The Elder Scrolls Online Coming Next Year

Bethesda will release a massively multiplayer online version of its popular The Elder Scrolls series next year for PC and Mac, Game Informer reports today.

Set a millennium before the events of Bethesda's last The Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls Online will take place across all of Tamriel during a time when daedric prince Molag Bal is wreaking havoc on the realm. The game will feature three player factions and PvP combat. Presumably you'll be able to travel across the entire world of The Elder Scrolls -- Game Informer mentions recurring areas Elsweyr, Skyrim and Cyrodiil as locations in the MMORPG.

"We have been working hard to create an online world in which players will be able to experience the epic Elder Scrolls universe with their friends, something fans have long said they wanted," director Matt Firor said in a press release. Firor previously worked on fantasy MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. "It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years. The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made -- and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise."

This is the first project from developer ZeniMax Online Studios, which was founded in 2007.

Rumours earlier this year suggested that The Elder Scrolls Online would be unveiled this May and that Bethesda would show more about its upcoming MMO at this year's E3 gaming conference. An earlier rumour also suggested that the game's three factions are represented by a lion, a dragon and a bird of prey.

Game Informer promises more details in its upcoming June issue, which goes on sale next week.

June Cover Revealed: The Elder Scrolls Online [Game Informer]


    Dark Age of Camelot was pretty great, but I honestly don't think Bethesda is up to this. They are good at making large worlds, but terrible at balancing.

    Also: disappointed that Skyrims sales didn't convince them an mmo isn't needed. I'd rather another single player game. Of course I can't deny a lot of people want this.

      I'm with you on this one. The single-player world of Skyrim is just so immersive. I don't feel myself getting into the same mindset when I play an MMO as I did when I played Skyrim.

      From the sounds of things this has been in development long before Skyrim came out. It's not like they'd scrap years of work just because Skyrim sales did well.

        True that, though KoA became a single player game mid production.

      I a convinced that this will be the end of the brand. MMOs attract a specific crappy crowd an they will single candidly drive all the committed single player gamers away. The game will either die or continue with a bad reputation. It will fundamentally affect the deep lore of the game to have a thousand chosen ones doing the same quests for the same people, sometimes teaming up to do so. It will look stupid, and unless they have found the magic formula (the one every mmo developer claims to have found before every mmo is released and then found not to have) it will be a shit game. Nope, I would much rather they added co op dlc to skyrim.


      I don't really care what they do, as long as they continue to make the single player games.

    Co-op I could understand, it'd be like having an AI companion that isn't a retard, But I can't imagine an MMO of this being any fun at all.

      hopefully this kills kotor..
      Yay! :(

    I'd be interested to see what sort of combat this game uses. First person? Third person? The mmo standard combat of click on a target and then mash hotkeys or something more action oriented were you aim your attacks and actively block and dodge incoming attacks?

    Also, classes. How's that going to work. One of the awesome things about the Elder Scrolls games is how you're not restricted by a class, you can level up any skill you want. You can play a bow using mage, a heavy armour wearing rogue etc. I hope that sort of freedom is reflected in this mmo, though it probably won't be as I imagine it would make balancing pvp really hard.

    If they make this game play like the single player Elder Scrolls titles then I'll be all over it. If it's just another standard mmo with WoW like combat I think I'll give it a miss.

      There are classless MMO examples out there, skill based ones;

      I think there is a market for an A+ quality skill based sandbox fanatasy world if they can get it right. The key will be taking it compleately off the rails and using Radiant Story like mechanisms to build strong proceduraly generated or user dynamic content.
      If they pull it off they will be in a niche spot. If they go with the standard MMO derivative where every character runs through the same themepark tread-mill of progression then it will not be a TES game but rather another generic fail MMO.

    "Set a millennium before" wtf is there going to be? if skyrim has wooden and stone houses i dont think there will be much that far back

      Not only is Elder Scrolls a universe where technology has practically stagnated, but development is a slow ramp exponential. It doesn't advance as quickly as it has in the last 100 earth years.

      Ancient Rome had built a more advanced civilization than most societies a thousand years later.

      A popular idea is that if a roman legion stepped in a time machine a thousand years later, they could have potentially taken over the known world.

      In TES lore, the only race that was really making technological progress were the Dwemer. However, one day, every Dwemer in Tamriel (except that one guy) vanished mysteriously. Basically, Tamriel is in an extended Dark Age, and they haven't made much progress at all; there's little difference between the tech in Skyrim and Oblivion, and they're set 200 years apart.

    I hope they don't use the cumbersome style of 'equip in hand', 'press left hand to attack', 'equip another spell', 'press right hand to heal'. It wasn't even worth using spells in Skyrim. Not to mention the hotkeys for auto-equipping liked to auto-unbind themselves.

