The Elder Scrolls: Legends will release its first expansion in almost nine months when Isle of Madness hits on January 24 on all of its platforms: PC, iOS, and Android. It’s a new set of story missions for Bethesda Softworks‘ card game, which came out in 2017.
Card games launch new chunks of content every few months, but Legends has gone without an expansion because of a change of development studios. In mid-2018, Bethesda announced that DireWolf Digital, who made the game for The Elder Scrolls publisher, would no longer run Legends and that Sparkypants would take over development. SparkyPants released a new client for the card game in the fall, but it hit with a slew of bugs and other problems. The studio has been fixing those since, though it has released a small collection of cards — The FrostSpark collection — and the new monthly reward card.
Card games are an important and growing market in video games that could be worth $1.7 billion in 2019, research firm Superdata reports. Blizzard’s Hearthstone rules, making 3.3 times more than its closet competitor, and it’s facing a serious competitor with Magic: The Gathering — Arena, the best adaptation of the genre-defining card game to date. The Elder Scrolls: Legends doesn’t command the market share of either game, but it poses different deckbuilding challenges with its two lanes, five colors and neutral cards, and themes from The Elder Scrolls role-playing games.
Isle of Madness will arrive with new card and lane mechanics — Legends stands out from Hearthstone, Eternal, and Magic: The Gathering — Arena with two battlefield lanes, not just one board. Bethesda touts that it’s the biggest storyline for the game yet, following on the tale told in 2017’s Return to Clockwork City.
Correction: 9:50 a.m. Pacific — I used Isles of Madness, not the correct Isle of Madness. I regret the error.