It has been just over two-and-a-half years that Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls Online for PC gamers. Bethesda isn’t sharing specific numbers regarding the amount of players currently playing their MMO game, but game director, Matt Firor told Polygon that the ESO community is now split evenly amongst Xbox One, PS4 and PC – nearly 30% (give or take a few) amongst all three platforms. Console versions of ESO only launched a year after the game was launched for PC, but it’s clear that player base is heavily leaning towards console play.
In March of 2015, the game underwent a major change when it re-launched the ESO as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The major change-up got rid of the game’s mandatory monthly subscription fee, which, consequently opened the doors for more users to jump into the game. After Tamriel Unlimited, Bethesda saw a tripling of the number of players on The Elder Scrolls Online. However, Bethesda wasn’t expecting to see such large numbers of players when it dropped the monthly subscription fee. In an interview with Polygon, Firor said that
Our PC concurrency between the 17th and 18th of March[, the date that Tamriel Unlimited went live,] tripled. So on the 16th, we had N number of players playing. The 17th, we had N-times-3 just from getting players back.
The developers weren’t forecasting such a massive amount of players to play once they took away the monthly subscription. And with the addition of the new audiences from their console launch in the summer of 2015, their traffic was so massive that their servers “melted” due to the incredibly high demand. The Elder Scrolls Online, once incorporating console players, reached and even surpassed the number of players it had found during its original launch.
Console launch was everything that we wanted with the PC launch and more. All service completely melted at like 12:01 a.m. Our North American server went down for four hours because so many people were playing than we had thought were going to be playing. Our forecasts were way low.
Bethesda hasn’t shared the exact number of players currently playing ESO, but Firor has previously stated that upon launch of the game, they had roughly around 235,000 people playing simultaneously and over 200,000 in queues. So, they had about half a million players playing on the system.
The latest update to the ESO is One Tamriel, which again brings many changes to the game, including exploration of any area of Tamriel without level restrictions. One Tamriel launched earlier this month for PC and will be available for both Xbox One and PS4 next week on October 18th.