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Bethesda says it only wants Elder Scrolls: Legends on systems with cross-play

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a card game which is surprisingly popular on PC and mobile devices. Not only that, but upon release it garnered positive reviews. Just like Hearthstone, it involve turn-based matches where you have to one-up your opponent by playing the right “creatures” at the right time. The title costs no money because it’s available as a free-to-play experience across a variety of platforms.

Consoles were left out of the loop, but that’s changing soon. According to Bethesda at E3 2018, The Elder Scrolls: Legends is coming to Xbox One and other platforms in 2018. However, there seems to be a new twist in the story due to a comment made by Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of global marketing and communications, at QuakeCon 2018. During an interview between Game Informer and Hines, the Bethesda executive said that The Elder Scrolls: Legends would only come to platforms that support cross-play.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a strategy card game that encompasses both single and multiplayer. It is both cross-platform play and cross-platform progress. It is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to be those things on any system. We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing. The way the game works right now on Apple, Google, Steam, and Bethesda.net, it doesn’t matter where you buy your stuff, if you play it on another platform that stuff is there. It doesn’t matter what platform you play on, you play against everyone else who is playing at that moment… We continue to talk to all of our platform partners, but those are essentially nonnegotiable. We can’t be talking about one version… where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or it’s walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about… that’s our stance. That is our intent. And that is our message. Not specific to anyone in particular, but to everyone we are talking about.

This doesn’t seem like it’s a problem for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch because the two allow cross-play and cross-progression with titles like Minecraft. If you purchase a texture pack on Xbox One, you can use it on Nintendo Switch and vice versa. Sony decided to forgo the latest version of Minecraft because the company didn’t want to allow cross-play. The “Bedrock” edition is available everywhere except on the PlayStation 4.

Hopefully this pressure from Bethesda will lead to a change in the console maker’s policy. However, due to the fact that The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a popular free-to-play card game, it might not have the same impact as a threat of blocking Fallout 76. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know more about the situation and what Bethesda ultimately decides on. However, it’s still great to see a major publisher taking a stand in support of cross-play.

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