Game Informer announces The Elder Scrolls Online

Since opening its doors in August of 2007, we haven’t been able to say much about happenings at ZeniMax Online Studios – until today. Announced just minutes ago, Game Informer’s June 2012 cover story is… The Elder Scrolls Online!

The magazine will be available to subscribers early next week and should arrive at GameStop stores shortly after that. You’ll also want to keep your eyes on GameInformer.com/ElderScrollsOnline. Today they put up the magazine cover, and you can expect more updates throughout the month.

The Elder Scrolls Online is planned for a 2013 release on both PC and Mac. To keep up on the latest news for the game, check out our official Twitter and Facebook accounts for the game, and also visit the game’s discussion forums.

More to come!

Reader Comments

  1. I have never played a MMO before, but this might just be my first. I still really want you guys to announce the next Fallout, I’ve been waiting four years for a sequel to Fallout 3.

    • I am Looking forward to this Bethedsa have never let me down each everyone of there games have been epics for me i get em all,even the ngage tes and completed it,i trust the teams choices ,maybe they figured, maybe its time to try something different,thats what they do,each and everyone of there games have added something new,Lets see how it goes,BETHESDA FTW!!!!

    • I was expecting it.. what a joke, a MMO! the Walmart of lame quests and pvp forever. Let’s hope for the MMO not get full of bugs too.

      This sux.. the game industry today is a vicious circle.

  2. WHAT ?! TES5:Dawnguard few days ago, Elder Scrolls Online today! I think I’m having a heart attack…
    Seriously, I’m curious to see how you managed to put the Elder Scrolls world in a MMO game.
    :D :D :D

  3. I’m really surprised this is happening, and really disappointed too. I don’t like MMO’s, but I love TES. I’m disappointed I won’t get to experience the lore in the game. I’m also curious, because the majority of people who want TES online are console users, not PC/Mac users.

    • I disagree with that, I’m a PC user and I want an TES online, or at the least a multipler/coop version of their games to explore, battle, and run quests with my friends. Same goes for a fallout 3 systel mmo/coop game. Just hope that this MMO will cross all platforms, so that everyone can enjoy it.

  4. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    So TES6 will Only be MMO

    Single Playwr Games goes less and less with everything being Online or Kinect

  5. Wow. I’m going to hold judgement until I see what the game has to offer, but wow. Way to go in completely missing the key theme of a game series.

    Yep, a series renowned for making the player feel like the solitary hero in a sprawling immersive world, DEFINITELY needs a new game where the player is one of thousands of heroes running, jumping, bunny hopping across the land, shouting “n00bz I am teh 733t!!1!!1″

    Please say this won’t indefinitely post-pone the release of the next real TES title, the way World of Warcraft has indefinitely put Warcraft 4 on hold.

    • It’s being developed by Zenimax Online Studios, not Bethesda Game Studios, so it likely won’t have any effect on the actual series.

      • I get the difference between the devs, but it’s Zenimax who decides. Blizzard haven’t worked on Warcraft 4 because they already have WoW catering to the bulk of that audience – so instead the teams focus on other IPs like Starcraft and Diablo.

        My fear is that Zenimax will say to BGS: “TES Online is catering to that audience now, so from now on focus on Fallout and a new IP”

  6. I would rather like to see a Fallout Online (yes I know there was a court order around that idea) with a big economy system around it.
    But take your time! I still need to buy Skyrim but I don’t have too much free time…

  7. Tell me this is a side project at best… don’t let this be the next legitimate installment of the Elder Scrolls series…

    • The MMO isn’t being developed by Bethesda Game Studios, but by Zenimax Online Studios.

      So this project is essentially unrelated to the singleplayer Elder Scrolls games, which will carry on as normal.

  8. On one side, I’m really excited. On the other side however…not many games have managed to make a good jump from single player RPGs to MMORPGs, so this announcement leaves me a little wary. The Elder Scroll has become a very popular IP, and Skyrim has definitively set some standards for future games to come, but with this also comes expectations for a potential TES VI, and it is highly possible that players will attribute those expectations to TES Online. This to me, is a red flag.

