Exclusive: Bethesda to Announce Elder Scrolls MMO in May

While details are still few and far between, Tom’s has learned that ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda will officially announce Elder Scrolls Online in May 2012.

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.

Elder Scrolls Online will have three playable factions, according to the tipster. Not much is known about the factions, except each is represented by one of three animals: A lion, a dragon, and a bird of prey (either a phoenix or an eagle, we aren’t sure).

A May 2012 announcement would likely be followed by some sort of presence at E3, the annual Los Angeles video game convention. The game would also be shown at Quakecon 2012 in August, along with id Software’s Doom 4 and several other titles.

The fact that ZeniMax and Bethesda are working on an MMO is hardly a secret, as related job postings have been on ZeniMax’s website for quite some time now. What remained unknown until now was the universe in which this MMO would take place. While some were certainly hoping for a Fallout MMO of some sort - a game that ZeniMax and Bethesda control the publishing rights for – that is not to be the case.

When Tom’s reached out for confirmation, the response from ZeniMax and Bethesda was a “no comment.” We will update this article as more information comes in.

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Devin Connors currently works as a community manager for Rocket League at Psyonix Studios, but he was previously a senior editor at Tom's Guide, writing about gaming, phones, and pretty much every other tech category. His work has also appeared in publications including Shacknews, GameZone, The Escapist, Machinima, and more.