Elder Scrolls Online MMO To Be Announced In May?

By Jim Rossignol on March 16th, 2012 at 11:17 am.


Tom’s Guide are reporting that Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls MMO will be announced in May. Here’s the claim: “An industry source that wishes to remain anonymous revealed the name of the new MMO to us, and confirmed that the game would take place a full millennium before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Using the Elder Scrolls Wiki timeline as a guide, Elder Scrolls Online will likely take place during the “Second Era,” or several hundred years before any of the other Elder Scrolls games. This information was corroborated by two additional sources before publication.” Elderscrollsonline.com has been registered by the company since 2007, and the rumours seem corroborated by ZeniMax and Bethesda hiring for MMO development positions over the last couple of years. It’s a big old maybe.

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139 Comments »

  1. Flukie says:

    As long as its more like Guild Wars 2 than WoW then im all for it.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Agreed. Dynamic world, action-oriented combat, a big, sprawling world to explore….I could get behind that. So long as they don’t fall for the WoW formula of development, with gradually leveling “zones” and an endless, static quest treadmill, this could be good.
      .
      As long as they look at the current MMO formula like something to avoid or fix, instead of inspiration, this has a chance. Otherwise, not so much, in my opinion.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Damn I hope it’s more like Mortal Online. A nice sandbox free for all. No softly softly carebear nonsense and boring abstract combat. Never played Guild Wars at all but I’ve seen a couple of TotalBiscuit’s videos on GW2 and it just looks like the same ability spam, cool downs, macro shit that most MMOs seem to be.

    • lurkalisk says:

      I’d really hate to see any uniquely-MMO standards implemented in such a game. There’s nothing I like about MMOs, save the broadest of strokes (like, there’s alot of people playing in the same world, etc..).

    • Barnaby says:

      Not only does this sound like a terrible idea, but this sounds like a completely terrible idea.

      I can’t be convinced that anytime a decision is made to make an MMO, it isn’t based primarily on the company’s potential to make a shitload of cash. How many MMO’s have to faceplant before developers give up on this potential cash cow? It seems the real problem might be that as long as the game turns a decent profit in the long run, it was worth it for the developers.

      Maybe if WoW2 comes out and it flops on it’s face, but until then I guess I just have to keep on facepalming.

  2. Fashigady says:

    I’m calling it now. TESVI: Tamriel

  3. AbyssUK says:

    So Skyrims Draugr are actually the reanimated corpses of the old MMO players… I like it…

    • Zanchito says:

      Hah, neat! They should take that idea.

      • mondomau says:

        That would be brilliant. Make fighting and looting them a bit more interesting too.

  4. alinos says:

    Would make sense why they had an issue with scrolls

    Since one would assume the MMO would just be called The Elder Scrolls. Since a subtitle wouldn’t really make sense

    • Havok9120 says:

      You’re ruining the narrative. They were just being greedy.

      Depending on the name of the MMO, that would make at least some sense though.

      • alinos says:

        Why? If they were being greedy they would still be fighting with Mojang for some sweet sweet Moolah :D

        But yeah calling the game Elder Scrolls: Tamriel as suggested by another wouldn’t really make sense for when you want to add a expansion at some later point. Making it Elder Scrolls Tamriel and this new continent we created for funzies

    • lurkalisk says:

      The “industry insider” (read: propensity for being wrong) holds that it would be titled “Elder Scrolls Online”.

  5. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Down with single player!

    • Swanny says:

      This made me laugh. I’d imagined a hipster drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon who had just finished a tirade about how great macs are saying this. “Skyrim, needs to be an mmo, i mean you interact with NPC’s, but you never really interact with NPC’s, you know?

      • djbriandamage says:

        Pshh, I was interacting with NPCs before they were interactive.

        • digibo says:

          But then you took an arrow to the knee?

          I just couldn’t help it :]

          • djbriandamage says:

            We didn’t have knees back then – just a straight leg with no joint. Then I took an arrow to the leg which caused it to bend and then everyone copied me. Sigh.

  6. philbot says:

    I just hope they don’t butcher the lore like warcraft. I love the elder scrolls series, I hope they dont ruin it.

  7. Phantoon says:

    I doubt it.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I also doubt it. This sounds like one of those rumors that just keeps reappearing because everyone thinks that the next logical step for any fantasy series is MMO. Thanks for that, Garriott.