    I will not say that TES O will “fail” or be a major success as it is far too soon to tell, however I hope Zenimax Online Studio will be able to make an MMORPG that will do justice to the IP, and live up to the expectations as the next entry in the TES world.

  9. Man I hope you guys don’t make us pay subscription fees to play it. Please take a “Guild Wars” type of business model.

    I do like that there’s Mac support though. That’s nice.

  10. I could see Elder Scrolls online being a great game as long as they don’t do what every other MMO developer does. Please Zenimax, I beg you, do not make yet another WoW clone. There are plenty of WoW clones out there. All of them have failed.

  11. It take YEARS to make a game like Skyrim. Do you REALLY think an on-line [&@%!] fest game, created in.. what? maybe three or even six years?… covering the -whole- of Tamriel will be even remotely as interesting as Skyrim or Oblivion or Morrowind?

    And the worst part is: THIS IS GOING TO WORK (for them anyway) because people are stupid and will jump in. Zenimax will have its subscribers paying religiously for years; they’ll CERTAINLY repeat the winning formula learned from Blizzard and keep the game rolling for years with expansions and stupid statistics and item tiers, and IT WILL KILL THE SERIES.

    And yes, if you like the Elder Scrolls, you should be VERY SCARED by now because Zenimax owns Bethesda and they might decide a new single-player Elder Scrolls would be competing with their MMO Elder Scrolls, so there won’t be any…

    Jesus Christ…. Elder Scrolls was a one-of-a-kind… now it’s lost… I wonder how freakin’ long it will take for a new IP to come up with the same gameplay characteristics to fill the gap. And all the LORE we’ve come to love? Forget it. This is World of Elder Scrolls now, baby.

    It reeks.

    • Do you think that the MMO was done in one year?

      Is another division of the company, probably in development together with Skyrim, but a new project, Online division. TES 6 is for the single player franchise.

      People get crazy fast! Nobody read the GStaff? about the efforts to fix the problems for Skyrim, workshop, creation kit, the coming DLC?

      FU!#@! relax guys!

  12. Also, first the lawyers suing fans and awesome people for very stupid reasons that in turn made you people look like a bunch of douches AND NOW THIS?

    Way to go, Zenimax. Very impressed at your complete disregard for legacy and fans and everything that made the Elder Scrolls series unique. Poof. All gone.

    That serves us well to know you a lot better. But hey, milk the MMO cow for every penny.

    It’s not like making games out of love means anything these days. Who cares about the lore, right? I’m sure it’ll be a terrific experience trying to play hero with a million pubescent other heroes jumping around.

    And OH GOD THE LIES they’ve been telling us about how this… travesty..would never happen to the Elder Scrolls!

    PETE HINES, YOU ARE A LIER!

    • I don’t think Pete’s said anything that we would never do an MMO game for The Elder Scrolls. What’s been said in the past is that Bethesda Game Studios doesn’t make MMO games. They’re not developing The Elder Scrolls Online. Currently they’re working on Skyrim updates — including Dawnguard.

  13. I loathe MMOs, so I will give this one a pass, and I am glad Bethesda internal studio is not wasting its time with it, honestly.

    But hey, maybe it will bring something new to the table, who knows.

    • Paul,

      Seeing as Zenimax owns Bethesda, and given what we know about past IPs (intelectual properties) turned MMOs, there’s a very plausible chance (in fact, it’s very likely to happen) that Bethesda won’t release a new single-player Elder Scrolls game for a VERY long time.

      Why would Zenimax let them make and release a new Elder Scrolls game to compete with their successful Something Scrolls MMORPG?

      Tell me, where’s Warcraft 4? I think you know the answer to that.

      Right…

      Anyway, I do sincerely hope this is cancelled, and if not, I do hope it’s yet another MMO failure. I do feel bad for the people who put a lot of work into this, but they should’ve known better.

      What’s bugging me really is how could you let Zenimax do this? Yeah, I know they own your soul and all that comes with it, but still, this is SO wrong. Who cares it’s being designed by some guy (“MMO veteran”) to be the ultimate (BS anyway, good luck competing in an already saturated market; you just know you’ll never beat the king of MMOs because they are better at it than you)? This guy, whatever his name is, Mr. Camelot for all I care, shouldn’t have the right to do this. Bethesda worked hard constructing the Elder Scrolls, a very unique brand, and after years building a reputation for making the BEST RPGs, you let this happen.

