Todd Howard says ‘Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world’ as Ubisoft and Bethsoft weigh in on games as a service

    
27

Are you all in on games as a service? Are single player-games over, replaced by much more profitable eternally online (and lockbox-ridden) titles? Bethsoft’s Todd Howard doesn’t think so. Speaking to GIbiz, Howard says that in spite of Fallout 76’s controversial online nature, the always-on games-as-a-service motif “doesn’t mark the future.”

“Corporately we’ve done a mix; people forget sometimes,” he says. “Elder Scrolls Online is one of the biggest online games in the world, we have Fallout Shelter which we keep updating, and Elder Scrolls: Legends. Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time. We like to try it all. For a long time we wanted to try a multiplayer game and we had this idea. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should try it.”

Ubisoft, on the other hand, has taken a different tack. The company’s EVP of Creative, Lionel Raynaud, spends some time in a corporate blog post to come at the problem from a narrative angle, saying his studio is trying to keep games going by doing its best not to “give finite experiences.”

“The idea was that you have this conflict, and the resolution, and then it’s finished – you’ve killed the bad guy, for instance. We build a strong nemesis, and the goal of the game is to kill him or free the country, we’ve done that a few times in our games. But when you succeed, you have to leave the game, because there is nothing else to do. So the goal was to break this, and say that you will be the hero of a region or population many times, not just once. And if you get rid of a dictator or an oppressor, something else is going to happen in the world, and you will have a new goal.”

Source: Ubisoft, GIbiz

27
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

One of the biggest online games? In terms of what? profitability? MAU count?

How about giving us some numbers? Top 10? 20? 50? 100?

Cadaver
Reader
Loyal Patron
Cadaver

No, I want finite narratives. I don’t want stories that continue into infinite absurdity. There was a time when I thought that single player games were obsolete, but my preferences have changed radically over the last couple of years. Single player titles now account for 95%+ of my gaming time.

oldandgrumpy
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

I am sure if Todd keeps working at it he will manage to put out most of the fire he lit. Burn will take a while to heal though :)

Reader
TheKalouro .

teso needs a better server to host Cyrondiil content, cause lag spikes are fucking bad

Bannex
Reader
Bannex

“One of the —est” I love these statements with no quantifiable data.

Is he saying it’s large like in gigabytes? Cuz eso is certainly a huge data game. Is he saying most profitable? Is the actual game world one of the biggest in terms of space? Is it one of the wealthiest? Or do we just say shit until it’s proven wrong in one arena and then switch to a different one. “No no we meant one of the biggest in terms ip popularity…” ok buddy.

Ahh the era of internet hyperbole where everything is “one of the best” and “breaks the internet”.

Vague overblown generalized statements claiming victory in an undefined and previously unknown battlefield. Hmmm sounds like somebody I know…

borghive
Reader
borghive

This game is mediocre at best.

Reader
Chosenxeno .

I think ESO might be one of the most populated MMOs on the Market. PC is pretty active. Plus it’s doing great on consoles. Also, the DLC seems to get released at a very high rate.

Reader
Devin B

ESO has turned into a very solid game with tons of content

Reader
Chosenxeno .

Just finished a near 7 hour sessions. It’s been a while since a MMORPG could keep me that long.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Games as a service is probably going to blow up sooner or later. It’s basically just the current new monetization scheme that takes mobile/F2P monetization methods and shoves them into singleplayer games or games that revolve around not-MMO online mulitplayer.

Eventually people are going to get tired of it and AAA games will either collapse with the next gen or they’ll have to start charging more money or finding some way to get further money out of folks. Either way it’s hard to see this being healthy/sustainable long term and it seems like the AAA gaming industry is in need of a breather to stop/rethink wtf they’re doing when costs keep rising.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Tobasco da Gama

I mean, the Ubisoft guy unintentionally spells out the downfall of the trend. If everybody is building these non-finite experiences, and putting out several of them a year… at what point are gamers just going to say, “You know what, I’m good with what I have, actually?” And then the whole thing collapses like the house of cards it so obviously is.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Yeah, pretty much. Especially because a lot of these games will try to sell you less for more.

rahkeesh
Reader
rahkeesh

The “whole thing” does not collapse. You end up with your WoWs and LoLs and Fortnites. A few titans in each genre raking in the goods on games many years old, everyone else left with table scraps. If you’re a titan its still a very good place to be.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
TomTurtle

Anyone who has ever said ‘this is the future and this part of gaming is dead’ has been proven wrong every single time.

In a general sense, I can see what he’s saying, but on a smaller level, that doesn’t guarantee we’ll see the same level of dedication and quality to their single-player titles. I think there’s a good cause for concern.

That said, I’m hoping they can pull off Fallout 76 well while also maintaining that dedication to their single-player titles.

Karma_Mule
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Karma_Mule

I’d be worried that most studios in general are less likely to really put effort into single player games, but Bethesda has made piles of cash from their single player games so I’m sure they’ll continue putting significant effort into them.

I’m more worried that Bioware is heading in that direction than Bethesda, given how quickly they were willing to drop the Mass Effect series like a hot potato and pour themselves into Anthem.

Reader
Arktouros

And if you get rid of a dictator or an oppressor, something else is going to happen in the world, and you will have a new goal.

“Hi, yes, thanks again for ridding us of that oppressive dictator! Now what I need you to do is go out there and kill me 10 rats each day until we make the next game. Thaaaaaaanks…”

Reader
A Dad Supreme

TODD HOWARD SAYS ‘ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ONLINE GAMES IN THE WORLD’ AS UBISOFT AND BETHSOFT WEIGH IN ON GAMES AS A SERVICE

.…”but you’ll have to take our word for it since we no longer show you those pesky subscription numbers for proof like WoW does.

But trust us, it’s one of the biggest online games in the WORLD!”

Theryl
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Theryl

WoW hasn’t released subscription numbers for years, since 2012 IIRC. Most people seem pretty comfortable with ESO being firmly in the second tier of MMOs with GW2, FFXIV, and (maybe) BDO so I don’t think Howard’s statement is particularly controversial.

Reader
A Dad Supreme

But MMOS (other than WoW) aren’t even the “biggest online games” at all.
LoL, DotA, Fortnite, Smite, World of Tanks, Hearthstone, … those are the biggest online games in the world, not MMOs except for WoW so it is controversial imo.
I’m pretty sure he’s lumping ESO in with those by how his statement was worded. When compared against those and others, it’s not even a blip.
I see they stopped announcing subs in 2015 though at 5.5 mil.
https://www.usgamer.net/articles/activision-stops-reporting-wow-subscriber-numbers-at-55-million

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

It’s the biggest one that I want to play, and that’s the important thing.