The Elder Scrolls Online

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The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder scrolls online logo.jpg
Developer(s) ZeniMax Online Studios[1]
Publisher(s) Bethesda Softworks[2]
Director(s) Matt Firor[1][2]
Composer(s) Jeremy Soule (Main Theme)
Brad Derrick
Rik Schaffer
Series The Elder Scrolls
Engine Custom[3]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One[1][2]
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows & OS X
April 4, 2014[4]
PlayStation 4 & Xbox One
June 2014[5]
Genre(s) MMORPG[1]
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, which was released on April 4, 2014 for Microsoft Windows and OS X, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions plan to be released in June.[4] It is a part of The Elder Scrolls video game franchise, of which it is the first open-ended multiplayer installment. It was announced on May 3, 2012, in an exclusive reveal by Game Informer and formally revealed in the same month's issue of the magazine.[1]


Upon creating a character players have access to four classes: Dragon Knight, Templar, Sorcerer, and Nightblade.

As in previous The Elder Scrolls titles, the gameplay is mostly nonlinear[6] with a mixture of quests, random events, and encouragement for players to simply explore the world.[7] The game has no offline mode, although the developers have stated that there will be "plenty of content" designed to accommodate players who prefer to play solo.[8]


As with other games in The Elder Scrolls franchise, the game will be set in the continent of Tamriel and feature a storyline indirectly connected with the other games. The game will be set a millennium before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and around 800 years before The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, with the Daedric Prince Molag Bal appearing as the main antagonist as he attempts to meld the plane of Mundus with his realm of Coldharbour.[1]

Most of the continent of Tamriel will be playable in the game (although much of it will be locked off for expansion content), and players will have the opportunity to join any of the three factions warring over the throne of the Emperor of Tamriel:[1] The Second Aldmeri Dominion (represented by an eagle), composed of Altmer (High elf), Bosmer (Wood elf), and Khajiit; the Daggerfall Covenant (represented by a lion), composed of Bretons, Imperials, Redguards and Orsimer (Orcs); and the Ebonheart Pact (represented by a dragon), composed of Nords, Dunmer (Dark elf) and Argonians.


The Elder Scrolls Online had been in development for 5 years prior to its announcement in May 2012.[1] It is the first project for ZeniMax Online Studios, which was formed in 2007. Matt Firor, studio lead at Zenimax Online, is also the director of The Elder Scrolls Online.[2]

While there have been rumors of a massively multiplayer The Elder Scrolls game for years, accurate information about the game and its imminent May 2012 announcement was leaked in March 2012 to online publication Tom's Guide by an anonymous industry source.[9] According to the leak, the game was scheduled to be shown at E3 2012 in June (which it was) and QuakeCon 2012 in August. The current release date is April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac.[4]

Published November 8, 2012, Bethesda released a video on YouTube called "An Introduction to The Elder Scrolls Online", in which the game's developers talk about the game's content and how it was made.[10]

On January 21, 2013, Beta sign ups for The Elder Scrolls Online began.[11] On March 26, 2013, the first round of closed beta invites were sent out.[12] On April 8, 2013, the second round of closed beta invites were sent out.[13] On July 9, 2013 the third round of closed beta invites were sent. On November 20, 2013, the fourth round of closed beta invites were sent. On January 7, 2014, the fifth round of closed beta invites were sent. On February 4, 2014, the sixth round of closed beta invites were sent. On February 26, 2014, the seventh round of closed beta invites were sent.