      I’m truly sorry for the rant. This is my last comment, promise.

      This is really sad.

      I grew up with this series.

      • What’s to be sad about? Skyrim’s quests were your basic linear MMO affairs, so the game will play similar to Skyrim with the added bonus of 13 year olds griefing you in the wilderness of Tamriel.

        Who could possibly shed a tear over that?

  14. I have played every Elder Scrolls and I will not be playing this. If you do not make a sequel to Skyrim, this series will effectively be dead to me.

  15. Congratulations Bethesda! Best wishes on this being as epic and rpg board game come to life as the single player franchise is.

      • Please for the love of god STOP! All this means is that it will take ages for the next proper TES game and even that might not happen cause I can see this being a massive drain on resources that may kill-off the studio(mmos have a habit of doing this)

        I love Bethesda with all my heart and soul, but this is the worst news I have ever heard. I literally cried when I read the news.

        mmos just dont work

      • I am also very excited about his. But I wish, I wish so much it will be very different from the model others MMO are using. Hoping it will bring a fresh air into this genere.

  16. TES Online is not TES single player. This is no new, there are a online division, MMO is a huge marketing. There are people who prefer a online experience, but this is not a death sentence for the single player versions.

    Is amazing the quantity of work inside this company! there so much more about the MMO enviroment to inform.. the world, classes, social side, the gameplay, the plans, costs… OMG! is a HUGE step.

  17. This has me concerned, but then again, I was worried when BioWare announced multiplayer for Mass Effect 3, which I thoroughly enjoyed, to my complete surprise. So long as Bethesda continues to have free reign to do whatever it wants with the main Elder Scrolls games, Zenimax Online can go nuts making an MMO. If it’s good, then all will be well so long as Zenimax does not restrict Bethesda on releasing any more Elder Scrolls games in the future. If it’s not good, than the issue will take care of itself.

    In the meantime, folks, chill the hell out, take a breather, apply some logic, and have patience. I am reserving judgement for when more details are released, and ultimately when the game comes out. Until then, we wait.

    • I should mention that I have WAY more faith in Zenimax than I ever had in EA, BioWare’s parent company. BioWare’s head folks sold out the company to EA, whereas Zenimax has been with Bethesda all along.

  18. I can’t wait to hear more about it. The Elder Scrolls was inspired greatly by D&D, and if you really look at it, role-playing games have always been about having multiple players. The experience is greatly enhanced when you have other people to role-play with. The series comes with a lot of baggage, and it would have to feel like the series, just transformed to accommodate a large number of players.

  19. Hey GStaff,

    This seems like a good idea, but another good idea is for this to be on Xbox and ps3 aswell. This will be fun on pc but not all of us are pc gamers, please consider this idea for the consoles or bring it up if possible.

    • They can port to mobile while they’re at it! It would be super-duper cool to be able to play on my phone from wherever I am! Make a PC game that works on X360, PS3, Wii, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows7, Vita, and 3DS!

    • Actually I’m glad this is going to be PC and Mac exclusive – and no before the knee-jerk platform argument starts it’s not about platform preference.

      As long the the MMO is a PC and Mac only product it will in no way deminish the relative value to Zenimax of continuing to have Bethesda Game Studios produce Fallout and Elder Scrolls cross-platform single player tiles. While there would certainly be some overlap between the markets served by an MMO and by the other Bethesda Game Studios titles, Zenimax would never not want Bethesda to keep doing what it does.

      Consider World of Warcraft Starcraft and the Warcraft RTS games – WoW and Starcraft’s successes have meant that it just hasn’t made sense for Blizzard to produce a Warcraft 4 just yet. I imagine it has been part of the reason why Diablo III might not have had a faster development cycle. They probably saw many of these titles – all of which feature prominent multiplayer components at the very least – as potentially competing for the time attention and money of their very lucrative WoW subscriber base.

      By keeping the MMO off the consoles and multiplayer out of the Bethesda Games Studio games you prevent the Elder Scrolls VI from being Warcraft 4 – waiting it’s turn for when the Warcraft MMO begins to wind down and the inevitable Starcraft MMO becomes the primary revenue maker.

