The Xbox One's first MMO Elder Scrolls Online gets delayed

Yesterday we covered the news of Wolfenstein: The New Order’s impending console release later this month. Today we’re back with more Bethesda news, albeit of a sadder nature. The Elder Scrolls Online, which was originally scheduled to launch on Xbox One this June, has had its release date pushed back to later in the year.

Luckily, Bethesda does have some plans to appease disappointed console gamers. Buy and play the PC version of The Elder Scrolls Online (which launched in April) before the end of June and you’ll be able to transfer your character to the console version when it debuts in late 2014. More details on the delay and transfer program after the break!

Delay of game

Elder Scrolls Online

Launching a Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO) is just as massive an undertaking as the genre descriptor implies. Zenimax Online Studios (part of the same studio family as Bethesda) has worked on the project for more than five years already. Last year at E3 we played a near-final version of the PC game and came away impressed. All we could hope is that the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions would reach the same level of quality while maintaining the feel we loved in offline predecessors Oblivion and Skyrim.

The April 2014 launch of the lead PC version of Elder Scrolls Online came and went largely free of the issues that have derailed many MMO launches. All the while, the developers have been hard at work getting the game up and running smoothly on new-gen consoles. As it turns out, that process has simply taken more time than Bethesda originally realized:

“We continue to work on the console versions of ESO, and game development has been progressing steadily, but we are still working to solve a series of unique problems specific to those platforms. Integrating our systems with each console manufacturer’s networks -- which are both different from the PC/Mac system as well as different from each other—has been a challenging process.It has become clear that our planned June release of the console versions isn’t going to be possible.  Though we have made great progress, we have concluded that we’ll need about six months to ensure we deliver the experience our fans expect and deserve.”

The decision to delay the Xbox One and Playstation 4 games until they're done is probably a better call than releasing the game in an overly buggy and unfinished state, as EA did with Battlefield 4 last year. Nobody wants to pay The Elder Scrolls Online’s $15 monthly fee if the game doesn’t even work right!

Transfer program

Elder Scrolls Online

People who prefer consoles but really want to play Elder Scrolls Online right away are in luck. If you buy the PC or Mac game before the end of June (when the console game would originally have been released), your character will transfer over to the Xbox One or Playstation 4 when those versions eventually come out.

Even better, people who buy the game in time won’t have to pay full price when the console versions come along. Eligible PC and Mac gamers will have the option to buy the full digital version of Elder Scrolls Online for either console for $20, transferring their characters and receiving another 30 days of game time.

You don’t even need a full-powered gaming PC to play The Elder Scrolls Online. The Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 can each handle the game on “Low” and “Medium” settings at a playable frame rate of ~30 frames per second. Just make sure to use a mouse and keyboard since Elder Scrolls Online is not a native Windows 8 game.

Why transferring is cool

Elder Scrolls Online

Why would someone who owns a PC want to play Elder Scrolls Online on console, anyway? After all, many PCs are much beefier than the Xbox One and will run the game at a higher resolution and with more graphical bells and whistles. Two simple answers: comfort, and friends!

Although it’s completely possible to connect a PC to an HDTV and play wirelessly from a couch or comfy chair, many people prefer not to do so. PC games are usually optimized for close viewing anyway, with fonts that would be downright unreadable from 8 or 10 feet away. Besides, many of us want to play with our Xbox Live friends. The PC and Xbox One versions don’t share the same servers, so PC gamers won’t be questing with Xbox One gamers unless they choose to transfer their characters and leave PC behind. Just try not to make too many new friends on PC...

The Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions of Elder Scrolls Online have a “late 2014” release date, presumably meaning December of this year. We’ll let you know when the release plans solidify further. Are any of you guys planning to grab the PC game and then switch over to Xbox One?

