The Elder Scrolls Online release schedule unfurled ahead of April 4 launch

The horizon: the eternal promise of the Elder Scrolls series. But is it worth reaching?

The Elder Scrolls Online is out now; here’s our Elder Scrolls Online review.

Following a spate of recent launch cock-ups from some of the biggest publishers in the business, the pre-order has come to seem less like a gesture of good faith and giddy anticipation, more like a favour to a corporation that probably doesn’t even send you birthday cards.

And so the publishers have had to sweeten the deal. In The Elder Scrolls Online’s case, that’ll mean a strange, staggered release come the start of April. Not one, but two separate pre-purchase early access schemes will run prior to full launch. See the details of them, and work out when you might be able to play, below.

The first sleuthgate will be opened in six days’ time, on March 30. That’s for players who pre-ordered ESO’s standard digital edition directly from Bethesda’s online store, or bought the pricey Imperial edition from anywhere:

  • North America (East) – 7:00am EDT
  • UK/IE – 12:00pm WEST
  • Central Europe – 1:00pm CEST
  • Sydney, Australia: 10:00pm AEDT
  • Singapore: 7:00pm SGT

A little after that, there’ll be a shorter, three-day grace period for the calendar-designated fools who pre-ordered the standard edition from a retailer, on April 1:

  • North America (East) – 7:00am EDT
  • UK/IE – 12:00pm WEST
  • Central Europe – 1:00pm CEST
  • Sydney, Australia – 10:00pm AEDT
  • Singapore – 7:00pm SGT

Once all of that lot have cleared Tamriel of its (thankfully instanced) resources, the rest of the gang can pile in on April 4:

  • North America (East) – 7:00 PM EDT (Thursday, April 3)
  • UK/IE – 12:00 AM WEST
  • Central Europe – 1:00 AM CEST
  • Sydney, Australia – 10:00am AEDT
  • Singapore – 7:00am SGT

If anything, I think that arbitrary distinction between fans who pre-ordered from Bethesda and those who did so from retailers just reaffirms my distrust of pre-orders. How about yours?

Cheers to IGN and Reddit AMAers.