Is “Elder Scrolls: Blades” The “Skyrim” Sequel Fans Have Been Waiting For?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Bethesda)

I’d say that Bethesda has pretty much won E3. The creators of the popular “Elder Scrolls” series of games has had plenty to show off.

New games include “Fallout 76”, new IP “Starfield”, and “The Elder Scrolls: Blades”.

The latter of these three games, “Blades”, is particularly exciting. The game has been described as a full first-person RPG experience, which will debut on mobile.

Wait a second. Mobile? That doesn’t sound right.

Apparently this isn’t the long-awaited “Elder Scrolls IV”. It’s a freeware game.

This might be enough to kill many people’s interest in the new title. We’ve seen plenty of similar titles, like the recent “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery”, which force players to throw cash at their screen in order to avoid having to wait hours and hour (and hours) to be able to continue with the story mode within the game.

Room For Optimism

Don’t be too quick to dismiss “Blades”. I have a sneaking suspicion that this might well turn out to be an enjoyable stop-gap for those who are still waiting for a true successor to “Skyrim”.

Apparently, “Blades” was one of the earliest titles that Bethesda started work on for mobile. In fact, the game was in development starting at around the same time as “Fallout: Shelter”. This mobile game has turned out to be a fairly rewarding experience even for those players who don’t shell out buckets of cash in the form of microtransactions.

That Bethesda has been working on “Blades” for this long likely speaks to the quality of the final product. Or, at the very least, the level of effort that’s gone into perfecting the game.

This isn’t a quick cash-grab, thrown together in a matter of weeks to try and scam money off gullible players. Bethesda is very well aware of the power of their “Elder Scrolls” brand, and they’re going to want to turn out an enjoyable experience.

The Power of Good Press

Quite aside from anything else, “Blades” is a way to keep the “Elder Scrolls” series in people’s minds while we await the eventual arrival of the sixth main game in the series.

This is too good of a marketing opportunity for the company to squander by making a shallow mobile experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ends up being Bethesda’s answer to “Pokemon Go”. A fun, easy to pick up experience that reinforces the company’s main brand and brings in a generation of new gamers who might otherwise have been too young to appreciate previous titles in the series.

Elder Scrolls Blades Skeleton
Source: Bethesda

Besides, if all Bethesda wanted to do was rush out a mobile “Elder Scrolls” game, they could simply have ported “Skyrim” again.

Frankly, I’m a little surprised they didn’t simply take this easy path to success.

Oh well, maybe next year.