Bethesda and sister companies ZeniMax Online Studios are said to have a huge announcement planned for the spring. A new report suggests that the two companies will reveal Elder Scrolls Online, an MMO set in the same world as Skyrim, Oblivion and Morrowind, in May.

Tom's Guide, citing an industry source, says that the MMO will take place a thousand years before the events of Skyrim. This would mean it takes place several centuries before any of the Elder Scrolls games, in fact. That timeframe seems like a good idea, as it would give the developers plenty of creative freedom. They wouldn't have to worry about the MMO intruding on any storylines from the other titles.

The report also says that the game will have three factions for players. The details on these factions aren't known. However, they're reprsented by a dragon, a lion, and a bird of prey. Someone with a bit more knowledge of Elder Scrolls lore than me might be able to guess the factions based on those details alone.

ZeniMax Online has been very upfront about the fact that they're making an MMO. They were staffing up for a "world class" game as early as 2009. They never announced any details on the game, though. Makes sense that it'd be an Elder Scrolls MMO, considering that ES is Bethesda's flagship franchise. Plus, the Fallout MMO rights were owned by a different company up until this January.

May feels like a good time to announce a new game. It's not overly crowded with new releases, and it's before the E3 news deluge. An Elder Scrolls MMO should get plenty of time whenever it's revealed, though.

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