It’s as we feared. There was a disturbing lack of information about the console versions of ESO that were supposed to release in June of this year. Many were wondering if there was an issue that was keeping ZOS from releasing the information or if they simply wanted to hold back the hype until the month of release. Well apparently it’s the former.
Zenimax Online Studios announced via an article on their website today that they have to push back their console release a whole 6 months due to issues arising stating, “Integrating our systems with each console manufacturer’s networks has been a challenging process.” So from what was stated in the article, it seems that ZOS’s servers are having a hard time communicating with the networks of both Sony and Microsoft. Setbacks like these are just the nature of game development and is especially the case when it comes to a multi-platform title and an MMO no less.
Luckily it’s not all bad news. Those that don’t want to wait another 6 months and have the means to play can purchase the PC/Mac version of ESO and start leveling their character. Once the console version of ESO releases, players will then have the option to pay $20 to transfer their characters from the PC/Mac server to the console server of their choice. Included in that $20 is the console version of the game (with another 30 days of playtime) so you don’t have to repurchase the game at full price. To qualify for this offer however, you must purchase the game before before the end of June (the previously expected release date for the console versions).
I tweeted this information out earlier today and it was received with mixed emotions. Some felt it wasn’t fair to have max-level toons start flooding the console server at release. Others thought that it was convenient for ZOS to announce this information after they’ve already accepted pre-orders for the game on consoles. Then others are seeing this as a blessing though most of those are people that intended to play on PC first anyways but can now move their near-complete toon over to a comfortable couch and continue playing on console.
The first complaint does have some merit, especially when it comes to PvP. Currently, the game is being dominated by Veteran Ranked players. I know this because I have a VR10 toon myself and can easily kill any player lower than myself without much thought. There are balancing tweaks coming which include nerfing vampire and Dragonknight abilities as well as toggling battle leveling which is plaguing some higher level toons. So hopefully, these fixes will have occurred and things will be more balanced before the release of the console versions. This way the lowbies have a chance in PvP against the VR10’s, but let’s be honest, you’re going to lose anyway. The truth is, this complaint will only have merit for a few months until the majority of gamers catch up to the pack and things start to blend together.
This second complaint is completely unwarranted. Pre-orders for the console versions of ESO aren’t even handled by ZOS. They are handled by 3rd parties like Gamestop, Amazon and the like. And these companies generally don’t even take your money until the game is in your hands anyway so why complain? The game has been out for over a month now. A month ago, ZOS might have thought the June release still possible so they hadn’t said anything yet. I thought I was cynical, but to think ZOS is blatantly holding back information to earn a buck is just wrong on many levels.
Some people are complaining about the game already being overpriced with the box price and then the subscription fee and now another $20 to transfer your character over. Think this over a bit and then compare this to World of Warcraft which has the same exact pricing. First off, you don’t have to purchase the game on PC first and then transfer. This is simply an option for those that don’t want to wait another 6 months to start playing. But if you do choose to take ZOS up on their offer and purchase the game on PC/Mac now, well is another $20 that expensive? Last time I checked, Blizzard charges $25 per character to transfer from one server to another and keep in mind that this is the same platform, not cross-platform. ZOS is charging $20 to transfer all of your characters from one platform to another and let’s not forget that you also get the console version of the game included in the $20. So not only is it cheaper to transfer a character compared to WoW but you also get another copy of the game included. Seems more than fair to me.
Yes, it does suck that the console versions are being pushed back a whole 6 months but it seems ZOS is doing what they can to get a complete and functional game out to they’re fan base. And think of it this way, the PC/Mac users are beta testing your game for another 6 months. They are working out all of the bugs in the game’s systems so that you won’t have to on the console. Plus, you will have more content at release than us PC/Mac users had so you won’t be stalled at VR10 with not much to do like I currently am.
So take the information how you want. Just be sure you look at it from all points of view before spouting off your rants and whatnot. ZOS has proven to be a great company. Regardless of how you grade the game itself, the company goes to great lengths to listen to its fan base and does what they can to accommodate people affected by this bad situation.