20 Years of Elder Scrolls

The list of entertainment products that thrive over a twenty-year period is a short one. It’s a joy to be part of one. When I look back over the last 20 years I’ve spent at Bethesda, I think how lucky we’ve been to keep a group together that continues to grow, both in talent and number, while being able to create games we love.

One thing that has kept the series vibrant for so long is that as opposed to simply adding to the previous game for a sequel, we always started over. It was our desire that each game be its own thing; had its own tone, its own soul. As the years went by the technologies changed, we changed, you changed. But the goal remained the same – to create a game that transported you to another place. A game that fueled you with the ideal of endless possibilities. A world you could make your own.

This has always been a partnership with you, our fans. The support you gave us each time has been amazing. The feedback, both positive and negative, made us better. When you spend so many hours, over so many years, on something, it becomes part of you. It’s certainly done that for us, and we know it’s done that for many of you.

There are many memories of what this series has meant to us, and to you. But I often think of one. When we were making Skyrim, but before it was announced, we were visited by a teenager through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That day in our area, the foundation had arranged for several kids to spend time with President Obama, another with Spider-Man, and this amazing person with us. That was his wish – to see the new Elder Scrolls game. He was the first person outside the team to ever play Skyrim.

And that’s the thing not just about The Elder Scrolls, but experiences like it. They’re important. Yes, they are just games, or just entertainment. But how we all spend our time is important. The best experiences can fill you with the wonder of discovery, and the pride of accomplishment. The fact that you have spent so much time in these worlds with us, and have supported us each and every game, has meant the world to us.

And now The Elder Scrolls is ready to head in a new direction – online. The great folks at ZeniMax Online have brought the same passion and dedication to that game that we brought to ours. And like the other titles, it will be its own thing. We hope you give them the same support and feedback you’ve given us for so long.

Where does The Elder Scrolls go over the next 20 years? Time will tell. But I know it will continue to be an amazing partnership with you. And we can’t wait to play it.

Until then, all our best,

Todd Howard
Game Director
Bethesda Game Studios

Bethesda Underground: Know Your Devs – MachineGames’ Tommy Tordsson Björk

With our newly-released Wolfenstein gameplay video, the Bethesda Underground team is happy to share our newest “Know Your Devs” profile. This time around, we highlight one of MachineGames’ leads that helped make the game’s train sequence happen — narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk.

Watch the video above and let us know what you think. For more Bethesda Underground videos, visit our YouTube playlist.

The Evil Within Release Date: Evil Takes Hold in August


Announced today, we’re happy to share news that The Evil Within, the new survival horror game from Tango Gameworks (led by Resident Evil’s Shinji Mikami) will release on Tuesday, August 26th in North America and three days later (August 29th) in Europe.

To celebrate the occasion, for the first time we’re showcasing the game’s final packaging in the Vine above.

We’ve got much more coming on The Evil Within. Discuss the game in our forums and be on the lookout for news and updates on our Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition Announced; The Elder Scrolls Online Official Store Launches

Today we revealed The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition  a premium collector’s edition for the highly-anticipated The Elder Scrolls Online. This edition will be made available in digital and limited physical formats. For all of the details read the press release below or check them out here.

 BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES THE ELDER SCROLLS® ONLINE IMPERIAL EDITION AND OFFICIAL ONLINE STORE

Pre-Order and Pre-Purchase Bonuses Are Detailed for Latest Game in Award-Winning Franchise

January 29, 2014 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced that it will release The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition a premium collector’s edition for the highly-anticipated The Elder Scrolls Online. The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition will be made available in digital and limited physical formats. Both standard and collector’s editions are now available for pre-order through participating retailers and pre-purchase from the newly launched, online store (store.elderscrollsonline.com).

