The Elder Scrolls: Blades – One week into Early Access

It has now been a wee bit more than a week since the Early Access invitations to Elder Scrolls: Blades have rolled out, so we thought it was a good time to make review of how things are going and what happened in the Blades universe.

How is the game doing after a week?

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is reported to have hit over 1 million downloads from the App Store for iOS, and that is only from Early Access invitations, so after a week, this is incredible and extremely similar to the success known by Fortnite mobile when it was released.

Furthermore, the game has reportedly already cashed in close to half a million dollars. In seven days, this is extremely impressive, and somewhat concerning, but more on that later.

This data was provided by Sensor Tower Store Intellience. With that being said, how is the game really doing…


Early Access: Success or Fail?

Early Access was a both a success and a failure, but all things considered, it clearly was a failure from the players’ perspective.

Because it allowed for Bethesda to gather the data they needed before the official launch of the game, but mostly because it allowed players and fans of the universe around the world to get a glimpse of what the game has to offer.

If you are the slightest active on the Socials related to the game, you most certainly have witnessed how 99% of the players [exaggerated without basis statistic to make a point] have been extremely frustrated by the failure that was Early Access. In a matter of hours, players who had pre-registered in the very first hour possible (over a year ago) for Early Access expressed their frustration as they had not been given Early Access first.

The situation only worsen as people who would eventually receive the glorious email from Bethesda inviting them to Early Access only to find themselves unable to play as their device was not supported by the game.

In short, from a player’s perspective, Early Access was a phenomenal failure for a company like Bethesda. Nonetheless, those who managed to get in certainly had blast trying the game, or at least some of them did…

Players’ Feedback

It only took a few hours for the long-time fans of the Elder Scrolls game series to express their frustration vis-à-vis one specific item: monetization. It’s nothing new, mobile games more than often rely on a in-game currency to monetize the game and bring in revenues; in comparison with PC and console games (where Bethesda focused until Blades) where you pay for the game once (with a few exception). However, this frustration rapidly toned down after a couple days. While there are still some people expressing their anger with the Gem system (in-game currency for Blades), it certainly no longer is the main concern for players.

A reason for this point to raise a concern with the players is that Bethesda is planning on introducing a multiplayer mode called the Arena. Allowing for players to “buy” their way through Quests and the game itself can certainly be a concern to those who are interested in this feature, especially for those who cannot afford to purchase the infamous Gems. Gems basically allow players to speed up the opening of Chests, therefore the access to in-game items of higher quality (weapons, resources, armors, etc.). So we can sympathize with this concern as we have seen it ruin multiplayer in other mobile games.

The infamous Silver Chests from Blades already has its share of memes on the socials at this point. We won’t disagree with the players, Silver Chests being almost guaranteed from every Jobs or Quests in the game (main options to grind and progress through the game) and having no way to “toss them out” makes progression quite difficult in the game. Why? Because these Chests require a three-hour period before they can be opened (unless players decide to throw in some money (see item above).

Therefore, players find themselves overstocked with Silver Chests and no way of collecting any other Chests from the other Rarity Tiers unless they spend money or wait the required amount of time. The frequency rate of the Silver Chests makes them extremely abundant and clogs players’ inventory and progression, and this is something we absolutely sympathize with.

Occasional Bugs
And, of course, the occasional bugs. One thing most players did not seem to realize or understand is that the game is available in Early Access at this point, which is basically a way of saying that it is available in Beta (a phase allowing developers to test their game with a larger audience). Therefore, bugs are to be expected and the players are there to point them out to the developers, which they did, extremely loudly on various socials…

Developers’ Feedback / Update

On the developers’ side, or Bethesda’s side, things have been fairly dead. Players heard from them after the disaster that was Early Access where Bethesda announced that players would get access to the game in waves (provided they had pre-registered in time), but this would not solve the “Your device is not supported” issue. At this time, nothing has been heard from Bethesda on this matter.

In terms of bugs and players’ complaints about in-game features or aspects, Bethesda has also been fairly quiet. While an update has been rolling out in the past two days or so, nothing really indicated that Bethesda was working on fixing the things that the players were actually concerned about (see items above).

We have been doing what we do for about two years now, and we have often witnessed such a behavior from game developers. While it doesn’t necessarily kills a game, it certainly does not help its success.

Parting Words

If you ask us, the game is extremely fun and promising. While many people are complaining about the game, a lot of them are actually enjoying it a lot (including us). At the end of the day, one must remember that

  • it has only been a week;
  • the game is still only available in Early Access, therefore NOT officially launched;
  • an update has been rolling out less than a week after Early Access invitations being distributed.

Despite the negativity of this article, we are still hopeful that Bethesda will adapt and deliver something near excellence at launch (which has not yet been announced).

What are your thoughts about all this? Let us know below!

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