Bethesda’s VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines would, I’m pretty sure, rather talk about Bethesda’s upcoming survival-horror offering The Evil Within than The Elder Scrolls Online console delay. But he’s not that lucky, and he spent a good portion of a recent interview about The Evil Within defending the decision to push the PS4 and Xbox One versions of TESO back six months.
“We’re not happy about it – obviously we much rather have the console version out in June. But it seemed like the right thing to do, and we did spend a little time working with the console folks to try to come up with some kind of a thing so that the folks who couldn’t play it could buy the PC version and then add a next-gen console version later for a lot less money. That seemed like something that was worth working on before we announced the delay. So maybe that’s the answer to your question – trying to come up with something to say, ‘Look, this sucks and we’re going to try to do this to [compensate].'” Hines told CVG.
Hines said that the delay was caused by differences between PC and Console systems, and that
“fundamentally the way it works under their architecture is different than the way that we do it.”
It did not, however, sound like the issue was as simple as getting code to run, after CVG pointed out that Xbox is very connected to Windows and PC architecture.
“It is and it isn’t, because it’s not an open system, it’s a closed system. It’s not just an ESO thing – they have rules and regulations that govern all games, if you’re going to do something it has to work a certain way. It doesn’t matter the way that we want to do it – it has to fit their requirements.
I’ll give you an easy example; payments. When we do stuff on PC, we manage it ourselves, it goes through our store, we manage the whole thing. When it goes through somebody else, that someone is doing all of that; taking your money, charging your PayPal, and then transferring that information to us. This is just inherently a different process than the one that we have, where it’s our store and we just have to make sure our system works. It’s the same thing on PSN – you have to just make sure that all of that stuff communicates. When you start adding up the pile of things and everything that we learned from launch, it was clear that we needed to take the time to do this right, because it has massive ramifications if it doesn’t work right for the consumer experience.”