If a recent report is to be believed, you may soon be exploring the world of Tamriel alongside, like, a billion other dudes.

This news comes from Tom’s Guide, a site that while quite respectable isn’t the sort of place you’d expect to break this kind of story. Still, they claim that anonymous industry sources have told them that Bethesda Softworks “will officially announce Elder Scrolls Online in May 2012.”

Not entirely unexpected, given the lucrative potential of the MMO genre and how well the Elder Scrolls setting would lend itself to a vast, open-world online title, right?

Even more damning however, is the specificity in this anonymous source’s claims. Tom’s Guide reports:

An industry source that wishes to remain anonymous revealed the name of the new MMO to us, and confirmed that the game would take place a full millennium before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Using the Elder Scrolls Wiki timeline as a guide, Elder Scrolls Online will likely take place during the “Second Era,” or several hundred years before any of the other Elder Scrolls games. This information was corroborated by two additional sources before publication.

Elder Scrolls Online will have three playable factions, according to the tipster. Not much is known about the factions, except each is represented by one of three animals: A lion, a dragon, and a bird of prey (either a phoenix or an eagle, we aren’t sure).

A May 2012 announcement would likely be followed by some sort of presence at E3, the annual Los Angeles video game convention. The game would also be shown at Quakecon 2012 in August, along with id Software’s Doom 4 and several other titles.

Now, if this is all fabricated for some reason, I have to hand it to whoever dreamed this all up: it’s very convincing, and sounds exactly like the sort of thing Bethesda would do if it had created an MMO based on the Elder Scrolls universe.

So now I guess we wait for official confirmation to find out how legit this all is. In the mean time, how about you guys take to the comments and leave an opinion or three? Do you want an Elder Scrolls MMO? Was Skyrim a bit too lonely for you? Are you suddenly concerned with how bug-ridden this game might be?

Double points to anyone who can craft a convincing argument for how this game might topple Blizzard’s World of Warcraft empire.

Source: Tom’s Guide

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