A few months back, a close friend and I entered the ESO beta weekend with a completely open mind. Having played the two previous titles, Oblivion and Skyrim, we knew the formula and looked forward to a similar experience, what we got was... still under NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
Let's talk about the history real quick
The Elder Scrolls franchise has always been this amazing fantastical single-player experience where you gradually become this strong and worthy hero. What made this series so special was the ability to make your own decisions, play your class however you saw fit and travel the world in any direction not knowing what dangers you would face. The used this same successful formula with the Fallout franchise. This formula gave players a sense of freedom like never before and since 1986, the Elder Scrolls franchise has been made by Bethesda Softworks or Bethesda Game Studio (with the 2006 release of Elder Scrolls Oblivion on the Playstation 3). Over the last 27 years, they have built such an amazing reputation with only a few minor hiccups along the way.
Zenimax is a 250 man studio with Matt Firor (of Mythic Entertainment; the studio responsible for the successful Dark Age of Camelot and failure Warhammer Online) at the helm. With Bethesda as the publisher, Zenimax was put in charge of MMORPG development and in 2007 started working on what is now known as The Elder Scrolls: Online. Following the old MMORPG business model that existed back in 2004, Zenimax is also charging a $15/monthly fee beyond the cost of the game, a business model that is practically frowned upon in modern day.
"What Zenimax has essentially created is a half-breed between the single player Elder Scrolls and the traditional MMO and in doing so, both sides have suffered severely" (-PCgamer).
After the beta was over, we immediately uninstalled ESO and moved on with our lives. Fortunately for Zenimax, every beta participant was locked under an NDA so I cannot say anything more.
With just two months until release, Zenimax was still hiding behind a public NDA and their fans started to catch on and those that hadn't participated in the beta weekend events grew ever-so-suspicious. Zenimax decided to lift the embargo for online editorials and in doing so, the flood gates opened and the world is now aware that ESO is a dull experience.
Back on topic with a TL;DR:
With the embargo lifted, Massively has just saved a bunch of die-hard Elder Scrolls fans from Zenimax's on the Elder Scrolls franchise.
Looks like another Star Wars The Old Repblic flop in the making.
Time to move on, nothing to see here folks.