No, that’s not a guess or a rumor — Bethesda’s finally rolling its titanic The Elder Scrolls fantasy roleplaying series into an online version, coming next year for both PC and Mac. The news is breaking now, courtesy Game Informer. The magazine hints the game will cover all of Tamriel, the continent on which the series’ stories have so far played out.
GI says The Elder Scrolls Online will basically combine the series’ already massive exploration dynamic with the social angle of an MMO. The game will take place a millennium prior to events in Skyrim “as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm.” Elder Scrolls wonks with memories like steel traps and who bother to read all the series in-game literature will no doubt shortly have the full backstory up on the web (in fact, here you go).
“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,” said the game’s director Matt Firor in a statement. “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.”
The game will be the first developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, whose president — TESO director Firor — was one of the founders of Mythic Entertainment (Dark Age of Camelot). ZeniMax Online Studios is owned by ZeniMax Media, the same company that owns Bethesda Softworks.
GI‘s tease mentions solo questing (check), dungeons (of course) as well as “player-driven PvP conflict that pits the three player factions against each other in open-world warfare over the province of Cyrodiil and the Emperor’s throne itself.” (Nifty!)
Is anyone surprised?