What do you think of when you think ‘mid-size’ game? Perhaps, if you’re thinking in terms of scope and budget, you’d label something like A Plague Tale: Requiem or Evil West as ‘mid-size’. They come from a publisher that delights in boasting the benefits of the double-A game, after all.
Or maybe you’d go more specific – perhaps label an indie that’s made it big as ‘mid-size’ instead; No Man’s Sky, Fall Guys, Among Us.
You don’t think any of the RPG juggernauts from Bethesda (Fallout, Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls Online, et al) would be mid-size, right? They’re too big, too well-known, released on too many formats. The last we heard, Skyrim alone had sold 30 million copies – and that was in 2016. Mid-size, indeed.
So it’s quite surpising, then, to see that Microsoft is keen to say that the successor to Skyrim, widely regarded as one of the most successful games of all-time, is a ‘mid-size’ game.
The quote comes from Microsoft’s response to a study from the UK’s department of Competition and Markets Authority, which is trying to decide whether or not the tech giant’s takeover of Activision Blizzard is healthy for the video game market.
Under the heading, Decisions regarding mid-sized games are not evidence of Microsoft’s incentives as they relate to Call of Duty, Microsoft specifically names The Elder Scrolls 6 – identifying it as an example of one of its mid-sized titles. Be aware, some unclear language follows thanks to the legal nature of the document.
“Titles such as Elder Scrolls 6 (which is not expected to be released before [REDACTED] with the last instalment in the series being released in 2011), as well as other future titles, will not involve Microsoft forgoing $[REDACTED] per annum of revenue from PlayStation customers or disenfranchising ca. [REDACTED] million MAU on PlayStation,” reads the statement.
Thing is, you can argue that The Elder Scrolls 6 is indeed a mid-size game; compared to other mega-hits that have broad, international appeal to many age groups (read: Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite), The Elder scrolls 6 will be mid-size. It may be huge to us – as gamers that can’t escape the impact and legacy of the The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, for example – but in the eyes of the world, it’s nowhere near as important as Candy Crush.
You’ll note we’ve already seen some wild stories from this reply today, including Microsoft’s assertion that CoD gamers are not ‘unique’ or ‘special’, and it’s insistence that Xbox exclusives are a bit naff compared to their Sony counterparts.
Expect more information to come out of these papers.