Zenimax Online are down one Paul Sage. Aside from a comforting name that implied wisdom and calm, Sage provided The Elder Scrolls Online with its creative direction over seven years of development, and a steady hand in the hard year since its release.
His role now belongs to Rich Lambert – formerly ESO’s lead content designer and, crowd-pleasingly, a veteran of Oblivion.
Sage left the studio after the MMO’s free-to-play rework, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, launched on consoles.
He’s joined Gearbox as creative director for an unnamed project. It might be worth noting that the Battleborn studio is currently hiring for Borderlands 3, which will surely include an integral online co-op component. Borderlands creator Matthew Armstrong left Gearbox earlier this year.
Zenimax confirmed Sage’s departure on the official Elder Scrolls Online forums.
“He, along with rest of the team, are very happy with how the game is doing and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said assistant community manager Gina Bruno.
“ESOTU continues to be in great hands with Game Director, Matt Firor and new Creative Director, Rich Lambert, overseeing development. We’re very excited to have him take on the role.”
Our Nick’s Elder Scrolls Online review described a game simply “not ready for players”.
“Somewhere, buried under bugs, often bizarre design decisions and weird rookie level structural mistakes that the game makes, there is a great MMO struggling to be found,” he wrote.
The last month’s Tamriel Unlimited relaunch feels like a do-over for Zenimax – it’s certainly being advertising with all the expense and vigour of a brand new game. Have you played it since?