The Elder Scrolls Online is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, to be released in 2014.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. 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, Alfred Molina, Michael Gambon, Malcom McDowell and Peter Stormare.
The Elder Scrolls Online had been in development for 5 years prior to its announcement in May 2012. 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.
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. 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.
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.
On January 21, 2013, Beta sign ups for The Elder Scrolls Online began. On March 26, 2013, the first round of closed beta invites were sent out. On April 8, 2013, the second round of closed beta invites were sent out. 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 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. While players on PC and Mac play together, those on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 play only with others on the same platform.
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. The monthly fee is set at $14.99. It was announced on January 28, 2014, that the game will not require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online. The Elder Scrolls Online, however, on Xbox One will require an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription in addition to The Elder Scrolls Online’s $14.99 /mo. subscription.