Critics and fans alike have questioned whether or not the MMO will be a necessary and lucrative venture for Zenimax and Bethesda, with some drawing comparisons to Blizzard's hallmark game of the genre, World of Warcraft.
In short, the game was starting to sound a lot like 'World of Warcraft,' wrote Dave Their of Forbes. When a screenshot surfaced that was almost indistinguishable from 'World of Warcraft,' more alarm bells went off.
In some instances, the concept behind a game can seem overwhelmingly appealing, but retains skepticism in how it will actually be delivered. According to Piki Geek, this is the case for Elder Scrolls Online.
For me, the 'Elder Scrolls,' games have always been individual journeys, where each game's world needs to be discovered and explored by an individual, not a large group, wrote Derek James of the gaming website. Part of the beauty of these games was the fact that so many different gamers could have such vastly unique experiences and tales within the same genre.
The upcoming release by Zenimax will have the challenge of appealing to hardcore fans of the Elder Scrolls series and MMO players. There are a number of ways in which Elder Scrolls Online can target various fanbases, as Game Informer points out.
For fans of Skyrim the new MMO gives players the chance to see more of the world of Tamriel. Gamers get free-roam of this province in Skyrim, but in the online release players can gain more context in terms of their surroundings. The game will let fans access every section of Tamriel that wasn't available before, and players can also see what areas in previous games, such as Daggerfall, will look like on a more up-to-date graphics engine. Elder Scrolls Online also takes the franchise's deep backstory and plot lines even further. Zenimax and Bethesda are collaborating to flesh out Tamriel's Second Era, so lore nuts should have plenty to digest, as Game Informer writes.
Of course, when the term MMO is mentioned one of the first titles to come to mind is World of Warcarft. Although some fans may feel that the two franchises should stick to their respective genres, there are also favorable possibilities to consider. While the two will share some of the same MMO characteristics, Elder Scrolls Online integrates player cooperation into gameplay. In WoW, gamers are usually on their own unless participating in designated group quests. But with ESO, helping out a fellow friend will benefit everyone. For example, helping a stranger slay a monster will result in both players getting full credit.
There are also similarities that can be drawn from Star Wars: The Old Republic, as Game Informer notes. One of the most appealing aspects of that game was the execution of large-group combat. Elder Scrolls Online is said to take likeness to the example set by Star Wars: The Old Republic with the ability to take on three enemies at a time. Opponents will also come together to combine different skills, proving a more challenging battle.
These are a few of the connections between Elder Scrolls Online and other heavy-hitting gaming franchises. Although there are still many unanswered questions, Zenimax is sure to unveil more information as the details emerge. No specific release date has been set yet, but the game is expected to launch in 2013.