ESO Development Timeline

It’s been a long seven years, but the moment has finally arrived. As launch day is fast-approaching, Tamriel Foundry decided to take a trip down memory lane.  From the creation of ZeniMax Media to the release of the pre-order bonuses – with the promise of much more to come – check out some of the biggest announcements in The Elder Scrolls Online history!


  • August 1st, 2007 – Officials from ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda, have announced the founding of ZeniMax Online Studios, a new division focused on developing new massively multiplayer online games. The company will be headed by MMO veteran Matt Firor, one of the founders of the now EA-owned Mythic Entertainment. – GamaSutra

Hist Tree


  • May 3rd, 2012 – Game Informer officially announces The Elder Scrolls Online which is developed by the team at Zenimax Online Studios. “The Elder Scrolls Online merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game”. – Game Informer
  • May 7th, 2012 – Game Informer’s Adam Biessener sits down with Creative Director Paul Sage for the first time to discuss The Elder Scrolls Online. Paul Sage puts our mind at ease in the 19 minute video interview discussing the goals for the companies first MMO title. – Game Informer
  • May 9th, 2012 – Paul Sage explains how the world of The Elder Scrolls Online came to be in this article in Game Informer. Everything from getting a team together to work on the MMO to why the game takes place in the Second Era is explained in the 6 minute video interview. – Game Informer
  • May 25th, 2012 – Game Informer gets a deep understanding of why Zenimax Online Studios isn’t using the HeroEngine. Matt Firor answers a few interesting questions to give us insight into this decision. – Game Informer
  • October 15th, 2012 – Zenimax Online Studios announces the re-launch of In this re-launch they introduce a number of new features including an official Facebook and Twitter page. – Official Elder Scrolls Online

Q1 2013

  • March 21st, 2013 – ZOS takes Elder Scrolls Online to Pax East where they invited members of the gaming press from around the globe to a special hands-on ESO Preview Event. An in-depth review is given in each of the links posted in the article. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • March 26th, 2013 – ZOS releases the first wave of beta invitations! Time to test all you can if you are one of the lucky few that get to test this initial Beta Test build. – Official Elder Scrolls Online


Q2 2013

  • April 9th, 2013 – ZOS releases the second wave of beta invitations! A new batch of invites is sent out and even thought this is a small batch of invites more will be given out each additional build. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • May 2nd, 2013 – ZOS releases a new video “Journey to Coldharbour” which shows a glimpse of Coldharbour and some of its inhabitants and to learn more about the malevolent Daedric Prince’s plans for Tamriel-and your soul. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • May 29th, 2013 – Members of the press got to spend hands-on time in London and Los Angeles last week with ESO coverage from E3. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • June 10th, 2013 – ZOS announces that ESO is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in addition to the PC and Mac in Spring 2014. To celebrate the announcement Zenimax Online Studios releases a new gameplay trailer for your viewing pleasure. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • June 11th, 2013 – ZOS releases the third wave of beta invitations! The ESO Beta Test will continue to grow as we head towards launch so make sure to check your spam folder just in case. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • June 21st, 2013 – Elder Scrolls Online receives multiple awards. See all of the awards won at E3 2013 in this short article. – Official Elder Scrolls Online

Night Village

Q3 2013

  • July 1st, 2013 – ZOS releases an in-depth article about dungeon crawling in ESO. Everything from player roles to monster behaviors are discussed in this great writeup. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • July 3rd, 2013 – ZOS releases the fourth wave of beta invitations! More fresh faces are being brought into the test this time and the Developement team can’t wait to hear your feedback. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • July 9th, 2013 – ZOS releases the fifth wave of beta invitations! As the beta program ramps up, invites will be sent out in waves over the course of each Beta Test weekend. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • July 17th, 2013 – Live developer Q&A with Paul Sage on It will host a one-hour Q&A on their Elder Scrolls Online subforum. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • July 31st, 2013 – Elder Scrolls Online announces they will be at Quakecon 2013. They will be hosting a live public gameplay presentation on the Ventrilo Main Stage which you can watch from the comfort of your own home. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • August 9th, 2013 – ZOS releases the sixth wave of beta invitations! If you registered with a Gmail address, you may have been switched over to their new tabbed inbox view so make sure to check every section in your account. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • August 13th, 2013 – ZOS announces ESO at Gamescon 2013 and the first ever playable version of the game to the public at the event. Over 300,000 gaming enthusiasts are expected to make an appearance from August 22nd through August 25th at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • August 13th, 2013 – ZOS announces the seventh wave of beta invitations! The Beta is still growing so make sure to check back soon or follow us on your favorite social media site. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • August 26th, 2013 – ZOS announces public play for ESO at Pax Prime. Between booth #2014, the ESO food truck, and some free swag you will have a full day ahead. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • September 4th, 2013 – ZOS announces the eighth wave of beta invitations! New testers are getting added to the ranks so check your Email. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • September 11th, 2013 – ZOS announces ESO at Eurogamer Expo, the UK’s largest gaming show. Those ages 12 and up will be able to play at one of the gaming stations set up at their booth. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • September 30th, 2013 – ZOS announces ESO at Firstlook 2013 in the Netherlands. October 5th and 6th at Jaarbeurs Hall in Uthrecht, Netherlands is the place to be for this event! – Official Elder Scrolls Online

