Three years ago, we said that Bethesda's Hearthstone-a-like The Elder Scrolls: Legends "is a refreshing take on CCGs, but its future remains cloudy." Today that future became clearer, and not in a good way: Bethesda announced on Reddit today that new content development is "on hold for the foreseeable future." The Asia-specific version of the game being operated separately by Gaea Mobile will not be affected by the change, but the expansion planned for this winter will not be released.
"You can still download and play Legends on all existing platforms and compete online as well as in the single-player modes. We will also continue to support the game with monthly reward cards and regular in-game events," community manager Christian Van Hoose wrote. "New expansions and other future content, however, are no longer under active development. We will continue to provide ongoing maintenance support."
The Elder Scrolls: Legends made a solid initial impression, and Bethesda put real effort into supporting it with multiple expansions based on the deep Elder Scrolls mythology. It continued to improve, and while a change in studios from Dire Wolf to Sparkypants did not go over well, in March of this year we said it had "recovered from disaster."
But TESL wasn't able to loosen Hearthstone's grip on the mainstream CCG market, while players after a more hardcore card-slinging experience seem to be leaning toward Magic: The Gathering Arena. That doesn't leave much room for other competitors to move, even when they're based on popular properties like The Elder Scrolls. (Unrelated, but CD Projekt pulled the plug on console versions of Gwent earlier this week—a coincidence, but also a sign of just how tough it is to establish a solid foothold in the genre.)
As a thank-you to the community, all players will be given The Tamriel Collection, "an assortment of new, three-attribute cards and more," the next time they log into the game. "We are immensely grateful to work on The Elder Scrolls: Legends, to have you as a community," Van Hoose wrote, "and we sincerely appreciate the love and support you’ve given us."