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Six month delay? Good grief.
  • You know what, will go for my money if I preorderd....Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
  • Prob good
  • First the amazing Spiderman 2 got delayed now elders scroll online. Poor Xbox one users.
  • Well, the downloadable version of ASM2 came out on time at least.
  • The Amazing Spiderman 2 wasn't delay, they had issue with the disk, but that game launched for digital download with every other platform.  
  • Ok sorry my bad about Spiderman.
  • And ESO is delayed for all consoles. Not just X1.
  • Hey at the bottom of the article it says 2015 instead of 2014 XD
  • Man all these delays are pretty lame.
  • Even though I won't play it (will be too busy with Wildstar) I do feel for the people who are waiting on it. It might be for the best that it gets delayed a bit though because from all accounts there were pretty nasty bugs on the PC version and they might have to squash others for the Xbox.
  • Late 2015 is does not mean December this year. It means December of next year
  • While it blows to see this happen with any game. I'd prefer a game gets the polish it needs, than deal with another BF4 scenario with the large amount of bugs and issues it had on every platform.
  • Late 2015 means December this year???
    I didn't know we are in 2015 already. Time flies!
  • Paul,buy me an an xbox one please? :3 :p Whenever I see your reviews,I want to buy an xbox but then I see my wallet :p
  • Aww, I wish everybody could afford it! Hopefully they drop the price this year. Might not happen till next year though.
  • I'm hoping there will be one this year. Currently the Xbox One is the most expensive console, the Wii U is expected to get yet another price cut in the coming months and the XO is in last place for sales as of now (although it will obviously pass up the Wii U soon). Microsoft will need a price cut to stay competitive.
  • Yeah,maybe I'll buy it next year,this year I want to buy a handheld console and it's a tough match between the 3DS and PS Vita ;)
  • Yea I'm with you I want a PS vita and later I'll decide between the Ps4 and Xbox one to play elder scrolls online
  • They will if they launch that Kinect-less X1 bundle.
  • Wouldn't hold your breath for that.
  • Dude, finance it. Seriously. Call you bank, that amount of money is no risk to a bank - it wont' need gaurantors or underwriting. Pay it off at 10 per month for the next 5 years, it will last you 10 years! Do it. Everyone can afford it if they spread the payments. I gaurantee there is something in your life you can give up in place of the 10 dollars per month.  1 packet of cigarettes. 2 bottles of wine per month. Turn your heating down and wear a jumper. Go on a diet. Don't eat out or food. There is no excuse in the Western World to _not_ have an Xbox One :) And if you wife / girlfriend / Mom/Mum needs convincing, get them on the phone to call me. I will explain the benefits of a happy you (and whilst you are gaming, you aren't at a bar hooking up with other chicks - simple)
    Yours Console Councillor  
  • It's kind of sad if you view a gaming console as a necessity everyone in the western world needs to find the money for. But I'm sure you're just being sarcastic.
  • I'm sure he isnt serious :p It was funny though. xD
  • But the guy you're referring to doesn't live in the US. We all have different financial situations...
  • Yup,got that right :p I have listed all the flaws in his master plan below :p
  • LOL but lots of flaws in your plan,Mr.Console Coucillor :p 1-I'm 17.I doubt banks give installments to 17 years old xD 2-Lol,I dont smoke cigarettes,I dont drink wine(I'm a Muslim,Paul already knows,this is just an ID I use on social platforms :p ) 3-I dont live in the western world. :p 4-Lol, dont have a gf/wife and I'm pretty sure you wont be able to convince my mom since I'm a decent guy who doesnt go to bars/anything similar to that. :p Got any other ideas,Mr.Gaming Councillor? ;)
  • Eh... #4 what do u mean by that? Im not decent cause i drink booze? Keep your discrimination to yourself please
  • Sorry dude didn't mean any disrespect,I was talking in context of Mr console councillor's "hooking up with chicks in bars" line.Didnt mean any disrepect D:
  • Gees I am a Councillor, not a miracle worker ;) This is a real head scratcher.  I'm thinking, generous benefactor. Oh wait, how about sell a kidney? Joking aside, I hate to think of my gaming brethren going without console love. If you weren't so far away, I would donate this pile of Xbox 360 games to your cause that I don't play anymore. Stay strong brother.  
  • Ha!  You give me an idea! Take your pile of unused XBox games into your local GameStop this week; they're doing an extra 50% trade-in credit this week, and if you're a Power-Up Pro member, add another 10% to that.  Have them put all that on a Trade Carde.  Mail said Trade Card to John.  Problem solved!  :) Even if he doesn't live near a GameStop, he can still order it online, and have the console shipped to him from the warehouse.
  • If this delay was to arrange the PS4 and Xbo to play together with PC, I would be all for it. As it is though I may just cancel my preorder however.
  • I've got a PC MMO game that I play that shares servers with the PlayStation players. They'd need to get round the voice chat issue (which I think PlayStation and Xbox lock you down to their party chat options only on their console) and have one ubiquitous voice chat system for all consoles which I'm not sure is possible. If they don't have ubiquitous voice chat then keep the servers separate. It causes too many problems otherwise and I've seen the problems caused because of that in Final Fantasy 14.
  • My bad as long as its not just Xbox one I'm fine with it ill just put that money towards destiny
  • How would this help Sony when the Playstation 4 version was also delayed and won't release before the Xbox One game?