  20. I…what? No. no no no no no no no. The Elder Scrolls has no place in the MMO world. When I play an RPG I immerse myself and I forget the real world exists. I totally lose myself in the story. We’re seriously going to this? Having tons of other people running around with their screenames floating above their heads asking to trade? Please tell me this is fake. I am so disappointed in Beth. It’s beginning to look like TES died after Morrowind.

    • I am very sad, too. And disappointed.

      Dear God, don’t have the slightest respect for your own history and the amazing world you’ve created?

  21. I VERY skeptical.
    If the TES Online is just a cash cow for Bethesda which let’s them further develop better singleplayer TES and Fallout (and possibly new IP, like a open-world space simulator rpg since that genre needs resurrecting), then I’m okay with this.
    If TES Online allows them to do what Bioware did to KOTOR with TOR and just say something like “TES Online is TES VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X,” then I will be very sad.

    • TES Online pre-dates TES I – V. I doubt they’d make VI and up go backwards in time when they can do something else for going back in time.

  22. This is the first time I have felt compelled to post but right now I am very disturbed by this news. I have been a massive fan of the series for years and I grew up with the games and the reason I enjoyed them was the immersion in the single player experience. The whole point of the TES series and the way it captures your imagination is the idea you are someone special, a hero or villan depending how you want to play and you matter yo the world and can change things for better or worse. If I play this now I am going to be just another random player that is here for no reason other to line Zenimax’s pockets. It is like they have torn the soul out of what was the greatest series of games ever.

    I am very disappointed Zenimax/Bethesda and by the comments it sounds like a lot of other people are too.

  23. Good luck Zenimax online studios,… Hoping for a beta, or demo or something to put feelers out for this.
    And hoping for some re-assurance that this won’t put a hold up on TES: 6? People who buy into skyrim online won’t stop buying the single player games just because they have an online version i think… there shouldnt be any competition… its like saying i wont buy warcraft 4 if i play WoW. If anything, it’s added advertisement.

    • The teams working on these games are separate. Todd Howard’s team at BGS will keeping doing the type of games they like making, and the ZeniMax Online team will focus on MMO games like this newly-announced title.

      • We all know how well these things turn out. Give Richard Gariott a call, he’ll tell you all about it.

        It’s not like Bethesda has any saying in the market decisions. Zenimax has the final word, and that’s how they took your IP and gave it some PvP MMO Veteran Mr. Camelot to mess with as he/they pleased.

        If it works out, they might decide a sixth installment will hurt the MMO, and the series will be put on hold.

        Not to mention Zenimax stealing away people to help further develop the MMO, because we all know where Zenimax is aiming at, and if the cash cow goes moo loud enough on a monthly basis, they’ll keep adding weight to it until it’s dead.

        • Zenimax has no reason to suspend production of the original, single-player series. It is immensely popular independently and for them to force Bethesda to stop making games using that IP is illogical in that there would be an immense amount of untapped profit. Continuing with your comparison to Blizzard from above, their own process is not lucrative in the slightest, as creating a new Warcraft game could hardly affect their current profits with WoW. Since both Zenimax and Bethesda would reap the benefits of continuing the original series while creating a new MMO, there is virtually no chance of the series ceasing.

        • This.

          Of COURSE Bethesda would say they won’t be affected by the MMO. But the truth is something different. Every second someone plays a single player game, is a second he isn’t playing an MMO and paying monthly fees.

          Fallout 4 and TES VI would be competitors to a TES MMO.

          Let’s just as everyone this question; when is Warcraft 4 coming out?

        • Fabio, Zenimax has backed Bethesda for some time now, letting Bethesda do pretty much what they wanted. Sure, they want money. They’re a business. They want to not only make a living off of video games, they want good profits as well. There’s nothing inherently evil about that, that’s capitalism 101.

          I agree that they might decide that if the MMO is performing well, a release of a new ES game might damage their profits, but I also believe that they know who their fan base is. I don’t think they would risk a massive backlash from that fanbase by messing with Bethesda’s game (pun intended).

