I am going to be very blunt. I am a constant pursuer of truth. In fact, that is one of the reasons I studied mathematics in college and why my day job is analyzing data. I deal with numbers on a daily basis and am constantly trying to tease out their factual meaning.
This past weekend, I was perusing the internet, visiting various forums and such, simply catching up on gaming news as I normally do. However, time after time, I kept seeing misinformation about Elder Scrolls Online crop up. What’s worse? One misconception in particular was repeated several times. What is this idea, you ask? What has frustrated me and has occupied my mind these past few days that I felt compelled to address the issue?
The Elder Scrolls Online will replace the single-player titles.
Clearly, this idea is quite an enticing talking point. Indeed, this author is discussing the matter right here. But keep in mind, the need for this piece is borne out of necessity and not by a need to march to the beat of a drum just because others are doing the same.
Taking a closer look at this claim reveals a few key observations, ones that are so easily and readily dismissed by aforementioned entities.
This claim is borne from fear.
It is no secret that I am the sole presenter on Elder Scrolls off the Record who has never played an MMO. I have my reasons, but I believe it is precisely this fact that allows me to comment on this observation.
Not unlike many of you, I too have fears about The Elder Scrolls Online. I have conveyed these fears many times over the show, and will continue to do so despite my unpopular opinion. These fears stem from the irrefutable fact that a game such as this has not successfully been implemented before. This melding of a quintessential genre-defining franchise with a massively multiplayer concept gives all the right to be fearful
All of this fear naturally leads to an unsure audience. It is critical to understand just who this audience is, for it isn’t simply homogeneous in its makeup. This audience consists of members from mainstream industry media outlets, Elder Scrolls veterans, MMO veterans, and fan productions such as yours truly. Each group of this audience and indeed each member of each group have their own opinions based on past experience.
From what I have seen thus far, I still believe that the “Elder Scrolls” component of ESO still needs to prove itself. However, from this fear stems a very real sense of hope, hope that this game can achieve its ambitious claims. It has a very arduous task indeed, and trust me when I say this, Zenimax Online Studios are doing their damnedest to deliver on their promise.
This claim is borne from ignorance.
Imagine someone saying “the fork will replace the spoon”. Clearly, this is quite a preposterous claim, especially considering the countless situations where a spoon is desired and in fact, required, such as eating soup (believe me, I’ve tested this theory).
In fact, you are probably reading the above paragraph chuckling quietly to yourself in mild annoyance. Why? You know that forks and spoons have their uses. Although one may be better than the other for certain tasks, they are both required and have their own uses. Suggesting that forks will replace spoons is simply ignorant.
It is this very attitude that perpetuates the notion that the Elder Scrolls Online will replace the single-player titles. In fact, if this claim were brought to ZOS, I imagine they’d feel quite offended and belittled. I don’t recall Zenimax ever claiming to want to replace the single-player Elder Scrolls games, nor do I believe that this is their goal.
It is also this gross simplification that really affects me the most. Again, having read recent internet threads about this game, my frustration only grows. A few claim that this game is a sort of sequel to Skyrim (which is just isn’t), while other individuals claim that it will replace the classic titles (which it can’t do).
Ignorance on this level is inexcusable. Not only is this disrespectful of The Elder Scrolls canon, it is poor reporting. Thousands of readers will consume this information and perceive it as fact. It could not be further from the truth.
What do we actually know?
We must take care to recognize the facts that have been presented to us. Intelligent speculation may be thought-provoking, but can’t replace cold hard facts.
- Elder Scrolls Online is NOT being developed by Bethesda Studios
- Elder Scrolls Online is NOT a sequel to Skyrim
- Elder Scrolls Online takes place 1000 years PRIOR to Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls canon does NOT support Elder Scrolls Online as a sequel to Skyrim
- Despite sharing similarities with the single-player titles, Elder Scrolls Online is NOT a clone of these titles
- Elder Scrolls Online will NOT replace the single-player titles
- Zenimax Online Studios have NEVER said that Elder Scrolls Online will replace the single-player titles
- The single-player Elder Scrolls games are NOT dead