Elder Scrolls Online boss reckons "very few people" would play a Morrowind-style open world nowadays, as teams need to "support" two kinds of players

As gamers become more accustomed to having their open worlds littered with map markers, checklists, breadcrumbs leading up to objectives, and a host of other convenient options, a Morrowind-style game has become somewhat unfeasible to make for a large studio, according to ZeniMax Online boss and Elder Scrolls Online director Matt Firor.

Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun in a great piece about the how to save the open world, Firor suggests that if a company released a game like Morrowind nowadays - a game that's devoid of a GPS-style guide and makes players find quests with nuggets of information like "'go to the third tree on the right and walk 50 paces'" - then "no one would play it... very few people would play it, so now you need to give them hints and clues."

Firor goes on to explain that today's player base aren't "all PC or generation-one console diehards" who actively want to invest tons of time to navigating the environment since there are "so many other options for players." The problem means that ZeniMax Online needs to "support both those kind of hardcore players - I'm saying hardcore, that term is loaded - but the people that really want to take the time and live everything and make it difficult, and then the wider audience that really just has 20 minutes to burn," Firor says. 

Should you be one of the old-school Morrowind lovers who still crave the thrill of counting steps to find quests, then the recently-released Dread Delusion checks a lot of boxes with a psychedelic coat of paint. 

Another Bethesda veteran discussed why modern open worlds suffer from ballooning teams and costs.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.