Todd Howard praises “passion and dedication” of Zenimax Online as Elder Scrolls hits third decade

The Elder Scrolls: Arena was originally intended to be just that, but broke out of its stadium borders.

In their first 10 years making the Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda built a name for themselves – and in the 10 since, a major publisher has grown around them. But all the while, a central team has quietly assembled intricate webs of systems and clifftop panoramas.

Like their flagship series, Todd Howard has been at Bethesda for two decades now. Looking back, he’s proud of the fact that the team have “always started over” when approaching a new Elder Scrolls game – and is pleased sister studio Zenimax have done the same for The Elder Scrolls Online.

“One thing that has kept the series vibrant for so long is that as opposed to simply adding to the previous game for a sequel, we always started over,” said Howard on the Bethesda Blog. “It was our desire that each game be its own thing; had its own tone, its own soul.”

Technology and the desires of Bethesda’s team have changed over the years, said Howard, but their core goal has survived – “to create a game that transported you to another place”.

Over 20 years, Bethesda have sought to make “a game that fueled you with the ideal of endless possibilities”, and within it “a world you could make your own”.

Of course, the Elder Scrolls no longer belongs to Howard’s studio alone. He took the opportunity to point out that The Elder Scrolls is “ready to head in a new direction – online”.

“The great folks at ZeniMax Online have brought the same passion and dedication to that game that we brought to ours,” he said. “And like the other titles, it will be its own thing.

“We hope you give them the same support and feedback you’ve given us for so long.”

I’ve spent tens of hours with The Elder Scrolls Online; not hundreds; not years. But at the present time, I’m not sure it’s so worthy of our support as the immense simulated worlds Howard and his team have perfected – much as I’d genuinely love to love it. What do you lot reckon?