  • I didn't read all the way I saw Xbox one and had to read consoles,
  • Well, you know what they say about commenting before reading an article...
  • :)
  • I don't like these delays at all. Lets hope Destiny comes out on time. I was going to play ESO until destiny release but now.....fudge my life..
  • I'd suggest saving your money.  This game is resoundingly awful.  A quick online search of reviews will easily back up this claim.  I spent my $80 on the Imperial version, as did most everyone else.  Your $80 gets you gold campers, boredom, copy/paste dungeons, vast stretches of emptiness, and more boredom.  The whole concept of buy now, and transfer later borders on fraud; they know the current game experience is a flacid joke.
  • My thoughts exactly. Beta was riddled with bugs that never got fixed before release. Then the debacle with the preauthorization in order to even get your included month now they are turning a $60 game into an $80 game because it isn't ready. Zenimax online is really showing that they have little clue what they are doing. Nice concept with buy now transfer later but it feels like a grab for more cash.
  • It's not an $80 game. Nobody is forcing console guys to buy the PC game if they don't want to. :P
  • Did you read the article? You pay $20 which gives an additional 30 days game time as well. So you are actually paying $5 to transfer from PC to console later. Would be nice if it was free instead of $5, but it is hardly making this an $80 game.
  • Pay $60
    Then pay another $20 so you can leave your guild behind to start on the Xbox One version with a fully decked out character while the rest of your friends are at level 1. Sounds like a plan -__-
  • haha, it's funny and sad how people spend that money for a game only by its name "Elder of Scrolls" expecting it would be good. there are better mmo's out there for PC, and while they get gold spammers and all that, at least they are free and you buy stuff from the store if you want...
    it seems console version might be "better", since consoles don't get many good mmorpgs, but for PC this game is and sounds and a looks like nothing special, just a "good" name (I always liked more fallout) with a generic style and then asking for money, but of course nobody is forcing people to buy it, and some people just bought it for the name, not even knowing how good or bad this could be.
  • I'd never played the Elder Scrolls franchise before.  Some co-workers wanted to play as a group, so I bought in.  Their experience with the single player game was pretty good, and the beta experience was decent.  Everyone thought things would ramp up past the beta experience with more content, and better play once the final version went public.  That certainly never happened.  Sadly, ESO has all the fun and interest of staring at a Thomas Kinkade screen saver.  I find it a bit disturbing that this website is pushing a game experience widely decried as a failure, and a console product which is now essentially vaporware.
  • We're not pushing it - we're reporting on it. And we do so because not only does a lot of our readership likes Elder Scrolls, but it's also significant as the first MMO for Xbox One.
  • I'll be honest, I'm playing Final Fantasy 14 myself. It's actually pretty good. Even though it has the same monetization technique as Elder Scrolls Online. I bought it as a friend recommended it to me (I'd never had any interest in final fantasy prior to that point) and I'm not regretting it. Shamefully, it's PC/PlayStation only :( but we do play on the same servers.
  • You know what, I've been an Xbox guy since day one and I've seen the progress the console and eco-system has made, but so far the Xbox One has been really underwhelming for me. From the weird glitches , to the just downright BS install times, to the really poor performance of the console on the whole, the people running this ship need to pick it up.
  • Don't lump the Elder Scrolls Online delay in with those frustrations. The Playstation 4 version is also delayed. The install times are indeed kind of long, but how often do you have to install games anyway?
  • Um, every time you buy and update a game.
  • Right. So it's not an everyday inconvenience. Both consoles have install times anyway, although the PS4's are much shorter for some reason.
  • When I install a game from disc, it takes like 30+ minutes. When I install a disc game on the PS4, it takes like a minute. Like actually 60 seconds. I have both, so I am not making this up. Digital games are even worse for the X1. Don't want to get into that. Hopefully it's a software issue...
  • Impossible that the Playstation 4 disk takes that long unless the disc's file size is really small. What's happening is PS4 games are optimized to allow users to start playing before the install is actually completed. Xbox One games sometimes allow that too, BUT the optimization for pre-complete install play seems to be much much worse.
  • Mine runs like a champ playing titanfall, while playing my synced Xbox music playlist and controlling it via smartglass between rounds and not a hiccup, ps4 can't even run YouTube I snap machinima app while playing games
  • Delays can't save this game.  I was so bored of the beta I made the call to not purchase this game.  Charging subscriptions for it is insane unless the game was free to download and just required subscription time.  This is not the Elder Scrolls MMO you are looking for.
  • Surely they didn't just realize now that their game would not be ready in a month, but instead would take 6 times as long to finish. Ah well, I've been enjoying the PC version despite terrible server lag at times.
  • Skyrim and the others were great, we're about due for a swing and a miss