          Also, do you think that Bethesda’s talent pool is suddenly going to jump ship, the same one that they themselves built up from nothing, to go churn out some soulless sub-par ES MMO? NO! They would likely provide support like they did to Obsidian when Obsidian was making Fallout: NV, but nothing like what you’re suggesting will happen. If anything, Bethesda will exert tight control over the game in order to meet the quality of depth, fun factor, and immersion that we’ve all come to expect.

          So take a deep breath, stop being so cynical, and have a little faith in Zenimax and Bethesda. If they completely mess things up, and end up delaying another Elder Scrolls game from coming out, then I will be right there with you screaming and hollering. But unless that happens, RELAX. And maybe take some time out from your busy worrying schedule to play Skyrim.

          • I have to agree with Fabio, here.

            MMOs are not what I consider ‘fun’. I tried several, including the ‘almighty’ WoW, and they all bored me to tears, not to mention the connectivity and maintenance issues I had to deal with (I want to play my purchased game, not stare at an update/maintenance screen for 8 hours), but it is an ever milking cash cow, and it keeps on producing money every month, instead of simply being purchased once like any normal game. We all know which model the companies prefer. I consider MMOs as the Reality TV shows of the gaming industry. Why invest time and money for a single series that starts and ends when you can create a never-ending cash machine with only about 50% of the effort?

            If we’re only considering the financial side, I don’t blame them at all, but if we’re looking for ‘heart’, then like or not, this is a direct kick in the groin of every long-time TES fan out there. We all know how it will turn out, because it always does. The next TES will be delayed, then swept aside, as the funding will all go towards the ever-demanding fat cash cow. Bethesda’s dev team will be forced to either get on the bandwagon or get the boot, and another well-loved franchise will be forgotten in history and remain an unholy MMO, just like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. You cannot avoid this, it’s how the business works.

            No wonder there is an uproar. Too bad yelling and crying at a sinking ship doesn’t suddenly stops it from sinking.

          • I don’t need nor do I have reason to have faith in Zenimax. Zenimax didn’t create the Elder Scrolls series. It owns it, and that’s it. They’re capitalizing on it, in a way I personally feel unethical.

            Do you want to know why I am mad? Because even if it fails (and I’ve read the article and seen the screenshots / it will fail) the real Elder Scrolls are endangered here.

            How much money – I mean, really, what’s the size of the huge pile of money – did Zenimax waste on this cartoony MMO with the Elder Scrolls brand straped on?

            This is not Elder Scrolls. Public Dungeons? Really? Oh, the sense of adventure and exploration as you delve deep into a cave full of teenagers teabagging each other.

            How could you?

  24. Not cool releasing just a xbox dlc definitely lost my money Bethesda ill make sure no one in my ps3 community purchases any of your titles furthermore I paid just as much money as an xbox user and we still get kicked in the face screw your company

  25. I will hold my opinion until I actually get to see game play and reviews. I played and tested just about every MMO so I will give it a chance.

    “The teams working on these games are separate. Todd Howard’s team at BGS will keeping doing the type of games they like making, and the ZeniMax Online team will focus on MMO games like this newly-announced title.”

    This cleared up any worries I had for the series itself, my first love.

  26. I think Todd or someone should put up some sort of message to assure fans of the elder scrolls series. Because even I, a massive fan of the elder scrolls and Bethesda Studios… am worried by this announcement.

    Zenimax have basically high jacked the elder scrolls name to give the MMO a kick start into the market place. If this ruins, cancels or delays the single player games, Ill be disappointed and would have lost my favourite game series.

      • Thanks for the reply. I don’t normally like being a downer about these kinds of things and I may have jumped the gun a bit about Zenimax. I am excited about the mmo, even if a bit worried lol.

        But the elder scrolls has always kept with a certain formula about their open world games. If the MMO manages to capture the same feeling and/ or doesn’t affect the single player games in any way, then all my worries are for null. Being an MMO comes with design restrictions, gameplay elements that come with these kinds of games, which would again make it difficult for Zenimax to design.

        I wish the best of luck to Zenimax on their new project and cant wait to play the game :D Just remember, elder scrolls first, MMO second :P

  27. The MMO is going to take place a few years after Skyrim, where you can choose to fight for The Empire and her allies, or join the Aldmeri Dominion. Remember this now. I bet my waifu on it.

