One of the more exciting announcements made at Bethesdas E3 press show was – surprisingly – The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a brand new mobile game in the long running fantasy RPG series. What made Blades stand out was how full fledged it seems to be- the game sports high end graphics, supports full fledged combat and dungeon crawling, quests and loot, and even has a hub town that you slowly rebuild, incorporating the crafting elements from recent Bethesda games.
In spite of all of this, it was announced to be free- surely that would mean it would have microtransactions, right? Apparently, it will, but they won’t be too heavy handed- which is something that Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios confirmed while speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, pointing out that the balancing act was trying to monetize the game without inconveniencing the user.
“How do we keep somebody who’s playing the game a lot?” said Howard. “How do we give them value beyond ‘here’s a timer, give us some money’?”
It’s good to see that Bethesda are giving this some actual thought. Too often, I feel that game design in mobile game suffers because of monetization considerations. That said, Bethesda’s previous mobile effort, Fallout Shelter, had some of the best and fairest monetization options I have ever seen, so I expect nothing less from The Elder Scrolls: Blades.
Blades will launch on iOS and Android mobile devices later this year. Eventually, it will also come to PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and VR platforms.