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Bethesda Announces a “Closed Beta” for ‘Elder Scrolls: Blades’ and an “Early Access” Launch for Spring

There have been so many twists and turns surrounding The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Bethesda’s mobile entry in their legendary Elder Scrolls series, since its original announcement at E3 in June of last year that I’d sort of forgot it even existed by now. Originally slated for a September launch the game has been pushed back a couple of times, most recently in late November when it was pegged for an “early 2019" release.

Well today Bethesda has put out a little bit more clarification on where things are at with The Elder Scrolls: Blades. They’ve tweeted that they’ll be running a closed beta for the game on iOS only, and once that beta has finished they’ll be releasing the game in “early access" this spring for both iOS and Android. So how does one get access to this closed beta? Well you may remember you’ve been able to sign up for early access through the official Elder Scrolls: Blades website since the game’s first unveiling, and so Bethesda will be prioritizing beta invites for those who have signed up the earliest and based on what type of devices they need to be tested. Which is kind of strange because, well, there’s a pretty high chance that a lot of people that signed up on the website more than 8 months ago have a newer device by now, so it’ll be interesting to see how Bethesda is able to handle that.

So then, what of early access? Bethesda has posted an FAQ on the Blades website that breaks everything down. Basically the closed beta is NOT the same as the early access, and as I already said it will be iOS only and will be under NDA which means anyone who gets in on the beta won’t legally be able to discuss or post about it. When that beta ends, then the early access launch will happen, and this will be for both iOS and Android and will not be under NDA, meaning Bethesda will urge everyone to share their thoughts about Elder Scrolls: Blades during the early access period.

The pre-order page on the iOS App Store still shows a March 31st release date, and although this information has already changed multiple times in the past, it’s my feeling that Bethesda will run the beta for a few weeks during March and is targeting the end of the month for that early access launch. And since there really isn’t an early access functionality on the iOS App Store, I also think this just means they’ll launch the game on iOS like normal, but it will be considered by them to be in “early access" so any bugs or problems can be chalked up to that. Fallout 76 says hi. That’s just my speculation though, but the important thing is that the wheels are continuing to spin if every so slowly for The Elder Scrolls: Blades and if you haven’t already you can still sign up for the early access on the official site and hey maybe you’ll even end up in that closed beta thing.