In addition to the highly-anticipated game, The Elder Scrolls Online Physical Imperial Edition includes:

  • Molag Bal Statue. A 12” statue featuring Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement.
  • The Improved Emperor’s Guide to Tamriel. A 224-page illustrated guide annotated by the Imperial scholar, Flaccus Terentius.
  • Physical Map of Tamriel. A 21” x 26” printed map detailing Alliance-controlled zones and the ultimate conquest: Cyrodiil.  
  • Steelbook™ Packaging. A limited edition steel case decorated in the color of the Imperials.
  • Exclusive Collection of Digital Content.
    • Play as an Imperial: Become an Imperial and play in any Alliance. Gain unique bonuses, crafting styles, gear, and more.
    • White Imperial Horse: Summon this Imperial mount and journey through Tamriel with speed.
    • Mudcrab Vanity Pet: Explore Tamriel with a mudcrab pet scuttling along by your side.
    • Rings of Mara: Complete the Ritual of Mara with a friend and receive an experience bonus when you play together.

The Physical Imperial Edition is extremely limited in quantity and available for pre-order now through participating retailers for $99.99 (€99.99/£89.99).

The Elder Scrolls Online Digital Imperial Edition includes the base game and all digital content outlined for the Physical Imperial Edition above and retails for $79.99 (€79.99/£69.99).

All those who pre-order or pre-purchase either the Imperial Edition or the Standard Edition in physical or digital formats will also receive The Explorer’s Pack bonus at launch, which includes: Scuttler vanity pet, four bonus treasure maps, and the ability to play as any of the nine races in any Alliance.

Early Access bonuses will also be offered to those pre-ordering or pre-purchasing a PC/Mac version. A five (5) day early access bonus will be offered to those who pre-purchase the Digital Imperial Edition or the Digital Standard Edition through The Elder Scrolls Online Store. Additional early access programs are also available through participating retailers.

The Elder Scrolls Online, developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, is the latest chapter of the award-winning franchise and will bring the legendary experience online for the first time. Players can choose their own style of play as they embark upon an epic adventure across all of Tamriel, playing alone on heroic quests as in previous Elder Scrolls games, exploring the huge, rich world with a few friends, or joining with hundreds of others in massive PvP battles to save the Empire.

The Elder Scrolls® Online will be available worldwide on April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac users. Versions for the PlayStation®4 system and the Xbox One® will be arriving on retail shelves in June 2014.

The Elder Scrolls Online has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Both standard and collector’s editions are now available for pre-order through participating retailers and pre-purchase from the newly launched, official online store -store.elderscrollsonline.com.

One important thing to note: All those who pre-order or pre-purchase either the Imperial Edition or the Standard Edition in physical or digital formats will also receive The Explorer’s Pack bonus at launch, which includes: Scuttler vanity pet, four bonus treasure maps, and the ability to play as any of the nine races in any Alliance. Early Access bonuses will also be offered to those pre-ordering or pre-purchasing a PC/Mac version.

If you missed it, ESO releases on PC/Mac worldwide on Friday, April 4th and on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June. If you haven’t had a chance to experience the game, be sure to sign up for beta at signup.elderscrollsonline.com.

And finally…what better way to celebrate, than with an epic video! You can check it out right here:

The Elder Scrolls Online Voice Cast Revealed

We are pleased to announce that a renowned group of actors will be lending their voices to The Elder Scrolls Online. John Cleese, Michael Gambon, Kate Beckinsale, Malcolm McDowell, Lynda Carter, Bill Nighy, and Alfred Molina – and many more – take on the roles of just some of the interesting characters you’ll meet while exploring Tamriel.

Get all the details on the star-studded voice cast – and the characters they play – in the press release below. And if you’re hoping to meet these characters before the game officially launches for PC/Mac on April 4th, sign up for beta today!

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES STAR-STUDDED VOICE OVER CAST FOR THE ELDER SCROLLS® ONLINE

Latest Game in Award-Winning Franchise Brings Together All-Star Cast

January 23, 2014 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced the members of the renowned cast lending their voices to The Elder Scrolls® Online, the highly-anticipated game arriving April 4, 2014 on PC and Mac and June 2014 for the PlayStation®4 system and Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. The Elder Scrolls® Online ensemble includes Academy Award nominee John Cleese (“A Fish Called Wanda,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“), Golden Globe winner Bill Nighy (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), Kate Beckinsale (“The Aviator,” “Pearl Harbor”), Alfred Molina (“Spider-Man 2″) and Golden Globe nominees Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter”), and Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”). In addition, Lynda Carter (“Wonder Woman”) returns to the Elder Scrolls series to reprise her role from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

The Elder Scrolls Online is the latest chapter of the award-winning franchise and will bring the legendary experience online for the first time. Players can choose their own style of play as they embark upon an epic adventure across all of Tamriel, playing alone on heroic quests as in previous Elder Scrolls games, exploring the huge, rich world with a few friends, or joining with hundreds of others in massive PvP battles to save the Empire.

