Elder Scrolls Online dev hints at possible Tales of Tribute card game - Dexerto

Elder Scrolls Online dev hints at possible Tales of Tribute card game

Published: 15/Apr/2022 2:00 Updated: 14/Apr/2022 23:51

by Lauren Bergin


Coming in The Elder Scrolls Online’s new chapter, High Isle, players will be able to spend hours playing the Tales of Tribute card game. ESO’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, revealed the thought process behind the all-new activity, and whether or not it’ll become a standalone title.

One of the many new features accompanying the latest chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online story, ESO High Isle, is Tales of Tribute; a Hearthstone-esque card game that provides a welcome respite from trolling through dungeons and tearing your foes asunder.

Set in the warmth of the tavern, players can challenge each other to entertaining duels using a host of different pre-determined decks to snatch the crown (pun entirely intended).


It turns out, however, that this fun-filled side activity has been on the cards (that one was intended, too) for a long time, as ESO’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, took Dexerto on a deep dive into the development process behind The Elder Scrolls Online’s Tales of Tribute.

the elder scrolls online eso high isle tales of tribute card game
ZeniMax Online Studios
Tales of Tribute is ESO’s equivalent of Blizzard’s Hearthstone & CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher.

ESO dev discusses the process behind Tales of Tribute

While optional card games and MMORPGs seem to go hand in hand, it turns out Tales of Tribute has been in the works for quite some time.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” Lambert explains. “I remember pitching ‘tavern games’ back in 2009 when we were still way back early on in pre-production. It’s an alternate activity, something that fleshes the world out, and gives you something to do when you’re not questing or killing, or crafting.”


“It also helps that I’m a bit of a card nut” he confesses. “I love card games and playing card games. It just seemed really natural to me, and to the team, to do something like this.”

elder scrolls online eso high isle tales of tribute players playing in a tavern
ZeniMax Online Studios
Tales of Tribute is a game that brings even the most unlikely of heroes together.

Given just how organically Tales of Tribute fits into the Elder Scrolls Online universe, it would seem logical to develop it into its own mini-game in the style of The Witcher’s Gwent, or even Hearthstone.

“I mean, I would be lying if I said I’d never thought about that before,” he laughs. “Our focus is let’s make it as good as we can right now in ESO, see what players think, and then go from there. We’re super well aware players are going to get this and go ‘I want a standalone version, I want a physical version,’ and we’ll just see where it goes after we launch it.”


Speaking of a physical version, transforming Tales of Tribute into a game that players can play outside of the virtual sphere is something Lambert believes makes perfect sense.

“The game was built to be a physical thing in the world – it looks and it feels like a game that the average person could play. There’s not a lot of magic, not a lot of finicky pieces; just bring your cards and a couple of tokens, slap them down on a table, and away you go and play. That was the whole intent and goal behind this system.”

Whether or not we see Tales of Tribute blossom into its own full-blown universe remains to be seen, but Lambert clearly has high hopes for this innovative take on the classic MMO card game. Either way; we can’t wait to dive in and live out our tavern fantasies – with the occasional ale included, of course.