Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Company News The end of Elder Scrolls?

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tags: Bethesda Softworks

<a href=http://ve3d.ign.com>Voodoo Extreme</a> is reporting that ZeniMax had <a href=http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/35170/Elder-Scrolls-Online>registered a new domain</a> - elderscrollsonline.com
<br>
<br>
To remind you, a <a href=http://www.zenimax.com/zol_pressrelease08.01.07.htm>MMO division</a> was formed in August, followed by a <a href=http://www.zenimax.com/news_pressrelease10.25.07.htm>300-mil cash injection</a>. So, while ZeniMax will undoubtedly assure us soon that their plans for online dominance won't affect Bethesda single-player games, what are the chances of that? Discuss.
 

Nightjed

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
675
Location
Wasteland
well, considering what it did with blizzard it will completely take bethesda out of the sp game market locking them up in an endless oblivion mmo expansion releasing circle, making mmos also cause some kind of brain disease that dooms any attempt to release a sp game to be vaporware, i think its a good thing
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Imagine that. Can't we like pretend that Audust is a real word? No? Ok.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
What?

Dude, they formed a separate division, then got a 300 million USD investment, the separate division currently gathering a team and only using Bethesda for its PR department. ZeniMax has multiple divisions that never influenced one another, why would this division be any different?

I've heard a lot of interpretations of this move, but this is the first time I've seen an interpretation that this would imply the end of ES SP games. It's not like the ES SP franchise has ever been unprofitable under ZeniMax or that it will become unprofitable because another division of the company makes online games.

Seriously, what brought on this idea? I don't see it.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Brother None said:
What?

Dude, they formed a separate division, then got a 300 million USD investment, the separate division currently gathering a team and only using Bethesda for its PR department. ZeniMax has multiple divisions that never influenced one another, why would this division be any different?

I've heard a lot of interpretations of this move, but this is the first time I've seen an interpretation that this would imply the end of ES SP games. It's not like the ES SP franchise has ever been unprofitable under ZeniMax or that it will become unprofitable because another division of the company makes online games.

Seriously, what brought on this idea? I don't see it.
You've never heard something like:

Stop being silly, you guys! Fallout Tactics is a different game made by a different company and it's paid by a different budget. It won't affect your beloved Fallout games in any way and you'll see the next one very soon.

FOBOS? Don't be silly guys. It's an action game. Different story, different budget. If anything, it will only ensure that FO3 will be made sooner. In fact, if you buy a copy of FOBOS you'll directly support FO3 development.

MMO is that proverbial black, which makes it hard to go back. Let's assume that Elder Scrolls Online is a success, which it most likely will be. Let's assume that the online game brings in 10 times more than a single-player TES game does. Why continue?

Let's compare single-player games to a hot-dog stand and MMOs to a supermarket. A hot-dog stand owner buys a supermarket and assures his loyal fans that he'll still be there for them, selling the best goddamn hot dogs in town. Question: do you really expect to see him selling them dogs in the near future?
 

MetalCraze

Arcane
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
21,104
Location
Urkanistan
Why are you so worried about TES SP series?
So what if this shit will die? More space and awards for normal SP rpgs then.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
Vault Dweller said:
Stop being silly, you guys! Fallout Tactics is a different game made by a different company and it's paid by a different budget. It won't affect your beloved Fallout games in any way and you'll see the next one very soon.

FOBOS? Don't be silly guys. It's an action game. Different story, different budget. If anything, it will only ensure that FO3 will be made sooner. In fact, if you buy a copy of FOBOS you'll directly support FO3 development.

Apples and pears, man.

Vault Dweller said:
Let's assume that Elder Scrolls Online is a success, which it most likely will be. Let's assume that the online game brings in 10 times more than a single-player TES game does.

Let's not. You're expecting TES Online to be able not only to compete with Warhammer, Warcraft and LotR Online but to actually make more profit than a SP franchise that manages to make a cool million out of horse armor?

As for why continue...because you can? The difference between Blizzard and ZeniMax is huge. ZM doesn't have to make a call to continue their Online division at the cost of Bethesda. Hell, ZM has different divisions and activity with crooked profitability, yet they haven't closed down Vir2L in favour of Bethesda yet, nor have they curtailed Bethesda's publishing activities just because TES is the most profitable (and it is).

ZM is looking to expand, not shrink. The 300 million USD investment means they can expand into the Online world without curtailing any other division (and possibly even with expanding publishing activity in Europe) and that's exactly what they intend to do.
 

Micmu

Magister
Joined
Aug 20, 2005
Messages
6,163
Location
ALIEN BASE-3
I thought the end was pretty much with Oblivion, where they showed that the future of Elder Scrolls is pretty much a simplified H&S/brawler game with stats for consoles.
Anyway, it seemed that ESOL was far more likely to happen than FOOL.
For now.
 

