Fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise will have the chance to explore a much bigger universe soon as Bethesda has officially announced that the next chapter in the series will be an MMORPG. This announcement has been confirmed on the latest issue of Game Informer which also provides some additional information about the upcoming game.
The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed by Zenimax Online Studios and this title will apparently blend the rich exploration of vast worlds really proper of the franchise with the possibility of interacting with other players. The game is set one thousand years before the events of Skyrim as the “prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm.” As the description indicates, the game will allow players to explore the Tamriel continent, including settings that have appeared in previous games such as Cyrodill, Morrowind and of course, Skyrim.
It’s worth pointing out that game director Matt Firor has previously worked on Dark Age of Camelot, an extremely well received MMO that combined lore from various legends such as Arthurian, Norse and Irish Celtic. Additionally, the Game Informer article will make reference to single-player quests, public dungeons and even player vs. player features. For more details about the upcoming MMO, players will have to wait a bit longer as an official trailer and screenshot are expected to be released really soon. The Elders Scrolls Online will be coming out on 2013 for PC and Mac platforms.
Predicting what the game will exactly offer in terms of characters classes, interface and PVP elements is extremely difficult at this point, so I guess we’ll have to wait until the aforementioned official trailer is finally online. On a more personal note and even though we all knew this was eventually going to be confirmed, an Elder Scrolls MMO still feels strange. Taken into account that the latest games in the series didn’t offer online leaderboards or co-op of any kind as that would have definitely broken the illusion of exploring a tightly contained, fully realized universe, this announcement feels odd. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a single-player experience and an MMO couldn’t coexist.
In the end, if the upcoming game manages to catch the attention of both MMO veterans and Elder Scroll fans, the title has the potential to be extremely successful. In the meantime, the former should be glad that the co-founder of Mythic Entertainment, who also worked on Dark Age of Camelot, is involved in this project.
Update: The game’s announcement trailer has been released.