Elder Scrolls Multiplayer Possible But Unlikely

There's no question that a multiplayer component for Bethesda's Elder Scrolls franchise would be an awesome addition. The enormous, immersive terrain in both Morrowind and Oblivion seemingly indicates that there's a potential for some kind of multiplayer gameplay whether its a four-player co-op party or a full-blown MMORPG.

In a recent issue of Edge Magazine, Bethesda's Pete Hines addresses the topic, indicating that it's technically possible to add a multiplayer component, but ultimately becomes a question of whether the current title needs the component or not.

"I've always said: 'You tell us whether or not your game needs it," he explained in the interview. "I'm not going to tell you it has to be in there, or it has to be on the back of the box. If that's the reason you're doing it then don't waste your time and don't waste ours."

He admitted that repeated requests for multiplayer support by Elder Scroll fans "does get old," but goes on to say that the addition could make the final product a "lesser game."

"It's not wrong or unreasonable for people to want to experience a game with their friends, or want to do things with folks online," he explained. "There's nothing wrong with that at all. What we've tried to do is help people understand that in game development, it's all about trade-offs. One of our mantras here is that you can do anything - you just can't do everything.

"So certainly we could do multiplayer," he added. "Unquestionably. It's not a thing we're technically incapable of figuring out. But when we draw up the list of things we'd like to have cut or change in order to support that feature, what we end up with is unpalatable. It'd make a lesser version of the game. And there is no doubt on the dev side that that is the case."

Recently BioWare admitted that it's looking into developing a MMOG based in the Dead Space universe. Ultimately Bethesda may want to investigate this avenue as well, as an Elder Scrolls MMORPG would pose as a viable threat to Blizzard's highly-popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. A free-to-play model may also be possible, requiring gamers to pay for premium items and gain access to premium areas within Tamriel (or another continent on Nirn).

  • wickedsnow
    Multiplayer or not, I'm looking forward to skyrim and I love the entire elderscrolls series!

    I wish they would re-release arena,daggerfall, and morrowwind with updated graphics and support for newer hardware. (Wishful thinking most likely!)
  • jednx01
    I'm looking forward to the game, but I don't really think elderscrolls needs multiplayer in order to be successful. I loved oblivion, even though it had no multiplayer. I have no problem with them adding multiplayer, as long as it doesn't cause them to put less effort into the single player portion of the game.
  • buzznut
    Yeah I agree with bethesda's assessment. If skyrim is anything like the other games, it will be a near perfect rpg on its own. I think its more likely they would do a MMO based on that universe than an addition to the standard rpg.

    I can't wait either, by far my favorite games.
  • Anomalyx
    I think if they keep multiplayer functionality simple, it will avoid harming the gameplay. For example, it could use a host/guest system, where nothing would change when a guest joined except for having an extra blade running around with you (maybe bump difficulty as more players join, too). Other things to implement would be trading, and division of loot, but a multiplayer schema that simple likelywouldn't negatively affect the game.
  • A MMOG wouldn't work well for this series. BUT, a co-op mode would be so freaking awesome. I can't really see how there would need to be much compromise of features to get co-op working. Of course, I'm not the one making the game. It has to happen eventually if they want to keep the series fresh.
  • maestintaolius
    I think we have more than enough multiplayer RPGs. I want some more high quality single player ones.
  • tdenton1138
    +1 on coop. MMORPGs are a dime a dozen. Just give me Oblivion quality single player with the possibility of having a friend drop in.
  • xrome
    I'm sure in in the minority of gamers when I say I dread that they add multiplayer to the game. Multiplayer slowly but surely kills single player games. Keep Elder Scrolls as the premier single player gaming experience, please.
  • cburke82
    if they came out with a elder scrolls MMORPG and did it right I would insta quit wow lol. They could have areas based on the games allready out. For example Skyrim could be an expansion and the area could be much the same if not exactly the same as the 1 player game :)
  • dapneym
    I would love to have a co-op option for Skyrim. My friend and I always wanted to play Oblivion together, but obviously couldn't. I think it would make a nice addition, and would definitely give me even more reason to buy it when it comes out.