  8. Etherealsteel says:

    Yey!… now I can pay for an MMO filled with bugs and graphical problems.

  9. Kaira- says:

    Not sure if it will happen, I remember hearing rumours about this since the release of Oblivion.

    Let’s consult Futurama about the likelyhood.

    • Reefpirate says:

      I think people have always speculated about MMOs with RPG IPs ever since WoW hit it big, which was around the time Oblivion came out. I’m not surprised by your ‘rumors’, but that also doesn’t mean they aren’t actually doing it now.

    • westyfield says:

      Every time I see that video, I look at the like/dislike bar and remember why I love people.

  10. tehsorrow says:

    Dear god no.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Seconded.

      • frenz0rz says:

        Thirded, assuming this has an impact on the development of singleplayer TES games.

        • sneetch says:

          Well, it didn’t stop Blizzard producing Warcraft IV did.. oh wait. :(

          I want Warcraft IV.

        • Werthead says:

          Highly unlikely. If this game has been in development for some time – which is likely if it’s going to be announced soon-ish – that means it will have been undertaken simultaneously with SKYRIM by a different team.

          I think the core Bethesda team’s masterplan is to alternate ELDER SCROLLS and FALLOUT titles for a few more iterations yet. If FALLOUT 4 isn’t their next project after the SKYRIM DLC and expansions, I’d be surprised.

    • LintMan says:

      If this is true, I doubt we’ll ever see another big SP fatasy RPG from Bethesda again.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      This. A million times, this.

  11. Kdansky says:

    I wonder how bad the UI will be this time. Seven clicks to accept a quest? Imagine WoW’s equipment system with its 16 (?) slots, and Skyrim’s UI.

  12. Gaytard Fondue says:

    If I can belive what the president of ZeniMax Online told me then yes, there is a TES MMO.

  13. fiddlesticks says:

    Now I can finally play the Elder Scrolls together with the people who make nude mods for the games.

    Yay?

  14. Drake Sigar says:

    I hope not. The Elder Scrolls is the ultimate single-player experience. For them to say ‘we want multiplayer too’ would be the death of AAA RPGs.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Better a separate MMO than integrated multiplayer in the ‘core’ games though yes?

    • Reefpirate says:

      It seems the whiners aren’t all that pleased with AAA RPGs anyways, so what’s the big deal? We’re getting sub-AAA RPGs out the woozah these days anyways: Wasteland 2, Dead State, Age of Decadence, Din’s Curse people’s space RPG, Baldur’s Gate HD, and probably a whole bunch more that I’m forgetting…

    • djbriandamage says:

      My very most favouritest thing to do in Elder Scrolls games is to run out into the forest or the fields or the mountains and just stand there, appreciating the quiet. I assure you the last thing I wish for this series is to bring urban sprawl and Chuck Norris to that quiet.

      • Matt says:

        I’ll roundhouse kick your forest and mountains into the next province

  15. Luciphear says:

    God I hope not…

  16. Cerebulon says:

    Words cannot describe how much I hope not.
    The Elder Scrolls has always been about heroes ingrained in the Elder Scrolls themselves, who arrive with vast world changing events either to set them into motion or prevent them. Having millions of random people doing the exact same thing would utterly destroy that feeling of destiny.
    Also the gameplay.
    But mostly the lore.

    • sneetch says:

      /lfg Looking for three “the chosen ones” to help me and my guild of “the chosen ones” defeat the ultimate evil and save the world before the raids reset for the week.

    • Apples says:

      It also goes against all the nice incidental lore that explicitly acknowledges the game’s single-player, self-contained nature, like the Dragon Break, CHIM and “[cutting] sleep holes in the middle of a battle”.

    • cibo says:

      That may be true, but in the end, what the series is known for is how little most people follow the main plot, and instead go their own ways.

    • Wizardry says:

      Ultima Online happened. The Elder Scrolls Online will happen too one day. Get used to it.

  17. NathanH says:

    I love that screenshot. Elder Scrolls games are totally stupid in so many ways, but every way is brilliant in its stupidity. That horse is a great example.

    Also, I don’t care about MMOs, because I don’t like people.

  18. Katar says:

    The crap I put up with to play an Elder Scrolls game (UI, bugs, game breaking glitches, game breaking bugs, etc…), I won’t tolerate in an MMO. Certainly not one I have to pay a monthly fee to play.

