Some big changes are coming to Bethesda's digital CCG The Elder Scrolls: Legends, beginning with the team that makes it. The publisher told IGN that developer Dire Wolf Digital is being moved off the game, which will be taken over by Sparkypants Studios, the developer of the 15-minute RTS Dropzone.
The handover won't mean a complete reboot of the game, but it will bring about a new client, with updates to the interface, menus, and graphics. "I think the overall game design and mechanics are solid, and that’s not changing," Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines said. "When players get their hands on the new version it will still play like the game they know and love. Their collections will be intact, the in-game store will offer the same items, the keywords and mechanics will all still be there."
Hines said the change was not the result of unhappiness with what Dire Wolf was doing, calling The Elder Scrolls: Legends "an excellent game." Instead, it is "an opportunity to alter the direction" of the game and help it achieve its "untapped potential." The Elder Scrolls: Legends has "mostly positive" user reviews on Steam, and we liked it quite a bit when we reviewed it in March 2017; more recently, we said that the release of the Houses of Morrowind expansion, which went live in April of this year, keeps the game "fresh and exciting."
Nonetheless, and in spite of Hines' cheerleading, Bethesda obviously isn't happy with the current state of the game and the number it's putting up. Today's peak Elder Scrolls: Legends player count on Steam is 1619, compared to 7623 for the competing CCG Shadowverse. Hearthstone's daily active user numbers aren't readily available but it's fair to say that it vastly outstrips TESL; Blizzard said last year that more than 70 million Hearthstone accounts had been registered, while SteamSpy (before it stopped working) reported that less than one million Elder Scrolls: Legends players on Steam.
Dire Wolf Digital is currently working on an original free-to-play digital card game called Eternal which, the studio announced today, is expected to go into full release on Steam sometime in the next several weeks. Hines said that didn't factor into the decision to take it off of The Elder Scrolls: Legends either, but allowed that "having a singular focus from our new team will only help the game."
TESL community manager Christian Van Hoose weighed in on the change on Reddit, saying, "The UI, on-boarding, audio/visuals, and new features are all things we believe we can improve upon greatly." He shared similar thoughts on Twitter:
In my humble opinion, this announcement is great. I heard about these developments when I interviewed here and it’s been the thing I’ve most been excited to show. Can’t wait to see what’s possible for Legends in the future, and we’re getting tons of feedback atm at the summit.May 31, 2018