The 16th of December was a dark day for TCG/CCG and Elder Scrolls fans across the globe. Vice President of Public Relations at Bethesda Software, Phil Hines tweeted that the game will most likely not meet its “end of 2015” release deadline.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends was first shown at E3 2015 to mixed reception. The heroes of Tamriel were showcased within the E3 trailer with some luscious artwork and a little narration, but not much more – without any gameplay footage, it was hard to know just what the game would be like, exactly.
We still don’t know a lot about the project other than it is an online CCG (Collectible Card Game) and will be directly competing against some of the genre’s biggest hitters in Hearthstone and SolForge. Without screenshots or footage, we can only infer that there will be similarities that the player base will be able to grasp immediately.
Variable heroes often mean different class systems and heroic abilities. The trailer showed everything from a powerful mage to an undead skeleton. Will there be a color or mana system that resembles Magic: The Gathering, or a colorless, incremental mana system as in Hearthstone? Only time will tell.
What we do know is that the game has drawn a huge amount of interest from the online TCG/CCG community who are eagerly awaiting its release, despite the lack of general information about it. It’s clear that the Elder Scrolls name is what will help carry the title to success. (Not that we’re accusing Bethesda of riding the success of Skyrim!)
There is some encouraging news among the bad. Phil Hines has reassured followers on Twitter that he has actually been playing the game. This means that a working version has been released for closed testing and that Bethesda does not want to release it until it is completely ready, mentioning that it still lacks “polish”. This also gives us hope that this isn’t just a cheap cash-in on an incredibly popular franchise but will actually deliver a compelling experience.
We’re hoping that the gameplay is completely new and innovative, though it will undoubtedly share some of the money making features seen in Hearthstone. Bethesda will want to emulate the success of Blizzard’s killer game that has attracted millions of players around the world. The release of Bethesda.net is one such emulation that cannot go unnoticed as an attempt to copy Blizzard’s Battle.net.
The developers behind the game, Dire Wolf Digital, have a number of pro Magic: The Gathering players among the development team. Thanks to this, we can be sure to look forward to more strategic and in-depth gameplay than the casual card battle genre usually offers up.
The game will first be launched on iPad and PC in a similar fashion to Hearthstone. There is no word on an Android version as of yet, but it will only be a matter of time if the game is hugely successful. The game will probably feature plenty of in-app purchases for packs of cards and aesthetic changes. Bethesda might not stop with the Elder Scrolls franchise if this game takes off. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing a Fallout-inspired TCG/CCG either, as they’ve already proven that they can turn their brands into huge money spinners!