main article image

Elder Scrolls Just Got a Gorgeous Mobile Version And We're Wildly Conflicted

11 JUN 2018

You'll soon be taking the magic of Elder Scrolls with you wherever you go with the announcement of Elder Scrolls Blades, a mobile RPG that brings epic adventures to life wherever and whenever you want.


As part of Bethesda's E3 showcase event, where Elder Scrolls VI got a five second tease at the very end, the third anniversary of Fallout Shelter was used as an excuse to reveal another mobile game they've been working on for a long time: Elder Scrolls Blades.

The game will be FREE, and includes three different experiences. A rogue-like dungeon romp called Abyss, a PvP area called Arena, and the Town, where you'll experience a story mode and receive quests to go and complete somehow.

The demo video showed graphics that look truly Elder Scrolls grade - no weak sauce "good for a mobile" vibes here. Lots of swipes and taps were used to perform attacks, move around and collect loot drops.

There's even a 'portrait mode' way to play because they want you to be able to have a sneaky session at your desk and make it look like you're just browsing your phone for some reason other than killing rats.

Plus plus plus, the game will launch on various platforms, including VR, and players will be able to clash across all platforms. So more than just the idea of 'mobile', Bethesda is calling Blades a 'play anywhere' game. Cool stuff.


But... we're just not sure about something...

In the end, 'free' throws up the spectre of being slowed down unless you splash the cash on a regular basis. Or being crippled from access to certain features if you don't buy gems (or cheese, or whatever...).

And the worst part? Not even being given the option to pay a one-off price to just own the game and play it freely and easily.

Mobile games have some amazing gameplay, but the price models can make things really, really annoying. And when you get the chance to run wild in a great RPG experience like Elder Scrolls, we just wish they would offer it up as a premium priced experience.

Of course, mobile gamers don't seem to cough up that way. They often end up spending hundreds on games they love, but they'd never pay a solid up front price for a serious game the way other gamers do on PCs and consoles.

We'll cross our fingers that Bethesda can come up with a smart model that lets us pay for the right things, in the right way, without constant harassment or fuss. They've got a lot of smart cookies there. They know what they're doing.

It's just that there's an 'easy' mode to payments on mobile that all too many people seem to lap up. Business is business, and they have to make their work do good dollars if we want more cool things in the future.

We just hope they can lead mobile games to somewhere new and exciting - in both RPG gameplay and business models.

/Beyond is ScienceAlert's new section covering the wider world of gadgets, games, and digital culture.