There’s been a lot of buzz around Bethesda’s mobile-exclusive Elder Scrolls game, Elder Scrolls: Blades, ever since it was first announced during E3 this past June. Not long after the presentation where it was announced, Bethesda put the game up for pre-order on the App Store with an expected release date of September 1st–just a few months away from that time. Nice. We, along with countless other mobile gamers, were extremely excited to get our hands on this promising looking game, and we actually had a chance to go hands-on with a demo at E3 which we enjoyed very much.
Then things got weird. As the September 1st release date for Blades approached, Bethesda quietly pushed the date on the pre-order page back by about a week to September 7th. Which was a shame as we were scheduled to attend a Bethesda event during PAX West 2018 on September 1st, and assumed that the newly-released Blades would be one of the attractions at the event. Not so. Instead, they trucked out the very same demo version of Blades that they had showed off at E3 which was pretty disappointing. We could only imagine that something had gone horribly wrong with Blades that prevented Bethesda from releasing it at the last minute, and just after PAX West ended Bethesda adjusted the release date on the pre-order once again, this time pushing it back all the way to December 1st. Bummer!
While this all seemed pretty puzzling, yesterday Apple held their annual keynote event where they unveiled all the new iPhone models and suddenly everything became clear. Elder Scrolls: Blades was one of the games demoed on stage and Bethesda’s Todd Howard went through the demo noting all of the fancy new features that they were adding into the game that take advantage of the latest technology in Apple’s new devices. This seemed like the most likely reason for all the delay shenanigans as Apple probably approached Bethesda about featuring Blades during the keynote and asked if Bethesda was interested in delaying the game in order to tweak it to fully harness the power of the new iPhones. And of course, when Apple asks you to jump, your answer is “how high?” even if you’re a giant of the industry like Bethesda. The video below should start right at the Blades demo, in case you missed it.
So anyway, this quick recap is all to say that in light of the release date delay to December 1st (or the nebulous “this fall” which could technically be sooner), be sure to sign up for early access over on the official Elder Scrolls: Blades website. This early access program has been up since E3 in June, and thus far I haven’t heard of anyone actually getting early access to the game yet. But hey, what could it hurt? If you’re already excited for the game and plan on playing it a lot when it comes out, you’ll be creating a Bethesda Account (which you’ll need to sign up for early access) anyway to log into the game, so you might as well do it now if you don’t have one already just in case you end up as one of the lucky ones chosen for early access. December 1st feels pretty far away right now, especially when we spent 3 months expecting September 1st, so I’d definitely jump all over an opportunity to play Blades before then. At any rate we’ll continue keeping an eye out for any new details on Elder Scrolls: Blades, including any further changes to its release date, as we march close to December.