In case you're interested into knowing the approach of the ZeniMax Online team towards the herculean task of bringing the Elder Scrolls franchise online, or you're simply a fan of MMOs that wants to know if their title is going to be worth your time, Games Industry has an interview with the head of the studio Matt Firor that should hopefully help with all that.
Here's an excerpt:
Q: Do you see this as something all the Skyrim fans are going to play, or is it more like you just want to create an MMO and it happens to be using Elder Scrolls lore? Who's the audience?
Matt Firor: We just want to make a good game and let people who want to play it, play it. It is an online game. MMO is a tired expression. It is an online RPG and we designed it to be a great game. People who like other Elder Scrolls games will probably want to try it, but people who play other MMOs like WoW or Star Wars are also going to want to try it too. So if it's not a good game, no one is going to want to play it. First and foremost, we want to make sure the game is sticky and fun, and that was our first priority. If we do that, all of our other questions are answered.
Q: Reading through the message boards, and seeing the complaints from people, some fans were really harping on the idea that if the game is super successful it could result in Bethesda at a corporate level turning away from single player titles in Elder Scrolls down the line. What do you say to those people?
Matt Firor: Speculating on the future is never good because who knows what is going to happen. We are two separate organizations. ZeniMax Online is a separate organization from Bethesda Game Studios. Resources from Bethesda Game Studios are not being dedicated to ZeniMax Online because they are two different things. We're online developers and they are console developers. That being said, the future is the future and I cannot make any predictions on that, but they are going to continue to do what they do and we'll continue to do what we do.
Q: In terms of business models, obviously free-to-play is a big buzzword, and most MMOs are going F2P. WoW and EA with Star Wars are pushing subscriptions, but there are few out there. What are the considerations for the Elder Scrolls Online?
Matt Firor: We're not discussing business models right now, and we are still working on it. We're really just trying to introduce the game to people. There are parts of MMOs that people never talk about such as customer service, platform and network considerations. All of this is tied to the business model which we'll talk about later.
Q: How many people are working on the title currently?
Matt Firor: About 250 is where we are at right now. Again, we work with a lot of partners on the service side, such as our network operations. It's a big project.