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ESO is not doing as well as hoped/expected. I hate to make a categorical statement like that, particularly given (as has frequently been pointed out) we have no actual figures for this. But really, even those denying this must feel the truth behind it.
As an ES and MMORPG fan, and former ESO fan, I've thought a lot about this game. I feel the same way as I've seen so many other state while I was playing, that "I want to have fun" or "I want the game to succeed". But by those very sentiments the game is, simply put, not good enough, we just "want" it to be.
There have been clearly multiple issues with this game that have been discussed many, many times. Most I feel seem to skirt around the core issues and point to bugs, lag, bots, VR levels and so on. To me these are just symptoms. Many MMORPGs have plenty of bugs, lag, etc but these are often forgiven in a suitably engaging game (and look, I know there will always be people who complain about these things in any MMORPG, but there is little doubt in ESO these complains have overshadowed the game to a larger degree, and there is a reason for this). I see less forgiveness for these things in ESO, which is reflected in the average/poor reception the game received in general and the rapidly falling numbers. I honestly feel if all the bugs, bots, lag, etc were completely fixed the game would still be doing poorly.
I think the fundamental reason for the game's problems and reception is the design team and their vision for this game. By which I mean the team they hired to develop the game came from other MMORPGs, and they've carried their 'baggage' across. It feels so much like the fundamental ES concepts such as open world exploration has been ignored in favour of "Oh, but we did it this way when I was in the development team of the xxxxxx MMORPG".
Don't mistake me, I am fully aware that, as an MMORPG, ESO was not able to be 'Skyrim online', but I feel that the focus leaned too far toward developing a fairly standard MMORPG, and this happened because devs who had worked on other MMORPGs were hired to not just support, but to lead the project. And thus we have ZOS. A better way, I feel, would have been to let Bethesda to develop and lead, while utilising the MMORPG knowledge of people such as Matt Frior, Paul Sage, et al on a consultatory basis. We'd have a game driven by the wonderful vision of Bethesda devs, but backed up by the technical MMORPG skills of Frior/Sage.
To summarise: many people expected ES, at it's core, but online and were disappointed. But nevertheless, though many changes to the single player ES structure were needed to make an ES-O (including many unrealised or unexpected by ES fans), the dev team, by dint of their backgrounds, discarded an unnecessarily large component of Elder Scrolls when making the game.