    Say what you want about wow but the control was much better than Skyrim. Bind something once and it works with the press of a button. First time, every time.

      Fingers crossed that since this is being built for PC/Mac and not just a console port they will get the controls right.

    Remember Guys, This is being done by another division of Bethesda, not the usual lot that make the Elder scrolls games. This hopefully should mean that this is not the end for the series in Terms of Single player immersion and game play since the main team itself isn't working on it.

      I highly doubt it will be "Skyrim with other people". I'm expecting a WoW clone - a good one, at least - but still the same 3rd person jumpy jumpy clicky clicky gameplay.

      Their parent company won't let them release Elder Scrolls VI while they still have an MMO on the market...

        It's alright. There was 5 years between Oblivion and Skyrim. I give the MMO 2 years tops.

    Skyrim was cool in terms of action/combat but I found the story, while detailed, failed to grab me - It just didn't grab me enough so not really that interested. A witcher MMO on the other hand...

    So.. many.. Multiplayer.. Knees!

    This is horrible news. Bloody hell.

    Best. News. Ever. I am so damn excited. I can't waaaait! I need a good mmo and Skyrim is just about my favourite of all single player games. Now that I don't play wow anymore, this mmorpg will be something to look forward to big time. :D

    I might have to check back on some lore, but would this mean the Dwemer will likely be in the game?

    Either way, this will be terrible. Bethesda don't know how to make anything but glitch fests. In SP you forgive them a bit , as the worlds they build make up for it, but in an MMO it will be unforgiveable amongst the masses.

    Good to see people are waiting for it to be released before calling it horrible....

      I doubt there will be many surprises in an mmo based on tes.

      Up to bethesda ro prove us wrong.

    "Bethesda will release a massively multiplayer online version of its popular The Elder Scrolls series next year for PC and Mac"

    So they release this for Mac, but none of the other Elder Scrolls games?

    Alrighty then.

    with bethesda's approach to quality.... i don't think an mmo is the best idea. Every elder scrolls game has required community mods to fix what bethesda can't be bothered fixing - somehow i don't think they'll allow mods in an mmo.

    The question is: will it be on consoles?

    The question is: will it be on consoles?

    Wishful thinking, but I hope its not got a monthly subscription payment model.

    As long as it doesn't feature some kind of cash shop, I'm interested at least. I didn't very much like skyrim but I've been looking for a new mmo worthy of my time.

    This is worthy of the GI cover story?!

    Please. oh please. still have proper physics and real time combat...

    then youve got me.

    as long as its just like skyrim, but i can play with friends. youve got me.

    co-op would be better though

    So since this is being made available on mac, its not going to be as good graphically as skyrim due to macs having shitty laptop gpu's?

      You do know that Skyrim is out on PS3 and 360 which are running rubbish video cards?

      That's a comment, not a question.

    another wonderful series bites the dust

      how so, good sir?

        once an MMO is made the SP games are never made again case in point warcraft RTS series, Knights of the old republic series.
        -"destroying the ancient evil is just the start what happens when 300,000 prophiseised heros try to become emperor"(paraphrased) ill tell you whats happens the person highhest ranked in PvP becomes emmperor all hail emperor xxx[forsaken]nOsCoPe1987xxx

          fully voice acted means 35Gb+ install with only 3 or so actors

      I have to partly agree. The Elder Scrolls has wonderful lore, and the Bethesda makes some of the most memorable SP games with the IP. An MMO is bound to destroy the lore.

    I hope you're all prepared for the entire server to pause any time someone opens their inventory or favorites list to choose a weapon/spell. Bethesda doesn't believe in sacrificing their clunky UIs for the sake of smooth gameplay.

    Holy Mother of God :D

    Co op would work best. Or even Diablo 2 style of joining a group of up to 8 friends or strangers and ability to make your game private and what not. I agree that too many Chosen One's is bad, especially as a prequel, in terms of lore. Obviously since its a prequel, thousands of players can't coexist as divine chosen heroes that shape the world. But one itch I can never scratch in Elder Scrolls is wanting to participate in the tiny details that make up the world. You are always a Daedric Prince's chosen champion or quickly rise to Guildmaster/Archmage/Listener but you never get to participate in slave rebellion's, fight in great wars, fight in Daedric holy wars, join the Forsworn for real, join necromancers etc. As the hero, you always stand alone within the many factions you briefly aid and its always a means to an end and you never get to participate on a smaller immersive level. I completely understand the fear that SP will be ruined MMO and I share that fear but Bethesda have already built a world detailed enough to allow players a smaller role in a larger world, and if anyone can pull this off its them.

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