Bethesda hopes The Elder Scrolls' popularity will be enough to interest gamers in The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was Bethesda Softworks' biggest success, propelling the Elder Scrolls name into the center stage of the gaming world as no previous entry in the franchise yet had. With Elder Scrolls Online currently in development, Bethesda is now hoping that the franchise's name will be big enough to draw gamers into the company's first venture in the MMO space.
"It is a crowded space, but this is Elder Scrolls," said Matt Firor, director of the Elder Scrolls Online. "One of things of having a huge IP like Elder Scrolls is it cuts through the noise. It's safe to say - looking at the lines for people to play - that everyone knows about it. That is the first step to getting a lot of people into the game. Part of the crowded landscape is it's hard to get your message out there. When you say 'Elder Scrolls', we don't have a problem getting the message out, which helps us immensely,"
While Firor is confident the Elder Scrolls brand will be enough to catch the attention of gamers, it may take more than name recognition to keep them hooked. Firor believes it won't be hard for the franchise, one of the early progenitors of open world gaming, to make the jump to online. "Everything it brings with it intrinsically is almost perfectly suited for an MMO," said Firor. "Giant open world, lots of cool classes, lots of history and depth, the cool combat system that you just experienced. That came from Elder Scrolls."
While it's hard to fault Firor for his pride in the Elder Scrolls franchise, it still might be best for Bethesda to be careful not to think The Elder Scrolls Online will market itself. While a recognizable name can definitely help in building up hype and anticipation, arguably bigger properties have made similar attempts only to fall short. That being said, Bethesda has a good track record for RPGs, and recent previews of the Elder Scrolls Online suggest the publisher is on its way to building a game that is just as engrossing as Skyrim. If it can manage that feat, it might not have to rely on just the Elder Scrolls name to sell.
Source: GamesIndustry International