ZeniMax devs ‘unapologetic’ about making Elder Scrolls MMO

The Elder Scrolls Online - concept art

ZeniMax Online recently called in to the Game Informer podcast to talk up its Elder Scrolls Online title. Game director Matt Firor and creative director Paul Sage were the devs of record, and the 30-minute chat featured some interesting tidbits.

Firor mentions that the game will release simultaneously on PC and Mac, but ZeniMax has no plans for a console version. Sage talked a bit about the progression system, which, while level-based, does feature skill-based advancement as well. In the current build, characters gain experience in skills that are slotted. Sage also mentions that you do get better with weapons as you wield them, though the gain is not 100 percent usage-based.

There’s also a bit of discussion about art style, camera modes, and the decision to MMOify the Elder Scrolls IP. “We’re making an MMO; we’re unapologetic about that. This is the Elder Scrolls MMO. It’s not Skyrim. Skyrim already exists, and you can go play Skyrim. We’re making the MMO version of the Elder Scrolls, and with that comes some conventions that are different from a console RPG,” Firor says.


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Unnappologetic, UNNAPPOLEGETIC . . . !!!??? Those fools!!!! Don’t they realize what they’re doing!?!? They’re killing the series. When this MMO comes out, this will spell the end of the Elder Scrolls series entirely. Once the MMO finally fades, that will be it for Elder Scrolls.
I may pay to play this game, and even love it, if it’s done right, but all the while, I will never be capable of forgiving them for ending Elder Scrolls. Although, if they were going to end it anyway . . .  which, come on lets be honest, they weren’t, not with Skyrim setting records and selling better than any of their previous games.
However, I would have preferred that instead of an MMO, a single-player with coop capabilities across the traditional LAN, over the internet with IP, or even GameSpy Arcade would have been better. I’ve been finding that MMO’s seem to take substantial significant chunks out of games that were previously not MMO. I just hope that they don’t take anything out, which of course they will, and I hope they make it so that we can set up our own little game and play with our friends without being forced to connect to specific servers like most MMO’s do it.


The Elder Scrolls Online is not being designed by designers, its not being designed by people who like playing games, it is being designed by suits and PR asshats, yet they expect the masses to simply be enthralled with it, because they think it’s awesome and exactly what we want.
I understand that game development is a business, and that the point of business is to make money, but I think that it helps if you have a passion for what it is your doing? Why? Because you have more of a vested interest in creating a quality product, because you have other interests aside from simply making money. Modern game design has lost that passion, not because designers don’t have passion, but because suits and PR asshats have taken it over, and prevent that passion from flourishing.
What was that thing Bobby Kotick said? Oh yeah, “The goal that I had […] was to take all the fun out of making video games.”
It looks as though he isn’t the only one who had that idea. Maybe we should inform ZeniMax (and whoever else) that this is not what we want, by keeping our money in our wallets?

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