Bethesda said on Wednesday that The Elder Scrolls Online MMORPG will finally launch worldwide for the PC and Mac on April 4, 2014 (aka 4.4.14). The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will go live in June 2014, possibly around E3 2014.
"Worldwide demand for The Elder Scrolls Online is extraordinarily high," writes Bethesda's Matt Firor. "This means we need to do a staggered rollout of the different versions of the game to spread out the initial service load and ensure an enjoyable, smooth gameplay experience. It is not only a game we are launching – it is a large online service as well, and our number one priority is to ensure a trouble-free, stable rollout for everyone."
Firor said that game development is "coming along very well," and that the team has completed major systems development. Right now they're polishing the "hundreds and hundreds" of hours of content, fixing quest issues, making combat even more fun and responsive, and so on. The team also plans to spend the next several months "reacting" to the latest feedback from internal and external testers and gameplay data.
"As some of you know, we've been in beta testing for about a year now, leading up to our most recent test in late November where we had over 300,000 people in the game over a 48 hour period," Firor writes. "We've had approximately 4 million people sign up for beta and that number continues to grow. These tests are very important, not only for gameplay feedback, but also to test our infrastructure. Beta tests can sometimes be a little rough when we are testing some systems for the first time with large numbers of players."
Will The Elder Scroll Online, which will be a subscription service without a free-to-play tier, succeed in going up against Blizzard's massively popular World of Warcraft? Several have tried, such as The Old Republic, Age of Conan and Rift, but were forced to introduce free-to-play models to keep some players engaged.
Yet Bethesda has the upper hand; Elder Scroll players have pleaded for a multiplayer component for years. Bethesda has also established a solid foundation of loyal fans over the last 20 years, starting with The Elder Scrolls: Arena released in 1994. Even more, the team is known for creating lush, exquisite open worlds that beg to be opened up to a multitude of players simultaneously.
In addition to the news, Bethesda released a new video that highlights the MMORPG's "massive" PvP system. This system allows hundreds of players to fight together, and against one another, in a quest to claim the Ruby Throne.