“This extraordinary group of actors helps bring the distinctive characters in The Elder Scrolls Online to life,” said Matt Firor, game director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “In The Elder Scrolls tradition, we sought world class talent to add a deep and enriching component to the immersive world the series offers players.”

John Cleese plays Cadwell, the cheerful and endearingly mad lost soul who is not afraid of anyone, even a Daedric Prince. Joining the cast as High King Emeric, Bill Nighy portrays a merchant prince whose luck and determination won him the throne. Kate Beckinsale takes on the role of Queen Ayrenn, the leader of the Aldmeri Dominion and Queen of the High Elves who is far more comfortable with a blade than her crown.

In addition, Alfred Molina takes on the role of Abnur Tharn, a wily old wizard and politician who is the head of the Empire’s Elder Council, and the de facto power behind the Ruby Throne. Lynda Carter plays Azura, the Daedric Princess of Dusk and Dawn from Skyrim who is a popular part of Elder Scrolls lore.  Michael Gambon voices The Prophet, a mysterious blind man who guides the player through their journey to retrieve their soul; and Malcolm McDowell plays the key figure Molag Bal, an evil Daedric god from another plane who schemes to enslave the mortal souls of Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls Online cast also includes:

  • Peter Stormare (“Fargo”) plays Jorunn the Skald King, an unexpected monarch who led his people into an unlikely alliance.
  • Jim Ward (“WALL·E,” “Despicable Me 2″) voices Mannimarco, a renegade High Elf wizard exiled from the realm for raising the dead and the world’s most powerful necromancer.
  • Jennifer Hale appears in the role of Lyris Titanborn, a Nord half-giant, who, along with the Prophet, aids the player on their journey..
  • Kevin Michael Richardson rounds out the cast as Sai Sahan a noble martial artist and master swordsman.

The Elder Scrolls Online has been named one of the industry’s most anticipated titles for 2014 and marks a historic point for the franchise with its multiplayer online play after nearly 20 years of developing these best-selling, award-winning fantasy role-playing games for single player only. The previous chapter in this franchise was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® which was released in November 2011 and enjoyed worldwide critical and commercial success. As the sequel to the 2002 Role-Playing Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®, and the 2006 Game of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, Skyrim earned hundreds of ‘Game of the Year’ awards and sold over 20 million copies.

The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed for the PlayStation4 system, Xbox One, PC, and Mac by ZeniMax Online Studios. The studio is headed by industry veteran Matt Firor who has more than 20 years of online game development experience. Working with Matt is a team of highly regarded professionals who have created some of the best known online games ever released.

The Elder Scrolls Online has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Bundles of Love – Dishonored/Borderlands 2 & Skyrim/BioShock Infinite

It looks like Borderlands’ Claptrap has a crush on us. Intrigued by the idea of receiving dub step-based love songs and receiving an invite to his very exclusive birthday/pizza party, we accept his proposal to package Dishonored & Borderlands 2 together. And for good fun, let’s do a Skyrim & BioShock Infinite bundle, too!

Both bundles will be available in North America for $29.99 on Tuesday, February 11th on Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3.

Skyrim mash-up for Minecraft available today on Xbox 360

Today on Xbox LIVE you can purchase the Skyrim mash-up for Minecraft: Xbox 360 for $3.99. Big thanks to Microsoft, Mojang, 4J Studios, and everyone here at Bethesda for making this happen.

