Ever since Bethesda announced that TESL is being discontinued, players have been panicking and misinterpreting what that means. First of all, this is a niche game. There will never be as many players as there are in other mainstream games. Or even Hearthstone for that matter.
I’m not going to speculate (too much) about what went wrong and why, but I will say that the studio behind this project (latest version, previous game was done by another one) was very enthusiastic and excited about it.
It didn’t make enough money. Or maybe it makes just enough to keep the server(s) going. Or maybe it’s even costing Bethesda money. Either way, there will be no more development for TESL.
And that is why the game will die off if nothing changes in the foreseeable future.
How Good is TESL?
To me, it’s the best digital strategy card game on the market right now. But that’s 100% subjective of course. However, if you take a closer look at how the game plays, it’s UI, performance, graphics, animations and audio quality – there’s no question in my mind that it’s either at the top, or at least following closely behind whatever other game there’s out there in this genre that I haven’t seen yet.
I’m not a fan of digital card collectible games but this one I really love. It all started because of the lore primarily. If it wasn’t TES lore behind it, it probably wouldn’t have been as appealing to me as it was. Also, the first version of the game was miles behind the 2nd one but that didn’t keep me from playing it because we didn’t know any better back then.
So you see, the build quality of a product is not the only factor that determines how popular it will become. This game has everything and is a perfect example of that. It’s fun, it runs great, cross-platform, overall it’s super well done and easy to learn but comprehensive etc. And yet it’s not enough.
Will Bethesda Completely Remove TESL?
I don’t think that they will just straight up ‘delete’ the game because players (myself included) have been spending real money in it and to just throw all that away because you’re not making enough profit off of it would be very bad for Bethesda’s reputation.
Maybe legally none of us could do anything about it, but there are other things they would have to worry about that are much worse than that.
For now it stays.
Was There Anything Bethesda Could Have Done?
I don’t know really. In my mind if this game was released on every possible platform that could run it, there’s no way it wouldn’t have taken off. But that’s probably logistically impossible for Bethesda from a business perspective and most likely why it didn’t happen.
All the middle-men, the contracts, the fees, the platform in-game purchases – probably way more issues than they could realistically deal with. Maybe I’m wrong, but…
You have to remember that Bethesda is a very greedy company that releases broken half-baked games and to expect them to suck it up and just do it even if it means barely any profits – it’s not happening.
I usually never blame the developers. With a few exceptions when it comes to games like Elder Scrolls Online. But even there it’s not just their fault.
I blame the suits. We can dislike suits as much as we want, but suits love money and money makes the world go round. And this is why we can’t have good stuff even though it’s right there, staring at us, in front of our faces!
Anyway, the contracted external studio that worked on it made a mobile version as well. So there’s no reason why they couldn’t do a version for the consoles.
Consoles also have backwards compatibility so if they made the game to be playable on PS3 and Xbox 360, I’m sure they’d be able to make it playable on PS4, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X. Or at least the latest two generations if the older ones have some technical limitations.
I would be very happy to find out one day that development is resuming and the game is being ported everywhere and all platforms can play together. How cool would that be?
In addition to tons of new content, cards, mechanics etc. But let’s not forget about balancing and adjustments of older cards as well.
Now, let’s get back to reality. I also played ESO for a long time, since its betas, and this is all too good to be true so best forget about it and move on. Trust me on that.
Are You Saying Don’t Play?
Yes and no. If you want to play it casually, go for it. If you want a competitive digital card game, then no. At the time of writing this, there are still thousands of players who are playing it. But nothing will change and you’ll get bored quickly.
That’s why I quit. I’m not particularly bothered by infrequent content updates. I’m bothered by lack of balance for competitive play. You should have way more variety than there currently is. Playing 1-2-3 deck archetypes just because they’re overall best performing is okay for a couple of weeks, but not a couple of years.
Not every deck can be ‘competitive’, but there’s way too many cards that are old and outdated. Simply useless. I understand that they want to make people buy the newest stuff, but they’re also enabling them to get it for free so what’s the point.
Seriously, they do this stuff in ESO all the time too. They make new item sets for your character, nerf old ones, force people to get the best stuff by getting new expansions, chapters and whatever. It’s so retarded but it works. Most players just don’t care.
So if you’re not a competitive player and you’re just looking for a chill-out PVE/PVP digital card game to jump into every now and then, and you’re ready to work on building your collection up quickly – then go for it.
As long as it’s there and you don’t mind your progress potentially being taken away prematurely. Roll the dice. 🙂
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