Elder Scrolls Online is really putting the ‘massive’ in the massively multiplayer online gaming genre, but with the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X fast approaching what are developers, Zenimax Online Studios, doing to get the game onto the next generation of consoles?
Elder Scrolls Online has a huge community of gamers, with 13.5 million players last year, the title now has over 15 million players and counting. We’re expecting that to grow too – with the release of a new chapter, Greymoor, just around the corner.
It’s a community that is seemingly very engaged with the game and its creators. Zenimax have taken unusual steps to boost the cult status of the game amongst its community, offering loot-box style in-game rewards for those who watch applicable ESO Twitch streamers, for example. Now, that community is showing more and more interest in the future of ESO and asking: Will it be on the PS5 and Xbox Series X?
Rich Lambert, Creative Director at Zenimax Online Studios, told Trusted Reviews: “We’re just now kind of digging into that. The specs were only released a couple of weeks ago but we have definitely heard the fans, yes, you know? They’re saying ‘We want this! We want this on there [on next-gen consoles].’ So we’re exploring what that means and when and if we could do that.”
So it sounds like Zenimax is, at the very least, exploring the possibility of getting ESO onto the next generation of consoles. Both Sony and Microsoft have talked at length about backwards compatibility in their new machines, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see ESO make the jump.
It’s already had a remarkable life-span. Consider that it’s still growing its impressive player count, and releasing huge new content drops like Greymoor, having launched way back in 2014. It’s pretty impressive.
The next big question for the game – which will decide how long that remarkable life-span stretches into the future – is a question of whether ESO will make the jump to the next generation consoles. If it does, the incentives for Zenimax to keep creating and offering up new content will be much larger.
The Studio has overcome similar challenges in the recent past, porting the game onto Google’s cloud gaming platform, Stadia. This gave players the option of playing ESO on-the-go, making it a more portable experience than ever before.
Lambert said: “I think it is a very, very cool opportunity. Being able to play ESO on a phone, you know, on a browser, it’s really, really cool. As long as your PC can run a browser, you can play ESO which potentially opens up the market to a lot more people who couldn’t play it before. So, it’s been pretty exciting for us. We’ve had a lot to learn, working with them on all the tech on the platform and stuff, but it’s going pretty well.”