The Elder Scrolls: Blades has launched in ‘Early Access’ with pay to win & loot box components

A title announced at Bethesda E3 2018 which took many by surprise and showed promise was The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Pitched as a “pure Elder Scrolls game” by Todd Howard on stage, this is the latest major iPhone / Android game production which scales up in quality on consoles as well as PC Gaming platforms like Epic Games Store, GOG, and Steam. There was also some amount of cross-platform interaction being attempted. At the core of this game there are also town building, elements, item acquiring, and collecting junk / chests full of random loot which must be upgraded by tier through in-game currency.

Wait times are leveraged against gamers as well, with players able to skip through huge grinds built into the game through buying chests of higher value than the game is willing to give out just for playing.

  • Gold Chests – 250 Gems
  • Elder Chests – 750 Gems
  • Legendary Chests – 2,500 Gems


  • Pouch of 160 Gems – $1.99 USD
  • Sack of 500 Gems – $4.99 USD
  • Stash of 1,200 Gems – $9.99 USD
  • Strongbox of 2,500 Gems – $19.99 USD
  • Hoard of 6,500 Gems – $49.99 USD
  • Imperial Coffer of 14,000 Gems – $99.99 USD*

This game promises to be perhaps almost as repetitive in tasks as the Skyrim: Very Special Edition released on Amazon Alexa in The Elder Scrolls recent history. Blades brings things up a notch by introducing the very controversial random loot box component. This is a gaming mechanic which nearly saw EA Games lose their Disney license to Star Wars in 2017 with the release of Star Wars: Battlefront. In multiple countries around the world courts are still debating about EA Games allegedly using gambling-style mechanics to take advantage of people vulnerable to gambling addiction.

Apple recently announced a new digital games service for iPad, iPhone, and Mac platforms called Apple Arcade. This will be a unique way for gamers on Mobile to curate their gaming experience on the go in a totally new way. That’s because Apple has promised that none of its games will contain micro-transactions nor in-app purchases. This shows promise and we look forward to seeing how it works out when it launches Fall 2019. Bethesda would rather take five steps back from this new way of thinking and instead continue to harm their IP and reputation as a development studio.

The Odds of Loot boxes have recently been mandated to be stated upfront for players of mobile games in a number of countries / platforms – for example all of Apple’s stores currently practice this. That means we had to be told either way for Blades to appear on the iPhone App Store, so Bethesda naturally tried to frame this as being transparent. On top of that high level weapons are rotated in a pay-to-win scheme which are beyond anything you’ll ever find anyways!

Golden Chest

  • 390 – 480 Gold
  • 1 Uncommon Item
  • 1 Additional Item:
  • 75% Chance of an Uncommon Item
  • 25% Chance of a Rare Item
  • 1 – 3 Stacks of Materials
  • 50% Chance of a Potion
  • 50% Chance of a Jewel or Rare ingot
  • 0.1% Chance of a Bonus Artifact

Elder Chest

  • 940 – 1,100 Gold
  • 1 Epic Item
  • 1 Additional Item:
  • 90% Chance of it being a Rare Item
  • 10% Chance of it being an Epic Item
  • 1 – 5 Stacks of Materials
  • 2 – 6 Potions
  • 2 – 3 Scrolls of Revival
  • 3 – 9 Jewels or Rare Ingots
  • 1% Chance of a Bonus Artifact

Legendary Chest

  • 2,400 – 3,000 Gems
  • 1 Legendary Item
  • 1 Additional Item:
  • 42.5% Chance of it being a Rare Item
  • 42.5% Chance of it being an Epic Item
  • 15% Chance of it being a Legendary Item
  • 1 – 5 Stacks of Materials
  • 8 – 12 Potions
  • 6 – 8 Scrolls of Revival
  • 15 – 25 Jewels or Rare Ingots
  • 5% Chance of a Bonus Artifact

Whether or not The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a good game sadly has yet to be determined as most serious gamers see the title’s in-game purchases and waiting periods as the thinware fluff system that it is. This game has been designed to extract money from players’ impatience, inability to find time for its ridiculous experience grinds, and lack of self control for desire of instant gratification.

This is not a good look for the company after Fallout 76 has failed to please over half of its fan-base since launch. Surprisingly a game that showed much promise during its E3 2018 presentation now faces danger to go down in history as a pointless grind on a never-ending treadmill all the while being told to pay your way to “the next level” without really feeling any major difference other than being lighter in your wallet. Let’s hope Bethesda can find a way to change this game during Early Access, before it’s too late!

*[Some Info Sourced: ProGamerGuides]