‘The Elder Scrolls: Legends’ Interview With Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of PR/Marketing

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I know that many of you have been patiently waiting for The Elder Scrolls: Legends (Free) to move from tablets to phones, so I’m sure you’re pretty happy now that you can finally play Legends on your iPhones. Given the opportunity of the game finally going universal, we got to interview Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of PR/Marketing, on the game coming to phones and about the game’s future more generally. I’ve been enjoying the game, especially after the Skyrim expansion, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other features and ideas we’ll get in the future. Enjoy the interview below.

What were the challenges of bringing Elder Scrolls: Legends to phones?
As you might expect it was largely one of UI and device compatibility testing. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but those were the big ones we had to tackle.

I know you give plenty of rewards to players, so is there a promotion to go along with the launch?
Anyone who pre-registered the game through the Google Play store will receive a free legendary card (after Chapter 8). In addition to all the free stuff we give away as part of the main story (5 decks, free packs and card upgrades), you also get one of five Skyrim-themed decks that include some of the new cards from Heroes of Skyrim.

How do you feel about the state of the game now versus when it was launched? Happy with the additions and the players’ reactions?
It’s a process. We’re always in a state of improving, adding, tweaking, fixing, etc. I’m very happy with the response to Heroes of Skyrim. I think it had exactly the sort of impact we hoped and expected. I love the design of that set, the new mechanics…pulling dragons from my graveyard, leveling up shouts.

How did you go about turning Skyrim into content suitable for a CCG?
That’s all down to our design team, led by Paul Dennen, Creative Director at Dire Wolf. They do a great job of taking the content of an area or a game or a character and really making it work as a card. So how shouts work, how dragons interact with each other, or the “Stormcloaks vs Imperial” clash from Skyrim, and how that plays out in Heroes of Skyrim through tribal themes. I think it’s part of what people really liked about the base game and cards and the Dark Brotherhood story we released. Heroes of Skyrim is just another evolution in that process of making a really fun strategy card game out of games and content that you might already know or have played in one of our RPGs.

Should we expect to see content from other Elder Scrolls games make their way to Legends?
I don’t know if you should expect it, but you shouldn’t be surprised if it happens. The fun thing about Legends is that the game was setup on this premise that we can jump around to whatever era we want, whenever we want. Because you’re playing out stories and Legends told from the Scrolls. So we aren’t tied to any one timeframe or part of Tamriel.

The CCG space is quite crowded, how are you hoping to stand out in the long-run?
We’re going to continue to do the things that make us different and distinct. I think we’ve tried to be responsive in keeping our game healthy, continuing to design cards and content that appeal to experienced players but are fun for new players too. I think we’re generous in how we give out rewards, like giving everyone a free deck that includes some of the new Skyrim cards. Our Twitch drops program has really been popular and we’re going to continue to tweak and grow that for our community. We know what we have, we know it’s good, and we’re going to keep doing the kinds of things that people have enjoyed about Legends so far.

Speaking of Twitch, you’ve been doing some fun Twitch drops recently. How did that idea come about, and are you planning on doing anything else similar in the future?
We wanted a way to be able to reward folks for streaming and for watching other players stream. It helps grow and foster the community, and we’ve had some great content creators that have been with us since the beginning. We wanted to help support them in as many ways as we can. As far as other things, we have ideas we are working on and thinking about. And as always, we also want to hear what our community thinks and would like to see more of.

What other features should we expect to see in the near future?
We have new features we’re working on, changes and iterations on things like Chaos Arena and our in-game tournament mode, Gauntlet. Also, growing and expanding our spectator mode, and rolling out new info on more tournaments and competitions, which is something our fan base has been clamoring for. And then lots of small, continued improvements across the board. Whether it’s UI changes, or playmat changes, or whatever. We want to continue to grow, expand, and evolve Legends.

Any closing remarks for fans of the game and for those thinking of trying Legends out?
I think folks that give us a try are often rewarded as they find out that while we might be similar to things they know or have played, we do a lot of different things as well. Lane mechanics, prophecy mechanic, runes, deck sizes, single-player content, and so on. I think we have a really solid game that is rewarding and challenging to play. We love the feedback we’ve gotten from fans and players, and we hope you’ll give it a try (for free!) to see what everyone else is talking about.


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