    Elder Scrolls has always been a purely single player game where the entire focus is on you, the player character. It feels kind of diminished when there is going to be a million other “heroes” running around at the same time. Still while i’m afraid they will ruin my 2nd favorite universe, I’m really interested to see how they pull this off. High Hopes.

  28. “And yes, if you like the Elder Scrolls, you should be VERY SCARED by now because Zenimax owns Bethesda and they might decide a new single-player Elder Scrolls would be competing with their MMO Elder Scrolls, so there won’t be any…”

    How ignorant do you have to be to post something like this? What, you thing ZeniMax doesn’t make profit from TES games? News flash! They make tons of profit. So if you actually think that ZeniMax would drop such a massive game to continue development on an MMO, then there is something wrong with your brain.

    So, if you’re just going to post a comment about how this will ruin TES, consider these things first;

    1 ZeniMax didn’t get to where they are by being stupid.

    2 If you don’t want to play the MMO… you don’t have to. I know! Shocking right? who would have thought ZeniMax would allow YOU to use YOUR free will?

    3 You’re probably an idiot.

  29. Man, that’s a shame.

    I feel bad for the folks at Bethesda, who must have tried so hard to explain that the things which make TES games great won’t work in an MMO.

    I feel bad for the team at Zenimax online, who’ll probably deliver a perfectly competent MMO which will be disliked because it’ll be The Elder Scrolls in name only.

    I feel bad for the fans, who have to watch this happen to the franchise they love.

    And I feel bad for the PR flak who has to pretend enthusiasm for the new game.

  30. If that furthest down gstaff comment is true, about how they’ll keep making the same games anyway because BGS and zenimax online something thingy is completely separate studios, then i’m a very happy man.

    ‘bit scared still though, because this isn’t just about their ability to make awesome games, it’s the world of lore that has a very unique cult status because of it’s incredible depth and originality. And, as said, if this mmo’s gonna take place in that very universe, and cause zenimax DOES OWN Bethesda, it might very well be so that no TES VI is made because the mmo uses the same history. They might believe a new time space where the new TES’s story takes place cut’s off the historical time in wich their expansions would take place. Imagine blizzard making wc4, continuing the story of WoW, and then trying to make a WoW expansion. When would the expansion take place?
    I hope this mmo’s going to be in some indeterminate time space, preferrably in the past, where it won’t awkward it all up. This mmo will be a game for the people who played the main quest of skyrim for 30 hours, finished it, and were “done”. Not the people who took 30 mins just choosing sides in the civil war, felt happiness about some poor farmer becoming “erik the slayer” and even actually took time to read books within a bloody game… Make that mmo about killing n00bs and getting an omg super l33t 1000 damage sword!!1!1 or whatever, but don’t interfere in the elder scrolls story development. Those players propably do not care about that stuff anyways, and we most definitely do.

    Tl;dr: ZENIMAX, LEAVE OUR STORY ALONE!

    Sorry for the long comment. (Though in perspective it would make a very short novel)

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  32. All these comments… Wow.

    Anyway, I’ve never played an MMO before. I hope to play it, but it depends on whether it’ll have a monthly fee or not and how much it will be. Will this be something that can be played through Xbox Live or is it just for PC?

  33. First i recognized that Bethesda prefers the xbox and we (PC-guys) are playin´ a bad console port.
    I thought:
    Thats the price for loyality since the first part of the “the elder scrolls” series…

    Then i read about “Scrolls Online”.
    My reaction is this entry and so let me finish it with four words:
    Good Bye, I´m out!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Oh my, I am so excited!

    But please fix your forum’s Welcome post.

    It says, “In the not-to-distant future, we’ll be launching a fully featured. . .”

  35. I was hoping the Elder Scrolls would never turn into an MMO… I’m worried about how this will end up. What makes TES my favorite series is the fantastic story line… I don’t know how that could ever work as a multiplayer game. That being said, I’m crazy excited to hear more details. I’ll just have to trust you guys wouldn’t let TES Online be anything less than the best it can possibly be. Good luck! Don’t let us down. :)