VonVentrue

Cipher
Patron
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
814
Location
HPCE
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
It was inevitable. The series has been declining in quality since Daggerfall. Making an MMO was the natural next step in reaching the pinnacle of retardation.

If this means that the release of single-player games is questionable, then so be it. The less ES sp titles that bear even the slightest similarities to an insult to the franchise that was Oblivion, the better.
 

Walkin' Dude

Liturgist
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
796
Brother None said:
I've heard a lot of interpretations of this move, but this is the first time I've seen an interpretation that this would imply the end of ES SP games. It's not like the ES SP franchise has ever been unprofitable under ZeniMax or that it will become unprofitable because another division of the company makes online games.

Seriously, what brought on this idea? I don't see it.

VD is just being really optimistic.
 

thesheeep

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
9,976
Location
Tampere, Finland
Codex 2012 Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
I'm just interested if it will be another WoW clone, or like an Elder Scrolls game with many people running around.

The 2nd doesn't sound that bad...
 

DarkUnderlord

Professional Throne Sitter
Staff Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2002
Messages
28,375
Nightjed said:
well, considering what it did with blizzard it will completely take bethesda
To their credit, Blizzard are working on Starcraft 2. Then again, unlike Bethesda, Blizzard's games haven't been on a downward spiral the last couple of years and they actually put the effort in to make every one of them a solid product, rather than rushing a piece of crap out the door quickly.

Brother None said:
Dude, they formed a separate division, then got a 300 million USD investment, the separate division currently gathering a team and only using Bethesda for its PR department.
Dude, "separate divisions" don't mean shit if they're still owned by the one parent. Somewhere in that parent company is a Board of Directors who get to make decisions about all of the divisions. Just because they're shown as "separate" on a spreadsheet doesn't mean they don't impact upon each other within the same parent entity.

Brother None said:
ZeniMax has multiple divisions that never influenced one another, why would this division be any different?
Except if that really were true, then how come one of their divisions created a mobile phone game based entirely on something one of the other divisions did (IE: The Oblivion mobile games)? That sounds like a hell of a lot of influence to me and it proves they're willing to use their only successful franchise to expand into other markets.

Brother None said:
Vault Dweller said:
Let's assume that Elder Scrolls Online is a success, which it most likely will be. Let's assume that the online game brings in 10 times more than a single-player TES game does.

Let's not. You're expecting TES Online to be able not only to compete with Warhammer, Warcraft and LotR Online but to actually make more profit than a SP franchise that manages to make a cool million out of horse armor?
You don't invest $300 Million USD unless you believe you'll get a return. If they make a million out of horse armour, I'd assume they're expecting to make more out of an online game. Especially with the Billions WoW is raking in. You're also not realising that "MMO" and "PC Game" are played on the same platform, unlike mobile phone games. While mobile phone games is an extension of the brand onto another platform and therefore into another market segment, an MMO is on the same platform, in the same market. Why would you make two Elder Scrolls games that are going to compete with each other within the same PC game market? It's not a smart thing to do. You want people to play the ongoing fee and get roped into the more expensive version. Not pay a once off $80.

You also run the risk of destroying your brand if the single player version has features not present in the MMO or vice-versa. People will say one is a watered down version of the other which only serves to confuse the market. You don't want customers to make a choice between your product X and your product Y. You want that choice to be between your product X and a competitor's product. You want to tell people "Hey, you like Elder Scrolls? Well, if you want to play Elder Scrolls, which we know you do as its a hugely successful franchise, you have to pay $20 a month".

Brother None said:
As for why continue...because you can?
... because they can't. Same franchise. Same lore. Both need writers, quest designers and so on. Why would you have two teams of people working on the same game, just because one is an MMO and the other isn't? If anything, they'd end up consolidating the teams, which means the offline version ends up very similar to the online version and you run back into your problem about having two games. Ignoring the fact that you would have people working on the same game twice. One for $20 a month, the other for a once off $80. If you want to push your online game, you don't dilute the market with your own product.

Brother None said:
The difference between Blizzard and ZeniMax is huge. ZM doesn't have to make a call to continue their Online division at the cost of Bethesda.
... and yet Blizzard, who are making Billions of dollars, do? Yeah, I think you got that the wrong way around. If anything, it's the currently unproven MMO that's going to need bailing out with additional resources, not the hugely successful one being offered by Blizzard.

