Rumours of the development of an Elder Scrolls MMORPG have been circulating for years, but new evidence suggests that it could well be a reality. An “industry source” stated that Bethesda’s latest project will be officially announced in May 2012.

The source spoke to Tom’s Guide, revealing that the MMO, titled Elder Scrolls Online, will be set 1000 years before Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Furthermore, the game will feature three factions represented by a lion, a dragon and a bird of prey. It can be assumed that players will be limited to one faction, and that the factions will fight each other in some form of player vs. player combat.

While we love the Elder Scrolls universe, we’re not sure how it will translate to an MMO environment. Will the developers follow the route of a traditional MMO, such as Everquest and World of Warcraft, or will we see something new and innovative? Bethesda must be well aware of the high regard that the world of Tamriel is held in, and they will also know that most MMOs fail. An MMO with the Elder Scrolls name attached to it puts the whole franchise at risk if it fails – a huge investment is required to make this kind of game.

At this stage, however, it’s still a rumour. Bethesda refused to comment when asked for confirmation. We’ll have to wait a couple of months to see if Elder Scrolls Online is indeed Skyrim‘s successor.

What do you think? Is there truth in this rumour? Is it a good idea for Bethesda to reach out to the MMO market?

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