The Elder Scrolls Online‘s PS4 and Xbox One release date. While release date leaks happen via retailers on a regular basis, Microsoft is a platform holder in this case, privy to information about a game’s release plans ahead of time. Another reason to put faith in the listing is that it has since been changed following reports of the February release and it now displays a generic “2015” release date instead. That’s still no guarantee of course, but the fact that the date has been changed so quickly seems to suggest that they’re potentiality guilty.
Also helping credibility is the fact that the 24th of February is a Tuesday which is typically the day that games release in the United States (the Microsoft Store listing is for the United States too). And, in an official blog post The Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor said that fans should “expect to see lots of news about our console versions in early 2015”.
Some may feel that February is too soon, though. In that post Firor also said that “There’s still some work to do before we can set an official launch date” and fresh rumours suggest that the development team is looking to make The Elder Scrolls Online free to play and replace the game’s current paid subscription. If a move to free to play is on the cards, monetization elements could take a while to implement given that they were never initially planned. Or perhaps that’s the reason behind the multiple delays in the first place…
This one remains a rumor for now so stay hopeful but wary until Bethesda officially confirms the release date.