Brother None said:
ZM is looking to expand, not shrink. The 300 million USD investment means they can expand into the Online world without curtailing any other division (and possibly even with expanding publishing activity in Europe) and that's exactly what they intend to do.
Lets look at the titles Bethesda, the game developers, have made:
  • Elder Scrolls
  • PBA Bowling
  • IHRA Drag Racing
  • Fallout(?)
Now at the games they've only been responsible for publishing:
  • Star Trek Legacy
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Call of Cthulhu
Let's face it, they're not exactly a top developer or publisher. The only thing they've got going for them is Elder Scrolls, a fact you admit yourself. If Elder Scrolls becomes an online game, what's everyone else at Bethesda going to do? Make a totally more awesome bowling game? Hell, Bethesda couldn't even publish their own "award winning" Oblivion. That right there should tell you something.

Elder Scrolls is dead as a single player PC game if the MMO is successful. If it's not, they'll try and pump out another title in the hopes of recouping some loses and recovering the franchise. Either way, while an ES MMO is under development, an SP ES never will be. What we'll potentially see though, is the current Bethesda team either working on more Fallout games (assuming that's successful) or moving on to work on the ES MMO and a new team being hired to work on Fallout. If Fallout fails though, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bethesda shutdown and the focus being moved to the MMO.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
29
Location
Thomewhere between here and there
Vault Dweller said:
Let's compare single-player games to a hot-dog stand and MMOs to a supermarket.
I would've tried a comparison to the Ultima series/Ultima Online, but since I'm too lazy to look things up wrt the history of that whole scenario, I just won't say word.

As for TES... *shrugs* They've been getting more and more MMO with each iteration, only without the "O" part. I have no interest in MMOGs, but I still retain a shred of interest for the ES series (although, admittedly, I haven't played Oblivion yet). If the development of one ends up precluding development of the other, I know which side of the fence I'm jumping down on, but beyond that... don't really care.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Brother None said:
Let's not. You're expecting TES Online to be able not only to compete with Warhammer, Warcraft and LotR Online but to actually make more profit than a SP franchise that manages to make a cool million out of horse armor?
Sure, why not? Why WoW is so successful? Because it tapped into a huge existing fanbase. Same here. Unlike any brand new MMO, no matter how cool, ZM can count on 4-5 mil people who bought Oblivion, and what is Oblivion if not a single-player MMORPG? So why sell it once when you can sell it every month? :pete hines' grin:

As for why continue...because you can?
See the hot dog stand vs supermarket analogy. Sure, you can keep operating the stand, but ... why?
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
DarkUnderlord said:
You don't invest $300 Million USD unless you believe you'll get a return. If they make a million out of horse armour, I'd assume they're expecting to make more out of an online game. Especially with the Billions WoW is raking in. You're also not realising that "MMO" and "PC Game" are played on the same platform, unlike mobile phone games. While mobile phone games is an extension of the brand onto another platform and therefore into another market segment, an MMO is on the same platform, in the same market. Why would you make two Elder Scrolls games that are going to compete with each other within the same PC game market? It's not a smart thing to do. You want people to play the ongoing fee and get roped into the more expensive version. Not pay a once off $80.
Exactly.
 

Kortalh

Liturgist
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
278
The Elder Scrolls Series (at least the ones I'm familiar with; Morrowing & Oblivion) has always felt like "singleplayer MMOs". When my friends asked me what Morrowind was like, my description was, "EverQuest, without all the losers."

I imagine there will be little-to-no difference when they bring the game online. The quests in Oblivion already have no effect on the world, the storyline was nonexistant, and the gameplay involved hacking and slashing your way to the next experience level.

People already put dozens, if not hundreds, of hours into Morrowind and Oblivion -- I see this only as a way to harvest profit from that. So, will an MMO affect the Elder Scrolls series? I suspect ESOnline will simply be "Elder Scrolls V", with very little changes otherwise.
 

hakuroshi

Augur
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
589
They may make the last SP version to promote their MMO. Because people are likely to forget Oblivion then (beign playing FO3 for example). And say - more shine and goodies online where yoy can buy new horse armor every week.
Good riddance, I'd say.
 

cuthbert

Novice
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
56
Location
california
Vault Dweller said:
DarkUnderlord said:
You don't invest $300 Million USD unless you believe you'll get a return. If they make a million out of horse armour, I'd assume they're expecting to make more out of an online game. Especially with the Billions WoW is raking in. You're also not realising that "MMO" and "PC Game" are played on the same platform, unlike mobile phone games. While mobile phone games is an extension of the brand onto another platform and therefore into another market segment, an MMO is on the same platform, in the same market. Why would you make two Elder Scrolls games that are going to compete with each other within the same PC game market? It's not a smart thing to do. You want people to play the ongoing fee and get roped into the more expensive version. Not pay a once off $80.
Exactly.



Wouldn't this be where the fallout series comes in? I mean they could focus on a mmo and focus on a series very different in the single player realm.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Quite possibly. Since they only have one team, if Fallout 3 sells well enough to call for a sequel, which they originally bought the rights to, I'd expect them to focus on and develop the Fallout brand, and turn TES into MMO.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
DarkUnderlord said:
Dude, "separate divisions" don't mean shit if they're still owned by the one parent.

