The Elder Scrolls Online “Arrival” cinematic trailer probably cost more than the whole of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Bethesda is defying conventional wisdom by releasing The Elder Scrolls Online as a subscription-based MMO in an era when subscription-based MMOs not named World of Warcraft are dead. Free-to-play is the only way to fly these days, so they say, and you only have to look at the humiliating climb-down of EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic for proof.

What’s Bethesda doing? I don’t know, but I do know this: It’s not dicking around. The new “Arrival” cinematic trailer doesn’t give us anything in the way of TESO gameplay but it’s safe to say that the publisher pulled out all the stops to make it, then went out and found some more stops and pulled them out, too.

I’m a little confused by what’s going, particularly at the end, but the short version is that it’s all fun and games until the Daedra show up. It does make me wonder why the Mer caster didn’t open up the can of whoop-ass she was carrying in her pouch before the interlopers from Oblivion showed up, but maybe she had a feeling that she should hold on to it for a special occasion. Like, say, Daedra.

Whatever the case, this is perhaps the most spectacular game trailer I’ve ever seen and quite likely the most expensive too, and while it’s just eye candy and has almost nothing to do with the actual game, I’m willing to forgive that because, well… did you watch it?

Alongside the release of this new and utterly fantastic trailer, Bethesda also confirmed The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition, word of which leaked out yesterday, that will include a 12″ statue of Molag Bal, a map of Tamriel, a Steelbook case and a whole bunch of other stuff that will make it very difficult for me to not throw money at it. The Imperial Edition will sell for $99.99 for the physical release and $79.99 for digital.

The Elder Scrolls Online comes out on April 4 for the PC and Mac, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are expected in June.

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