4 days back, I was pumped up to get the beta invite for The Elder Scrolls Online. This is my experience over the weekend.
The launcher expected 25 GB of free disk space, and the entire download was around 21 GB.
It took me a total of 80 hours to download this monster and my poor desktop was running all this while. Today morning as I checked the download progress (there was some 2.5 GB left to be done overnight), I got the shock of my life. With around 20 GB to spare on my HDD, the launcher is informing me that there is no more disk space … so even a total of 45 GB was not enough.
To make things worse, when I started the launcher, it started the download again from scratch! Ughhh … the beta event was supposed to last till the end of today, I would never be able to finish the gargantuan download. Gamer’s would know the term – Rage Quit … yes, I raged and I uninstalled the game. The uninstall was too fast and it did not do anything … I still had to manually delete the 21 GB occupying my drive.
To summarize the beta, the launcher and download was a shitty experience … Bethesda should realize that partnering with Zenimax may not necessarily be the smart move.
User Experience gone bad
The Out-Of-The-Box experience (OOBE) of any product is important for creating hype and ultimately invoking desire and the urge to purchase. One industry which does this brilliantly is the electronics segment, where people take photos of the unboxing and share with others. I believe the same applies in a game as well … the download and launcher is part of the OOBE. After today, I am not going to try the TESO Betas any more.
How does this matter? No urge, no purchase.
Ergo, I may not even buy the silly game. A quick google informed me that I was not the only person who faced this issue … it seems you need a total of 60 GB free disk space to run this thing … well, then why did you not say so in the first place Bethesda??
The last time this had happened with me was in 2011 when I was beta testing another MMO (the Star Wars one). Look where it is languishing now.
These things may not seem like such a big deal in a country where you measure download speed in GBps … however in India, we are still measuring it in KBps and that makes us your common denominator.
The Economy of Games
Relying on the US and European markets for the growth of games is a common marketing strategy. The main reason behind this is that these economies have mature markets where the average revenue per user (ARPU) is higher than the South Asian markets. However, this trend has been slowly changing … ever since the Chinese Prisons of World of Warcraft, people in South Asia are looking at games as a viable career option. The most successful example of this is undeniably DOTA2 championships which features many asian teams. What this means is that slowly South Asia is figuring out as a viable market for games.
MMOs are starting to have Singapore as one of their server locations, and rightly so. This market has high numbers and with the correct pricing (look at the average price of $2.49 in DOTA2), you can really tap the bottom of the pyramid in gaming. The minute you plan to run a subscription based service like WoW (which is loosing subscribers fast), you are asking for trouble and are not figuring how the numbers in South Asia can help your game be a success.
Rants or Prophecies?
Do I feel anger? Do I feel vengeful after this experience … perhaps.
Am I ranting … maybe.
Will this game fail? Well if you continue to be like this then definitely yes … however lets keep in mind that its a Beta folks and that means there is tremendous room for improvement.
With a heavy heart, I bid the beta of this game adieu and this time around, I will await it to launch and mature before trying the gargantuan download again.