If you missed it, here’s the content breakdown for the pack:

  • Skyrim themed texture set to apply to any existing or newly created Minecraft world.
  • 40 Skyrim characters skins to apply to player’s in-game avatars: Dragonborn (male), Dragonborn (female), Ancano, Elenwen, Argonian Fighter, Argonian Mage, Bosmer Archer, Bosmer Mage, Breton Mage, Forsworn Shaman, Dunmer Mage, Dunmer Assassin, Imperial Soldier, Vex, Khajiit Merchant, Stormcloak Soldier, Lydia, Orc Blacksmith, Orc Warrior female, Nazir, Saadia, Vampire Lord, Isran, Astrid, Aela the Huntress, M’aiq the Liar, Greybeard, Frost Troll, Flame Atronach, Dragon Priest, Hagraven, Draugr Deathlord, Sheogorath, Spriggan, Dwarven Centurion, Wispmother, Dremora Lord, Master Necromancer, Vilkas, Orc Warrior Male
  • Skyrim themed Menu, UI and Inventory including integrated Skyrim logo.
  • Skyrim music score featuring the following original tracks: Watch the Skies, Dragonborn, Awake, From Past To Present, The City Gates, Dragonsreach, Distant Horizons, Dawn, The Jerall Mountains, Secunda, Frostfall, Unbound, Far Horizons, The Streets of Whiterun, The White River, Standing Stones, Tundra, Journey’s End, Aurora, Solitude, Wind Guide You, Tooth and Claw, Into Darkness, Shadows and Echoes, Towers and Shadows, Death in the Darkness
  • Pre-made World recreating the area of WhiterunRiverwood and Bleakfalls Barrow (on a smaller scale in order to fit with technical constraints of the games map size limits)

Dragons are Forever

Recently, via Twitter, we learned how Skyrim fan Caleb Gayle proposed to his fiancé, Dara, with a ring inscribed with Dragon language. We recently caught up with the soon-to-be-married couple, who have planned their wedding date for December 31st, 2013.

How did you pop the question?

Caleb: Well it was quite the challenge keeping the secret for so long. At first I was telling her that I owed my father money so week by week I saved a little. Then one day I let her know that we would be visiting my Uncle in Manhattan for about a week, as a mini vacation.

Once we were in Manhattan my uncle called and said lets go see the sites. I then asked dara “Would you like to see the Empire State Building?”, and of course she said, “YES!”

While at the top of the Empire state I started doing a vlog video for our site, 2ndOpinionPod.com, and asked Dara to get in the shot. My uncle knew all along what I was planning and once I had the chance I said “The trip so far has been amazing…..but it would be even better if….. (kneeled down on one knee)… Dara I want to spend the rest of my life with you will you marry me?” That’s when I realized there was about 50 people surrounding us smiling and clapping while she said “YES!”

Dara: I was already very excited to be in New York. All the extremely tall buildings and structures were just so mesmerizing.  It was a lot to take in all at once. Then I was standing on top of the tallest building in New York when Caleb, being Caleb, was making a video once again, tugging on me to get in the shot. I wasn’t really sure what to do so I pulled a Vanna White trying to show off the building. That’s when I was given the biggest surprise in my life. Caleb plopped down on one knee crying like a baby and I’m thinking “HOLY CRAP!!”  After I said yes and Caleb told me everybody knew and that he lied to me about giving his dad money, I impulsively punched him in the stomach.

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Babyhood of Steel

Recently BGS character artist Dennis Mejilones and his wife Elizabeth welcomed their first child, Adriana Dahlia. To help celebrate the occasion, world artist Josh Jay, whose been known to make some pretty amazing helmets in the past, decided to create a helmet for Adriana.

In the slideshow below, check out various images of the production process, and read our short interview with Jay after the break.

Continue reading full article ›

ESO: Character Creation in Action

Watch our new Elder Scrolls Online video to get a taste of the diverse customization options you’ll have at your fingertips in the game.

Even though creating your character is just the first step on your adventure, it’s an important one. We want to give you the tools you need to realize the hero you’re already envisioning, and we’re excited to give you a peek at some of the options you’ll use to create the character you want to play in ESO. Take a look at our new video and share your thoughts on The Elder Scrolls Online Facebook page.