    MMOs are generally extremely buggy, even when done by a semi-competent developer who actually uses QA. Bethesda making one is going to be a disaster.

  19. Askeladd says:

    This would destroy the overall Elder Scrolls feeling I have… so NO.
    Its fake.

  20. Apples says:

    I wish single-player series would stay single-player. (Mass Effect, too). I don’t think Tamriel will be especially enhanced by a bunch of morons running about never reading any of the quest text, calling Dunmer Drow and badly roleplaying the Dark Brotherhood.
    (Yes I’m a game snob, alright)

  21. Cytrom says:

    Hopefully this wont hinder their ability to make content packed singleplayer games in the future. I dont like MMORPGs… at all. Turning KotOR (one of my favourite rpgs of all time) into an mmorpg was already a disgrace. Not to mention that before that, I was a big warcraft fan (many years ago).. until WoW corrupted the warcraft name for good.

    The only online games I like, are shooters, where real skill matters not this grind-to-win trash where you have to waste millions of hours to achieve anything. MMOs just ruin lives.

  22. sephiroth says:

    YAY TES with other people awesome

    *at the same time*
    BOOO MMOs SUCK DONKEY DICK

    so er I dunno how I feel about this. I guess I will have to form an opinion based on what the games like. shock horror I might actually judge an mmo fairly for once (maybe)

    any word on if its going to be a dino model AKA subscription or F2P of pay2win? I have never liked the thought of a game costing £100-200 a year which is option 1 and a minimum for option 3 but have my doubts about just many options 2 can actually exist at any one time.

  23. Xocrates says:

    If nothing else, I’m curious to see what the end product would be like, even if I seriously doubt I would ever play it.

  24. Eukatheude says:

    Well they already make single player MMOs, it would make sense.
    I’m pretty sure it will be horribly unbalanced and buggy, so no thank you.

  25. Stevostin says:

    Either they find a way for other player not to break immersion (no chat, no channel, no stupid /dance, the list goes on and on). Either this really is a dumb move (if true). Skyrim is all about how MMO do RPG wrong. Why make it an MMO ?

  26. thelongshot says:

    The MMO is true, considering I have a friend who was hired to work on it a few months ago. I have no details beyond that.

    • briktal says:

      My cousin was hired by them too to work on the MMO (he was with CCP until the layoffs last year). He seemed excited but obviously couldn’t tell me anything.

      • MarcusCardiff says:

        You guys do know that nobody believes the “I know someone that….” rumours, right?

        • Blackcompany says:

          On the other hand, that person who used to work for CCP and now works for Bethesda probably has relatives somewhere, right?
          .
          just saying.

        • thelongshot says:

          Whether you choose to believe me or not, it doesn’t make it any less true. I was just contributing what I know. (Which isn’t much, I know.)

          • Skabooga says:

            The more you know.

            ………—……
            ….—-….–*
            —…………..

  27. GallonOfAlan says:

    That screenshot really is amusing.

  28. PearlChoco says:

    Anonymous?

  29. Crius says:

    Can i haz ur equip?

  30. Milky1985 says:

    If this is so far ahead in development (to the point where it can be annouced) could this imply that development began BEFORE they had the licence from the interplay spat?

    Or is my tin foil hat malfunctioning

    • 12kill4 says:

      That was for the fallout MMO licence. Interplay have nothing at all to do with The Elder Scrolls series, nor have they ever.

  31. MichaelPalin says:

    I wonder, what about a goddamed co-op multiplayer in an open world adventure game? You know, like D&D or Neverwinter Nights, but in First Person. I cannot be the only one that plays games like TES or Gothic and thinks for himself “this would be awesome with 3 or 4 other friends” or plays games like Baldur’s Gate or Fallout and thinks for himself “this would be awesome in first person and if the party members were my friends” or once in a while remembers playing System Shock 2 with friends and wonders why nobody does that anymore. And no, MMOs are not what I’m talking about. C’mon!, it’s as simple as putting multiplayer in a TES game, the clipping issues would be epic, but at least someone should try.

    • Qazinsky says:

      You’re not the only one wanting co op in these kind of games and prefering it over the MMO idea.

