Betawatch: The Elder Scrolls Blades is accessible early on mobile and no you won’t like the business model


Here’s the news that has had our staff chat in a tizzy this week: The Elder Scrolls Blades is now in early access on mobile devices. Earlier than expected, even, barring that delay from the fall! It’s not just early access; it’s the earliest access. You have always played this game. It exists outside of space and time.

Of course, it’s monetized like a free-to-play mobile game, so if you can’t stand paying to unlock dungeon chests, you’re not gonna love this.

With that on our mind, let’s talk about other beta news, shall we?

Yeah, at this point I’m just throwing up my hands. You can still check out our list of games in testing down below, though; in fact, you should if you know we missed something or if something skipped test phases without us noticing. We appreciate the notifications!

As always, we consider an MMO to be in open testing if it features free, public signups and will server wipe prior to launch. An MMO is marked in closed testing if it’s running a private test phase that cannot freely be accessed by the general public; it’s usually under NDA as well. Early access and crowdfunded MMOs whose tests we deem legitimate will be included. So-called “open beta” soft-launch MMOs with cash shops, no sign of launch in the west, or limited interest for our readers will not be listed; we also do not list expansions, with occasional exceptions.

AdventureQuest 3D: Open beta
Arcfall: Pre-alpha
Ashes of Creation: Alpha one phase one
Camelot Unchained: Closed beta one
Children of Ur: Open alpha, further development merged with Eleven
Chronicles of Elyria: Pre-alpha
Citadel: Forged with Fire: Early access
Crowfall: Backer pre-alpha
Cube World: Closed alpha
Dauntless: Open beta
Dark and Light: Early access
DayZ: Early access
Divergence Online: Alpha
Dual Universe: Alpha
ECO: Early access
Edengrad: Early access
Eleven: Closed alpha
Ever, Jane: Open beta
Kurtzpel: Closed beta
Gloria Victis: Early access on Steam
Global Adventures: Closed beta
Guardians of Ember: Open beta
Legends of Aria: Early access
Life is Feudal: Early access
Line of Defense: Early access, removed from Steam
New World: Closed alpha
Occupy White Walls: Early access
OrbusVR: Early access beta
Osiris: New Dawn: Early access
Outlaws of the Old West: Early access
Pantheon: Backer pre-alpha
Pathfinder Online: Subscription “early enrollment”
PixARK: Early access
Project Genom: Closed alpha, servers offline for restructuring with SpatialOS
Project Gorgon: Early access beta
Prosperous Universe: Early access
Rend: Early access
SamuTale: Closed alpha
Ship of Heroes: Pre-alpha
Star Citizen: Backer alpha
Starmourn: Open beta
The Black Death: Early access alpha
The Cycle: Alpha
The Repopulation: Early access alpha
Torchlight Frontiers: Closed alpha, no NDA
Valiance Online: Alpha
Worlds Adrift: Early access

Yes, MMO gamers, you too can perform the unpaid quality-control work otherwise known as game testing! Check out Massively Overpowered’s Betawatch every week for a run-down of MMOs that are still on the road to reality.


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shyam munni

loved this game, nice features when comparing to the other games, everyday after playing this game i wish to see live sports on ghd sports app .

Kickstarter Donor

Guess I dodged a bullet: my poor lil ole Moto X4 apparently doesn’t have the chops to play it, won’t even show up in the Play Store for me.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Mobile games by definition waste your time and money. Playing out of curiosity is one thing, but dedicating play to a game whose sole interest is to take as much as possible and give as little as possible is self-defeating.

Gamers should have more respect for themselves.


All games are that by definition.

Dug From The Earth

Its pretty much on rails too.

Narrow pathways, invisible walls, can only interact with the quest objectives. No real dialog choices. You are “locked” in combat which prevents you from using movement to avoid attacks and dodge spells.

Its like someone saying “go anywhere you want” and then throwing you into a wide hallway that is in the shape of an “S”. Really defeats the concept of elder scrolls, where you could pretty much go anywhere you wanted.

it does LOOK like elder scrolls though. Its gameplay is just very stunted and neutered.

I would have much preferred they make the game cost 15 dollars, and do away with the really screwed up “chest” system. Every design mechanic of the game screams “We cut back on things to save time since its a mobile game” except for the chests, which scream “We want to waste your times, often hours and hours of it”


As alluded to below, my hype for ES6 is very low.

