The next game from the TES Online developer might be closer to an announcement than originally anticipated, a senior company official suggests.
The Elder Scrolls Online developer has been working on its next game for over four years, a senior company official has revealed. ZeniMax Online Studios Creative Director Ben Jones briefly mentioned the upcoming title in a recent interview, consequently providing a new perspective on the project's expected timeline, with the main implication being that the mysterious game may be closer to an announcement than originally anticipated.
The first hints of ZeniMax Online Studios' new game started surfacing online in late 2020, which is when the company began expanding the team in charge of its development. Most public information revealed about the project to date originated from sparse details mentioned in the occasional job listing. And while it initially seemed like the company started active work on the game around the time its last project was canceled in mid-2020, Jones has now confirmed that the undertaking has actually been ongoing for twice as long, or almost half a decade, at this point.
While introducing himself in a recent video interview centered on the gaming industry, the industry veteran said his team has been working on a new IP "for about the last four and a half years." The stated timeline indicates that the work on the game started shortly after the release of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset, confirming that ZeniMax had actually managed to keep the project under wraps for several years of active development. As for the fact that this title will be based on a new intellectual property, that has been known for a while now, thanks to the same report that also suggested this new IP could be an Unreal Engine-based MMO.
Either way, the upcoming game will mark an important milestone for ZeniMax Online Studios, which has spent the majority of its 15-year history working on The Elder Scrolls Online. While the company is also credited with playing a supporting role in the development of the 2016 Doom reboot and Fallout 76, its only other standalone project after TES Online was the now-canceled Commander Keen mobile game.
The yet-unnamed game is likely the same one that was mentioned in last year's enormous Nvidia GeForce Now leak as "Project Kestrel." That info dump listed it as a 2024 release, whereas this newly revealed tidbit about its development makes it way more likely that ZeniMax Online Studios will manage to stick with that timeline, which wasn't a given back when it seemed like the development started much later than it actually did.
For added context, the company worked on The Elder Scrolls Online for seven years before debuting the vanilla version of its hit MMORPG, not to mention that game development cycles have gotten significantly longer over the last decade, doubly so when it comes to ZeniMax Media-owned studios like Bethesda.
MORE: The Elder Scrolls: History of Tamriel Through the Eyes of the Orcs
Dominik has been writing about games since 2010.