    • Highstorm says:

      Just what I was going to say. Why is multiplayer largely synonymous with MMO nowadays? I’ve wanted TES games to have multiplayer forever, but just self-hosted stuff like NWN where you can run a server or even just play with a couple friends. MMO is not the way to go here.

  32. puppybeard says:

    Why so apprehensive? I doubt that Bethesda will do a Blizzard and go MMO-only on TES. We all saw how well they just did with Skyrim didn’t we? Unless I’m more clever than the whole company put together, this will be a fork rather than a change of direction, and TES6 will be another single-player release.
    Skyrim is a much bigger deal commercially than Warcraft 3 ever was. They’ll be wanting to repeat that success with a similar title at some stage, rather than copying Blizzards approach verbatim.

    While I would definitely have a go of such a game, here are some things which would need to be avoided:

    1. Bun fights at forges
    2. Bun fights at alchemy counters
    3. Bun fights at enchanting tables, and all other such object interaction bun fights.
    4. Getting stuck in crowded corridors
    5. Corridors

    • Havok9120 says:

      The uncertainty about whether or not they go that route is why people are so apprehensive. Sure, it might make sense for them not to, but that really doesn’t mean much.

    • Qazinsky says:

      Seems a bit unfair to compare Skyrims success with Warcraft III, considering how much more people plays games nowadays compared to back then.

      • puppybeard says:

        My point is, Bethesda, if they went MMO-only, would be leaving a lot more behind than Blizzard did. Also, they’re a much more robust company now than Blizzard were at the time, and they’ve already done pretty well developing multiple titles.

  33. Etherealsteel says:

    Something guarantee will be in this MMO if it happens

    1)Terrible Menu system until a modder fixes it.

    2) Lot’s of bugs, but Elder Scrolls community will try to fix it

    3) Frame Rate drops, ditto

  34. Tunips says:

    The Second era you say? If this means I can walk around Vvardenfell before the blight, when Vivec walked among men and mer debating, singing and slaying as the magic hermaphrodite, the martial axiom, the sex-death of language and unique in all the middle world, then I am all for it.

  35. BatmanBaggins says:

    I enjoy TES, but I also don’t trust Bethesda to create a persistent, massively multiplayer world that is compelling and worth spending an extended amount of time in. Like, at all. I’m sure it would be pretty, though.

    Never get tired of that pic, by the way.

    • Qazinsky says:

      Considering that they’ve hired alot of people to work at this in the background while the regular people have released their regular singeplayer games, it seems fair to say that we have no idea what the end result will be and if they are capable or not.

  36. Whitmore says:

    I know it’s silly, but there is an irrational part of me that thinks this will cheapen the many intimate hours I had with Morrowind.

    “LFG Red Mountain (Gear Score: Daedric+)” doesn’t sound very appealing to me.

  37. The Hammer says:

    Hmmmm. This news story makes me hella conflicted.

    I have my doubts, and I know the Elder Scrolls formula couldn’t entirely survive the transition to an MMO (one of its main but not sole strengths lies in each game being your own personal playground), but, to take a more positive view,, there have been frequent moments in Skyrim when I’ve felt like its ingredients would make for a great MMO: no strict classes, a graphically impressive world, lore that is easily understood yet full of measured depth, and a choice of races, all of whom would offer great RP if they went down the route of offering RP servers. And why wouldn’t they?

    Mind you, one of the documents refers to a ‘World of Warcraft-style MMO’. I hope that is just a loose comparison, to help explain what an MMO is. Because I’d hate for it to be a carbon copy of WOW, especially since MMO development tends to be a long, drawn-out process. Every news story would be torturous, as we learned how people would be embarking on the same quests handed out by NPCs highlighted by exclamation marks, you’d have to join groups for every dungeon, professions were bound by recipes, cities were just hubs for vendors, end-game raiding was the core activity at the end…

    That’s definitely what I don’t want. The Elder Scrolls would lose a lot, if that was the approach the designers took.

    But yes, it’s got my interest – for now!

    EDIT: Ah, I note that posters here are already discussing which locations it could be set in. I dearly, dearly hope that they don’t try to fit the whole world in there, or, if they do, they take their time and use the landmass found in Skyrim. I’d hate for each nation to feel tiny, like they do in WOW. The orcs, one of the most prosperous races on Azeroth, have like three civilian towns in their whole territory. Uuugh. The thought of that scale being used for the Elder Scrolls MMO makes me queasy.