Sally Bowls

Poor Stanley. He does not understand why companies are ignoring the platform he prefers merely because other markets have more people who spend more money.


I think, in general, most people with any kind of experience get why the decisions that are getting made are being made. Most of us understand that the gravity of how financially profitable mobile games can be has the potential to distort the way developers see other areas financially. We almost generally understand why things like exclusivity happens.

However just because we know why things are happening doesn’t mean we have to like them happening. When you get down to it, we have zero influence over these practices either so people do the only thing they can do: Go online and gnash their teeth and complain at the scenario they can’t do anything about.

Sally Bowls

I agree with a couple of distinctions.
1) Unsurprisingly, you give social media commenters more credit than I do. I don’t think the majority, at least in many filter bubbles, recognize the current reality.
2) Re “we have zero influence over these practices either so people do the only thing they can do: Go online and gnash their teeth and complain at the scenario they can’t do anything about.” IMO, people do have a choice: “Go online and gnash their teeth and complain” or “don’t go online and gnash their teeth and complain at the scenario they can’t do anything about.” I question the societal good from corporations – from talk radio on to FaceBook – making billions by encouraging the former instead of the latter.

Danny Smith

Shocking. Truly nobody expected this from good guy Bethesda, the company that tried to lock mods behind a paywall and put out trashfires like Fallout 76. Its the brand you can trust!

Your Honor

A few years ago I said ZeniMax is slowly becoming the next EA, I got booed off the stage.

Elder Scrolls Online – Seriously expensive microtransaction. With the most expensive loot boxes, I’ve ever seen in any game.

Fallout 76 – Seriously expensive microtransaction, $18 paint jobs for your armor? WTF?

Paid mods in single player games.

Broken, not just glitchy but outright broken games on launch.

Looked at Arkeyn studios site recently, saw they have a posting for a job “monetization specialist”.

They make single player games…


you do know you can buy anything in 76 just by playing the game and I have subbed to eso since the beginning……and use my stipend to buy the cosmetics I want.

Your Honor

That doesn’t justify the prices. Why is this argument used as if it does?


because if you cant or wont afford these optional items, you can just play and receive them. In 76 it doesn’t take long if you just have to have that paint and cant pay….. no whining needed .

Your Honor

I really don’t understand the current extreme fanboyism mentality at all.

Lootboxes are super anticonsumer.
High prices for low effort cosmetics is super anticonsumer.

You are the consumer.

And yet you are defending it even though you have no financial stake in it (I assume).

I will never understand how people support this nonsense or defend it. As if it would hurt you somehow if those things wouldn’t exist or wouldn’t be crazy expensive.

Sally Bowls

High prices for low effort cosmetics is super anticonsumer.

I agree with your sentiment except for this. Excessive prices for water or life-saving drugs have a moral component.

But I see nothing immoral about GW2 offering an ugly cape for $10,000. I can simply not buy it. And I get some value/pleasure in joining others in mocking it.


76 doesn’t have lootboxes and I did not mention them.
If I bought a car and was happy with my car and the argument was optional paint job…I am still a happy consumer with or without the paint job.
a few years ago I would get booed and bashed on for being anti-F2P, Gamers vote with their wallet and here we are…


Never bought a loot box in ESO yet. Bought plenty of stuff from the cash shop mind you, with the crowns I get for subbing.


And whom we should thank for this? ESO was a sub game with no cash shop. Did it work out well? No, and it went buy-to-play with microtransactions. Now it thrives and manages to fix stuff and add new content.
The same thing helped SWTOR to survive. Why? Because of people like this cash shop shit and rather would pay for skins than for a sub. When you have a choice to kill your game out of misery and don’t let it transform to another cash grab or let it survive that way what would you do?
I don’t like either of publishers but this shit happens because people allow it.

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Kickstarter Donor

Well it actually fits the direction Bethesda is heading. They were slowly heading towards the “scumbag developer”, now they are simply pushing the acceleration pedal.
I am guessing soon they will be up there with the great ones like EA.

Castagere Shaikura

I can see them just thinking about how they can do it with TES6.

Loyal Patron

Has that crazy business with it not being compatible with any devices been fixed yet?