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Bethesda delays The Elder Scrolls: Blades into 2019

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The free-to-play mobile title was expected this fall

The Elder Scrolls Blades key art Bethesda

After an impressive showing at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, Bethesda has hit a very rough patch. The release of Fallout 76 has been rocky, to say the least, and now the next title in The Elder Scrolls series has been delayed into 2019.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a free-to-play mobile title, and likely the closest that fans of The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim will get to a massively single-player role-playing game until The Elder Scrolls 6, which was teased at E3 2018. Bethesda’s Todd Howard surprised many when he dated it for fall 2018. In a tweet today, that window has been pushed back to “early 2019.”

Polygon was able to experience a demo in June, calling it “the most expensive mobile game that plays best vertically ever made.”

It’s more linear, claustrophobic and limited. In widescreen, the limitations are obvious; but when played in one hand, I can imagine how this game will fit into the daily routine of commuters and folks who like to fiddle with a mobile game while watching TV.

Input is handled with gestures, with taps causing your character to walk autonomously and swipes controlling where they look. Pressing and holding on the screen attacks, with the angle of those attacks tempered by where you press. Blades is not expected to be a full, open-world experience. Instead, it will have more linear levels and some limited social features.

This isn’t Bethesda’s first foray into mobile games. Fallout Shelter launched first on mobile in 2015 before being dramatically expanded and ported to other platforms. On the other hand, The Elder Scrolls: Legends began life as a PC exclusive before making the transition to mobile in July 2017.