Bethesda Thursdays

It’s been an exciting week for Bethesda Game Studios. From Skyrim fans discovering details about upcoming DLC additions — Crossbows! Snow Elves! — in patch files, to the tenth anniversary of the release of Morrowind, to the announcement of the release date of Arkane Studios’ Dishonored, there has been a lot of excitement for fans of the makers of the The Elder Scrolls series. Kinect support for the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim is now available, and the game’s first DLC expansion — Dawnguard — was announced as well.

However, all of that pales in comparison to the news that The Elder Scrolls Online is very much in production and slated for a 2013 release!

The Elder Scrolls Online merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Players will discover an entirely new chapter of Elder Scrolls history in this ambitious world, set a millennium before the events of Skyrim as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm.

“It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years,” said game director and MMO veteran Matt Firor, whose previous work includes Mythic’s well-received Dark Age of Camelot. “The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”

Well…that’s exciting! Of course, that’s also all there is to say; other gaming sites are just linking to the GameInformer piece quoted above.

Geeze…how do I even follow that up with anything? Let’s see…PC Gamer is messing around with Skyrim’s alchemy system…someone took it upon himself to re-create many of the foods featured in the gameKotaku has a list of all the Kinect-supported Dragon Shouts (as well as a pair of other voice commands you can use to mess with your friends)…hmmn.

Oh! This is moderately exciting: Over thirteen million Skyrim mods have been downloaded from Steam; PC Gamer has a list of the most popular ones. Also, this guy plays a pretty mean game of Skyrim.

There are also some new Dishonored screenshots at the Bethesda blog, and it’s worth noting that the game sounds like it could be rather hardcore in nature…this in addition to offering what might just be some real flexibility in play style. RPGWatch has a few other odds and ends related to the game, including descriptions of a couple very cool-sounding in-game features.

And coming back to the matter of Morrowind’s tenth anniversary for just a moment, Forbes has an article up about the game’s virtues as compared to its successors, while GameBanshee (and Kotaku) have published articles praising Morrowind’s soundtrack. Which, let’s face it, was pretty awesome.

10 Responses

  1. Sergorn says:

    Well color me unsurprised.

    Of course, The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the industry’s worst kept secret, so we knew the annoucement was coming.

    I’d say eck… why not ? I mean in many ways the Elder Scrolls games already felt like a MMO to begin with, so doing a MMO version of it really feels like a no brainer. I’m not sure I’d be interested in it though, at least not while I’m still playing SWTOR.

    On a related note you can find more details and screenshots in that article:
    http://xbigygames.com/the-elder-scrolls-online-screenshots-and-details/

    This is reportedly using the Hero Engine, like SWTOR, but you wouldn’t think so based on its screen.

    On a side note some of the reactions about the annoucement are just bordeline STUPID, with people already saying this spells the doom of the TES single player games. Yeah right.

    With 10 millions Skyrim sold, and the majority of it on consoles, you can bet Bethesda will begin working on TESVI as soon as Fallout 4 is out.

    And nevermind the fact that TESO is being handled by a completly different studio.

    • Infinitron says:

      Well, if we look at the past…any Warcraft RTS games after WoW? Any KOTOR RPGs after SWTOR?

      • Sergorn says:

        Different situations altogether though.

        Warcraft : granted there hasn’t been a new RTS. But there’s the issue that it’s the same studio doing WoW that did the the Warcraft RTS games, and also the fact that by putting WoW chronogically after Warcraft 3 it kind put in wrench into furthering the story in a new RTS. Which is probably the reason Bethesda is putting TESO a thousand years before the Skyrim. But you know before Starcraft 2 was announced, a lot of people thought it’d never come because of WoW and Blizzard was gonna do a World of Starcraft. So you never know…

        KOTOR : this is more a LucasArts issue really, and the fact they just don’t seem to know what to do with their IP. You know they actually had a KOTOR3 in development internally after KOTOR2 and they cancelled it (and they did the same thing with The Force Unleashed 3 recently even though it was their most succesful SW IP in a LONG time). But there’s actually no reason to think a new Star Wars RPG wouldn’t be doable in spite of SWTOR really – there are plenty of era in the SW chronology such a game could explore.

        And as I said even putting the whole “A different studio is handling the MMO” argument aside (since I guess you can make the argument that TES will stick to MMO and Bethesda Game Studios will just stick to making Fallout games), again: you can’t forget the importance of consoles gamers.

        There are MILLIONS of consoles gamers who buy, play and enjoy Elder Scrolls games. There is no way in hell Zenimax and Bethesda will not want to bring more TES games for these gamers. And while you could argue they’d make a console port of TESO… considering consoles MMOs tend to fail miserably, this seems unlikely.

        And considering we’re likely not seeing TES6 before 2016 or such, there’s no risk of TESO and TES6 competing with each other and TESO could serve as a “fix” for fans while they wait for TES6.

        So while there are precedant, I think the Bethesda situations is very different.

        (I’d also point that Amalur plans to do both SRPGs and MMO too)

      • Sergorn says:

        OH and geez forgot to mention this but… Final Fantasy XI&XIV certainly didn’t kill the production of single player Final Fantasy games, and The Sims Online certainly didn’t kill The Sims IP… So there are precedants on the other side as well :P

      • Deckard says:

        Unfortunately nothing can kill the unholy beast that is The Sims :)

        I’m being serious when I say that had The Sims Online been executed a lot better, it’d probably still be chugging along today with a large customer base.

        They really blew it with that one, but I guess they win in the end with the Sims Social on Facebook.

    • MicroMagicc says:

      As unpopular as I am in these parts, I risk Sergorn’s credibility by again agreeing with his assessments.

      Holy Smokes! How is Morrowind 10 years old? Gee I feel old in my mid 20’s. Feels like it was only yesterday I disavowed Morrwind for Gothic 1. Although I won’t carry water for the Gothic series past 1 anyway…

  2. Infinitron says:

    BTW, Sergorn, can you tell us what else is written in that French article about Dishonored linked to from the RPGCodex?

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