Bethesda “expected” mixed reactions to TESO even before development started

Thursday, 7th June 2012 15:54 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Bethesda has said it expected a mixed reaction to The Elder Scrolls Online, even before it went into full-on development.

“From the very beginning when it was first conceived we knew the reaction would be mixed,” said Bethesda’s Pete Hines at E3. “It’s not all that different than what we went though with Fallout 3, which is, you’re taking this thing that everybody knew and loved like this. Now in that case it was same genre, different developer, different approach.

“This is an RPG, but MMO is a different in how things work.”

Speaking with Eurogamer, Hines said many fans were expecting TESO to look more like Skyrim which is unrealistic given MMO can’t offer graphics on such a scale – yet – and still provide a smooth gaming experience.

“I certainly felt that some people were going to expect Skyrim, but massively multiplayer, which, if we could have done that, we would have just done that, right?” he said. “We would have just done Skyrim that lets you play with a thousand other people.

“There’s always that issue of meeting expectations or what people had in their mind’s eye. “It’s really early. We’ve only shown the barest glimpse of it. We’ve got an awful lot of stuff to talk about that’s new for the genre and new for MMOs, things people haven’t tried before, that are doing things in a different way.

“We’re going to give it time and give ourselves a chance to explain all the other things we’re doing, let people see it, let people play it. It’s a marathon, especially with an MMO. You see an MMO demo, that doesn’t mean anything to me. What means something to me is, what’s it like when I sit down for three or four hours. Is that engaging? Is that unique? Is that compelling? Is there any reason for me to want to come back the next day?

“We want to keep informing, but get it to the point where people play it, because it’s just a wholly different thing experiencing when you play it versus when you watch somebody.”

TESO is expected in 2013. Look for an interview and impressions from the game from VG247 later this week.



  1. UuBuU

    I didn’t expect it to look like Skyrim only massively multiplayer. That is unrealistic.

    I expected it to look like Mortal Online which is an MMO with real-time first-person combat and graphics that almost look Morrowind-esque (only the art style isn’t as interesting as Morrowind).

    What we have instead is a cartoony third-person MMO that doesn’t capture the TES vibe at all.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Anders

    I am yet to hear a single compelling argument for why I whould care about TESO at all. It looks and sounds like a mediocre World of WarCraft clone set in environments that kind of looks like something from a cartoonified Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. HauntaVirus


    #3 3 years ago
  4. fearmonkey

    I expected it to be similar to but not exactly like a typical TES game. I wasnt expecting Skyrim graphics, but I was expecting the feel of a TES game, and TESO looks like The Elder Scrolls:Rift

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    I know Bethesda, I know. But the problem… is TOR.

    Bioware made the same noises originally about their WoW clone, telling us that TOR was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and look how that turned out. I didn’t want to believe that TESO was a WoW clone, but you’ve now told us yourselves that it is. It is in the same way that TOR and LOTRO are WoW clones.

    Look at them now. TOR is floundering, and LOTRO has gone free to play and has had to be happy with a niche market.

    The problem with this is that:

    A.) Bethesda fans seem to hate WoW and WoW-like games.

    B.) WoW fans are only going to stop playing WoW fans for a month to play something else, then they’re going to go RIGHT back to WoW. The call to WoW and the addiction thereof isn’t something that you can break with a clone. You have to make something completely different.

    I mean, consider…

    WoW fan: Hey, this is just like WoW. That means it’s familiar… but I know all this. Yawn. Why play this when I could play WoW which I am even MORE familiar with? Screw this! I’m going back to WoW.

    That’s what happened to TOR.

    It does not work.

    I’m sorry Bethesda, I’m sorry Hines. But it’s going to fail. If it’s really a WoW clone like you’ve told us it is, then it’s going to be a horrible failure.

    If you want to see how to do it right, then look at stuff like Wildstar and Guild Wars 2 especially, even TERA to a much lesser degree, at least they’re doing things differently. TERA is doing just the combat differently, WildStar is doing the questing progression differently, and Guild Wars 2 is doing both the combat and the questing progression differently.

    That’s how you get the attention of people, by doing something different. You’re never going to win a chunk of the WoW fanbase. Not even by being Bethesda. Not even with The Elder Scrolls.

    That’s the cold, hard truth.

    I’m sorry, Bethesda, but your self-proclaimed WoW clone is going to fall flat on its face.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheWulf


    In fairness… graphically I’d call it a Rift clone. It shares nothing in common with WoW aesthetically (thank goodness).

    But yeah.


    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    You know, this is why I was so pissed at TOR. I kind of like the Star Wars Universe. Bioware could have created a really interesting game set in the areas the books use, the less known stuff, using less common races, and gameplay more akin to Guild Wars 2.

    But no.

    They use the same setting that EVERYONE has seen, the same old overly boring races (and basically just humans with bumpy faces), and the same old tired WoW gameplay and aesthetics.

    I was pissed at them for doing that, when the potential for doing something so much better existed. And similarly, I’m disappointed at Bethesda for doing this when the potential for something so much better does exist.

    #7 3 years ago

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