  • My experience- and that of my wife, best friend, and several other friends playing ESO is that it is a great game. Gold campers are being dealt with, and in fact have dramatically decreased, which shows that they are being dealt with. The game may not be for everyone, but it sure has been a blast for us. My wife usually has a 2-3 week attention span on a game before losing steam and a month in to ESO she is still trying to find every free second to play. I am not sure how buy now, transfer later borders on fraud. It is a pretty straightforward offer that tries to keep the console gamers from losing interest. Gamers tend to be whiners, so I am not surprised that people are crying about this. But the truth is, this play on pc and then transfer option is a very nice way to handle it. I understand that not everyone with a console can play on their pc. But still, what they are offering is virtually a free swap out (actually a $5 swap out) because you pay $20 for the console version but get another 30 days, which would have been $15. I feel bad for those that have to wait, but it seems like they are trying to do their best to appease those fans whom they have let down.
  • I blame those damned mages!
  • Meh, it's a painfully mediocre game anyway
  • Hold on... isn't Zenimax Online part of Zenimax?  I know Bethesda, id, Arkane, and a few other studios all fall under that umbrell.a  Or is this a branch under Bethesda which just happens to be under Zenimax?
  • You're probably right.
  • I liked Skyrim, Oblivion and of course Fallout 3.    I am hearing marginal reviews on Elder Scrolls Online and will likely pass (especially given the $15.00 per month).   What I am really waiting on and hoping to see at E3, is Fallout 4.    I want to be playing Fallout 4 by the end of this year....
  • MMOs wont work on consoles because console players dont have the attention span for them. This will die in 2 years, you heard it here first.
  • Don't troll, Eddie.
  • I don't think you know what a troll is. Just because someone doesnt have the same opinions as you doesnt mean theyre a troll. Just like the average online game on 360 dies in two years, I forsee the same happening to MMOs on the One. Think about it for a moment.
  • No, but it seems like your intention was to deliberately insult or annoy console gamers. Which does fall under the definition of trolling. Final Fantasy XI is still going strong on 360, and DC Universe is doing just fine on Playstation 3 and 4. MMOs are quite a lot different than the competitive multiplayer games that you're thinking of. And in fact, multiplayer communities die off across PC as well as consoles. Again, it all depends on the game and its online focus and features.
  • If the shoe fits.. and how many of those players are new, and of those new players, how many of their accounts actually amount to anything. I have a 360. I know there is still players in games like DC Universe. Ive seen it first hand. But that playerbase is nowhere near "going strong"
    They take much longer to die off on the PC. Halo 3 on 360 is to TF Classic on PC. Same goes for Reach. Even Left 4 Dead has a newer playerbase. And thats that supposedly theres more players on console platforms.
  • People still play Left 4 Dead on consoles too - not quite sure what you were saying there. But really, you're just being kind of rude and dismissive to people who play games on consoles. Which is a fair chunk of our readership, including me. So stop please.
  • I never said it didnt. I said it has a newer fanbase. Meaning it still hauls in more new players on the PC than it does on the 360. And they stay for much much longer. Like I said, I KNOW these games still have a playerbase. But its nowhere near strong as it is on the PC. obviously since i have them on both platforms that would imply I have consoles as well. Especially if I've seen measley playerbases firsthand.
  • Some console gamers do have short attention spans but what about the rest of us who have been dying for a game like this on a console
  • its a lost cause. especially with MS' poor track record of giving developers very little power over updates and adding new content.
  • I'm ok with delays rather than having a horrible gaming experience like some other open world games
  • Wait, so you have to pay an additional $15 monthly fee in addition to Xbox Live Gold? That seems like a precedent I don't want to support.
  • It's $15 a month on any platform. Shame that non-Gold users can't play this one (as they could Final Fantasy XI), but that was Microsoft's decision.
  • Lame! Oh well looks like Destiny is getting my undivided attention :)
  • Ya can't successfully launch an MMO on a console. You gimp 80% of the reason its an MMO. Lol..
  • Unfortunately this doesn't surprise me. The game as is on PC is still riddled with bugs, as I have spent close to 80hours on it. Plus, has any MMO ever been on console, no not really. At least they give some sort of a deal if you play on PC in the meantime.
  • Final Fantasy XI is on Xbox 360. Playstation 3 and 4 both have DC Universe, and there's another PS3 MMO whose name I can't recall. Plus Final Fantasy 14 is coming to Playstation 4.
  • Mmo's are so 10 years ago. Do people still waste time on this ?! Thought they were dead, or been given away for free.
  • This is SO STUPID!! Forget the delay part. That part is probably more than necessary to complete the game and let it run smoothly. I want to draw attention to the travesty of THE DOWNLOADING OF CHARACTERS FROM PC TO NEXT GENERATION CONSOLES. This is the stupidest thing Bethesda could've done. They are now creating a PC dominated Elder Scrolls Online. When im starting my character at level 1 all these PC gamers are gonna be online with VR10s and VR12s. Seriously Bethesda... you are making the console players the underdogs in their own domain! You need to seriously reconsider this decision. Let everyone be mad about the delay.. so what it was delayed big whoop! But dont give these PC gamers destroy the console gaming. Its bad enough that im gonna have to pay two subscription fee's. Get it together Bethesda!!!
  • That's a very negative way of looking at it... I really don't see the downside myself.