That's why I taped on "and got 300 million in funds", which is separate funding.

DarkUnderlord said:
That sounds like a hell of a lot of influence to me and it proves they're willing to use their only successful franchise to expand into other markets.

It also proves they're willing to exploit their franchise in multiple ways at once, no?

DarkUnderlord said:
You don't invest $300 Million USD unless you believe you'll get a return.

What they expect might not be what they get. The base market for a TES MMO isn't the millions of sales Oblivion has had, you know that.

DarkUnderlord said:
You're also not realising that "MMO" and "PC Game" are played on the same platform, unlike mobile phone games. While mobile phone games is an extension of the brand onto another platform and therefore into another market segment, an MMO is on the same platform, in the same market.

You're not seriously going to argue MMOs and SP games are one market, are you? Same platform, sure, but MMOs compete with SP RPGs in the same sense that Wii Sports competes with Halo 3 because some gamers have two platforms and can spend their money on only one game. Sure there's overlap of the MMO and SP RPG market, but they don't fully overlap just because they're on the same platform.

Hell, they're not even on the same platform. I was told once that the TES games sold more on Xbox than PC, let alone Xbox + PS3, which probably outsold the PC version by a mile-and-a-half. So how's that competing, if the majority of sales is even on another platform?

Heh, unless ZeniMax Online is the first to seriously try a console MMO. That'd be funny.

If not, how about this for an idea: Elder Scrolls MMO is a success, Elder Scrolls RPG becomes a console-only franchise?

DarkUnderlord said:
People will say one is a watered down version of the other which only serves to confuse the market.

I can't recall a single time that's happened, so I'm not sure what you mean.

DarkUnderlord said:
You don't want customers to make a choice between your product X and your product Y. You want that choice to be between your product X and a competitor's product.

Really? If you can grab 20% of one market with Product X or alternative 15% of one market with Product X and 15% of another market with Product Y, I think the choice would soon be made, even if product X is generally more profitable.

DarkUnderlord said:
Both need writers, quest designers and so on.

It's not like Bethesda has a huge group of writers vs the amount of programmers, artists and the insane amount of producers they have. I don't think it'll put a lot of pressure on them to write lore for an MMO. As for quests, MMO quest design and RPG quest design are different beasts, I'd figure ZeniMax would do that themselves.

DarkUnderlord said:
which means the offline version ends up very similar to the online version and you run back into your problem about having two games.

Again I can not think of an instance when this happened.

DarkUnderlord said:
Yeah, I think you got that the wrong way around. If anything, it's the currently unproven MMO that's going to need bailing out with additional resources, not the hugely successful one being offered by Blizzard.

I'm unsure what you're saying here and how it relates to what I said.

DarkUnderlord said:
If Fallout fails though, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bethesda shutdown and the focus being moved to the MMO.

Oh, glorious day! :shock:

The Fallout MMO rights will fall to ZeniMax pretty soon, though, don't forget.

There's a basic economic question in your story I'm simply failing to get, so explain it to me nice and slow: a company has two divisions (well, three), one is more profitable than the other, but they're both really profitable. The products overlap, but not to the level that one product will become unprofitable by the other being released (unless that's what you're arguing, though again I can not think of an instance when this happened).

Simple question is, why shut down one division at a time when you're trying to expand?

PS: maybe they should sell Bethesda to EA
 

Nightjed

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
675
Location
Wasteland
DarkUnderlord said:
Nightjed said:
well, considering what it did with blizzard it will completely take bethesda
To their credit, Blizzard are working on Starcraft 2. Then again, unlike Bethesda, Blizzard's games haven't been on a downward spiral the last couple of years and they actually put the effort in to make every one of them a solid product, rather than rushing a piece of crap out the door quickly.

i dont know, im trying to keep my expectations as low as possible, for what ive seen so far they took starcraft, supreme commander and command & conquer 3 and put them into a blender without anything innovative, starcraft was really cool because it felt new and different, sc2 probably wont have that, plus now they are adding "adventure sequences" (with the terrans you play Jim Raynor, the drunk, during the quest to "try every spacebar in the galaxy") that are making me even more skeptic
 

Mefi

Prophet
Patron
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
1,364
Location
waiting for a train at Perdido Street Station
Vault Dweller said:
Quite possibly. Since they only have one team, if Fallout 3 sells well enough to call for a sequel, which they originally bought the rights to, I'd expect them to focus on and develop the Fallout brand, and turn TES into MMO.

It's possible. But I think that the saturation of the market will mean that any MMO will be in addition to and not a replacement to the solo games. Eggs in one basket and all the old cliches.
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom