In an interview with The Washington Posts' Teddy Amenabar, Matt Firor of ZeniMax Online Studios talked a bit about the current success of their MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. While the MMO gears up to launch their next chapter, Blackwood, Firor talked about its foundation, as well as how long it plans to continue to create ESO into the future.
In the interview, Firor was asked about the team's long-term vision and whether they had any inkling that The Elder Scrolls Online would still be running seven-years after its launch. Firor mentions that the team assumed it would be running a long time, but the key here was whether it was running "successfully" seven years later.
"You don’t make these kinds of games without anticipating that they’ll run for a long time. I think we all knew that ESO would be running seven years after it launched. The question is, I don’t think any of us really expected it to be running so successfully seven years after launch."
Firor also went into the team's mindset when it comes to how it describes even its own game, calling it an "online RPG" more than your traditional MMO. He also goes onto to describe exactly why expansions are called "Chapters" for The Elder Scrolls Online instead when asked about bringing new players in seven-years later, citing the baggage the term "expansion" in the MMO space brings with it as a reason.
"This is why we don’t call our yearly expansions ... we don’t call them expansions. We call them chapters because expansion in the MMO world is freighted with a lot of preconceived notions that it’s only for max-level players. You have to grind through all the other content to get there. ... But, in ESO, levels don’t really matter. They’re personal to your character. New players are encouraged to jump in and play the new content first."
Firor also touched on the longevity of ESO going into the future, stating that team plans on ESO being around as long as people are playing it.
"ESO is a worldwide game. We have people from almost every country in the world logging in at some point. It’s huge and it’s very, very much played by a disparate group of people. It’s not just “hardcore MMO fans.” ... People are going to keep playing it and we’ll keep making content for them as long as they’re around."
You can check out the full interview on The Washington Post. In case you're setting up to start your adventure in ESO, you can check out the in-game world events, Oblivion Portals, being added to Blackwood, as well as a little bit about the companions you'll recruit when the Chapter releases on June 1st.