On June 10, 2013, Sony announced that The Elder Scrolls Online would be available on PlayStation 4 at their E3 press conference. It was later clarified by Bethesda that it would also be available on Xbox One.[14] While players on PC and Mac play together, those on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 play only with others on the same platform.[15]

On August 21, 2013, at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, it was announced that The Elder Scrolls Online will have a monthly subscription fee upon release for all platforms.[16][17] Time can be purchased in 30, 90, and 180 day increments.[citation needed] While it was announced on January 28, 2014, that the game will not require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online,[18] the Xbox One version will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription in addition to The Elder Scrolls Online monthly subscription.[19]

On January 23, 2014 several actors were announced to voice cast the characters of The Elder Scrolls Online, among them John Cleese, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, Lynda Carter, Alfred Molina, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Hale, Malcolm McDowell, and Peter Stormare.[20]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 77.36%[21]
Metacritic (PC) 78/100[22]
Review scores
Publication Score
PC Gamer 68/100[23]

The Elder Scrolls Online received generally favorable reviews upon release; the game has a weighted aggregate rating of 77.36% on GameRankings, based on 14 reviews,[21] and 78/100 on Metacritic, based on 25 reviews.[22]

Metro reported that The Elder Scrolls Online was the top-selling game in the United Kingdom for the week of April 5 for individual formats, and number two across all formats.[24]

Shortly after the game's launch it was reported that players couldn't start the thirty days of free time included with their purchase until a subscription had been set up and——in "a strange state of affairs" and "most likely a mistake"——after a full month had been paid for.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "June Cover Revealed: The Elder Scrolls Online". Game Informer. May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Elder Scrolls Online makes MMO of series". Gamasutra. May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Why The Elder Scrolls Online Isn't Using HeroEngine". Game Informer. May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Dyer, Mitch (December 11, 2013). "The Elder Scrolls Online PC, Xbox One, and PS4 Release Dates Announced - IGN". IGN. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Phillips, Jack (January 8, 2014). "Elder Scrolls Online: Beta Key Invites Sent Out Before April 2014 Release Date". The Epoch Times. Retrieved January 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The choices you make, from the alliance you join to the battles you fight, will shape your destiny and the world of Tamriel",, Retrieved on January 26, 2014
  7. ^ Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (December 31, 2013). "Elder Scrolls Online interview: Bethesda talks risks, rewards and compromises". Official Xbox Magazine. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Will The Elder Scrolls Online Have A Single-Player, Offline Mode?". Bethesda Softworks. February 7, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Bethesda to Announce Elder Scrolls MMO in May". Tom's Guide. March 15, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  10. ^ "An Introduction to The Elder Scrolls Online". YouTube. Bethesda Softworks. November 8, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Elder Scrolls Online: Beta Sign-Up". Bethesda Softworks. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Elder Scrolls Online - First Wave of Beta Invitations". Bethesda Softworks. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Elder Scrolls Online - Second Wave of Beta Invitations". Bethesda Softworks. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ Sliva, Marty (June 10, 2013). "E3 2013: Elder Scrolls Online Coming to PS4, Xbox One". IGN. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  15. ^ Kain, Erik (July 8, 2013). "Elder Scrolls Online: Bethesda Calls Next-Gen Cross-Platform Play 'Just A Nightmare'". Forbes. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Mahardy, Mike (August 21, 2013). "The Elder Scrolls Online Will Require a $15 Monthly Subscription Fee". IGN. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Help: Elder Scrolls Online official site". Bethesda Softworks. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  18. ^ Firor, Matt. "The Elder Scrolls Online on PS4: Your Questions Answered". PlayStation Blog. PlayStation US. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  19. ^ Futter, Mike (January 28, 2014). "PlayStation Plus Is Not Required For The Elder Scrolls Online, Xbox Live Gold Is". Game Informer. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 23, 2014). "Elder Scrolls Online voice cast is seriously impressive". GameSpot. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "The Elder Scrolls Online for PC - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  22. ^ a b The Elder Scrolls Online for PC Reviews at Metacritic Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  23. ^ Thursten, Chris (2014-04-14). "The Elder Scrolls Online review". Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  24. ^ "Elder Scrolls Online takes UK number one, as FIFA 14 scores again". Metro. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (April 6, 2014). "The Elder Scrolls Online runs into free sub time billing issues". Massively (blog). AOL. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 

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