Why there's no Elder Scrolls MMO

Howard: "I like this kind of game better."

While The Elder Scrolls' enormous universe might seem a perfect fit for an MMO, its developers have so far resisted the urge to take the RPG behemoth online.

When questioned by Joystiq as to why, director Todd Howard explained that he thinks the action RPG experience works better when its tailored around a single central protagonist.

"I like this kind of game better," he admitted.

"You know, it's what most of us are into. I'm not really an MMO guy. I respect them, I look at them, but I don't play them. It feels more real to me when I'm the hero and it's crafted for that. A community aspect to it, I recognise a lot of people would want that in a game like this, but it changes the flavor for me.

"The audience we have for our kind of thing is big enough that we don't have to tone it down. We can just do our thing, and it's kind of grown with each game. So there was no pressure from anybody above me to say 'Hey, you need to change this.'"

While Howard himself seems uninterested in the MMO format, publisher Bethesda might not be quite so circumspect. Rumors circulated last year that it does indeed have an Elder Scrolls MMO in the works.

The rabidly-anticipated The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is due out this November on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Why not pop down to the Eurogamer Expo next month and check it out?

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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