    Give us nations to get lost in, with tundras that take more than a few seconds to cross. If the wilderness is reduced to miniscule zones, then I think the game will lose a fatal amount of appeal in one fell swoop.

  38. Shoelip says:

    And doubtless Cyrodiil is still hyper generic western Middle Earth Ripoff land despite the single tiny bit of fluff they used to justify that in Oblivion having to have happened either near the end of the of the second age or the beginning of the third. I mean, how much lore are they going to have to clumsily alter to make it appeal to their modern target demographic? I wonder how much more scaled down it’ll be…

    Wait a second. I don’t like the Elder Scrolls series anymore so why am I even thinking about it? It’s just making me unhappy. Or look another article, thank goodness for ADD.

  39. Squishpoke says:

    Bethesda has demonstrated that they are incapable of releasing a stable single-player game, and now they want to do networking? It will be nothing short of an unmitigated disaster.

    Oh well, doesn’t matter. People will buy their games no matter what.

  40. DeathCarrot says:

    I recall Todd Howard saying they wouldn’t do a TES MMO quite a few times in the past, including just before Skyrim’s release. I very much doubt this is going to be a Bethesda Game Studios project, rather a third party spinoff.

    EDIT: The job opening in THG’s article is for ZeniMax Online Studios, so not BGS. Its budget is unlikely to be anywhere near the proper TES games’.

  41. voidburn says:

    It’ll be a cold day in hell before Bethesda can pull something like an MMO off. It’s company suicide. That is, unless they’re hiring some major new talent in their tech department.

    The Elder Scrolls: Bugfest

  42. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    I don’t play MMOs; I just don’t like them. The only thing I find heartening here is that the MMO will take place before the events of any of the main games, which will hopefully prevent a WoW-like derailment of the franchise (that is, an inability to really do anything with the main series because the lore is tied to an on-going MMO).

  43. Blackcompany says:

    Mixed feelings about this. Keep the action-oriented combat? Keep the detailed, realistic open world, with its emphasis on exploration? Keep the immersive wildlife and atmospheric dungeons?
    .
    Sure, I could get lost in that.
    .
    Make it a WoW clone with yellow exclamation points, hotkey, no-impact combat and an endless litany of fetch quests?
    .
    No thanks.

  44. neolith says:

    Good god, no… a world full of people dragging their Lydias behind them – every doorway blocked and a constant murmur of distant I-am-sworn-to-carry-your-burdens…

    edit: I’d much rather have proper coop.

  45. Miltrivd says:

    I’m excited and not so much at the same time. The number of bugs on Bethesda releases are their trademark, and sure they are quirky and most of the time not game breaking, but I can’t have that low level of QA in an online game. I just can’t. You can’t forgive them for Single Player, but seriously, unless they change for the better and really do their job releasing something that’s not just good, but polished as well, they are gonna crash and burn with that project.

  46. Runs With Foxes says:

    The Elder Scrolls games are already MMOs-for-one, so this isn’t much of a leap. They’d need to radically change their design philosophy if they don’t want it to be a WoW-like dinosaur even before release, though.

    • MarcusCardiff says:

      MMO for one?
      Only in that the Skyrim NPCs have as much intelligence and personality as your average MMO players.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Bethesda’s recent games – and especially Skyrim – are more MMO than single player. Hell, when I first encountered Radiant Story in the game, my very first thought was: “This is a prototype for an MMO.” I mean, Radiant Story is the ultimate MMO quest maker.
        .
        And that’s the problem. All it makes is soulless, generic, empty fetch quests. Most of which I have already lost interest in. If I want to explore lost ruins, I will go explore them. I don’t need some arbitrary reason, and in fact I prefer not to have one.

  47. Stardog says:

    It better have at least Skyrim graphics. I’m tired of these ugly MMO’s like the new Star Wars.

  48. Cryo says:

    The most unnecessary thing in the history of unnecessarility.

  49. Casshern says:

    Well, we all saw this coming I guess.
    But since they can’t even deliver a finished SP-game I really doubt Beth can deliver a finished MMORPG.
    And this time they can’t count on the community to fix the game for them so I’m just gonna predict a 2nd Tortanic.

    Just steer clear, don’t get your expectations up, don’t get fooled by Beth’s lies and you’ll be good.

    *chuckles* Bethesda in charge of making MMO