Rocky Spires

Q4 2013

  • October 9th, 2013 – ZOS announces ESO at Paris Games Week 2013. From October 30th until November 3rd, thousands of gamers will get to play ESO for the first time in Hall 3, Aisle H, Booth 40. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • October 17th, 2013 – ZOS shows in-depth coverage of character creation in an amazing video. The Developers want to give you the tools you need to realize the hero you’re already envisioning. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • November 19th, 2013 – ZOS announces the ninth wave of beta invitations! Make sure to create and update existing accounts early so there is no delay during playtime. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • November 20th, 2013 – ZOS puts up an interactive map of Tamriel for the Elder Scrolls Online. They will be expanding the map in the future, so keep checking back for more info. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • December 3rd, 2013 – ZOS releases a character progression video which talks about leveling up, spending skill points, how skill lines work, and the different kinds of abilities you can unlock. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • December 4th, 2013 – ZOS releases an article discussing how skill lines work. Everything from classes, exploration, morphing, and more are discussed in this writeup. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • December 11th, 2013 – ZOS announces a definitive release date for The Elder Scrolls Online. With a special thank you from Matt Firor and a new trailer showing the Alliance War, who isn’t excited? – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • December 20th, 2013 – Take a first in depth look into creating Cyrodiil’s Keeps. Design, forethought, NPCs, and upkeep are all extensively talked about. – Official Elder Scrolls Online

Elf Town

January 2014

  • January 6th, 2014 – ESO hits “Most Anticipated” list 2014 from multiple sources. It seems like the people at Zenimax Online Studios are doing many things right with this game. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • January 7th, 2014 – ZOS announces the tenth wave of beta invitations! Check your Email or ask a friend that might have an extra invite if you didn’t get in this time. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • January 10th, 2014 – ZOS announces their biggest beta testing session yet. It seems like this will be the first of many big test sessions and check all of your favorite websites for extra Beta Test invite codes. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • January 21st, 2014 – ZOS releases a developer play session video showing off group content of a Dark Anchor. It’s just another day in Tamriel in this 8 minute (!) video and the team took a few different vantage points to show us what awaits for everyone come launch! – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • January 23rd, 2014 – ESO’s voice cast announced and it is impressive. It seems like Zenimax recruited the best in the profession – and then some – to make this game something to remember. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • January 29th, 2014 – Pre-order for ESO is now available with a Digital Standard/Imperial Edition and a Retail Standard/Imperial Edition. The physical Digital and Imperial Edition are both finite so make sure to get yours before they run out. – Official Elder Scrolls Online


February 2014

  • February 4th, 2014 – ZOS announces the eleventh wave of beta invitations. The last Beta Test was great and Curse has 500,000 invites to give out so make sure to hit up their website if you didn’t get one. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 11th, 2014 – ZOS gives an in depth guide to everything related to Dark Anchors. Just like the Cyrodiil Keep writeup, this is lengthy and very informative, so make sure to read it all. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 13th, 2014 – ESO’s Hands-On Beta Impressions with the press and fansites. Make sure to hit up all of your favorite fansites through the available links to see what each reviewer thought about their play time in Tamriel. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 15th, 2014 – Beta NDA has lifted! Get ready to see many impressive and full length articles from every website you know of and then some. Starting next Beta Test weekend we are now able to stream the game also! – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 19th, 2014 – ZOS releases their Blacksmithing In Tamriel video. A full 7 minutes of pure Blacksmithing bliss is what we get here and it gives us some good info we might have missed from previous Beta Tests. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 20th, 2014 – ZOS takes a look at some hands-on beta PVP impressions in this article. Nothing but praise accross the board here and everyone seems more than ready to jump right back into Cyrodiil. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 25th, 2014 – ZOS announces the twelfth wave of beta invitations. Not only is there no more NDA from these beta sessions but an additional code has been sent out to everyone to give to a friend to help test this massive Beta Test weekend. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • February 26th, 2014 – Here we get to discover more about the music in The Elder Scrolls Online. Many great scores were written by Brad Derrick and Rik Schaffer but one thing that really stands out in this article is from the fantastic contributor Malukah. – Official Elder Scrolls Online

Glowing Forest

March 2014

  • March 11th, 2014 – ZOS announces the thirteenth wave of beta invitations. This will be the final Beta Test – but the big news here is that everyone that participates this weekend will also unlock an exclusive monkey vanity pet for the PC/Mac.
  • March 13th, 2014 – Limited Edition Hero’s Guides to The Elder Scrolls Online are announced. With only 10,000 being produced, make sure to get yours fast. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • March 14th, 2014 – ZOS discusses their outlook for the future, including pre-launch adjustments, adventure zones, and overflow servers. – Official Elder Scrolls Online
  • March 30th, 2014 – The pre-launch has started! This is what we have all been waiting for, and we hope to see everyone, friend or foe, inside of the game.

April 2014

  • April 4th, 2014 – Pre-launch is now over and the official launch has started! Many players have already had a great taste of all that Tamriel has to offer and we have heard some amazing stories so far.

May 2014

  • May 8th, 2014 – Zenimax Online Studios announces a delay in the planned release of the Elder Scrolls Online on consoles.
  • May 22, 2014 – Zenimax Online Studios releases their first major patch since launch. This update adds the adventure zone Craglorn and two more veteran ranks, as well as many other fixes and refinements. –

June 2014

July 2014

  • July 18, 2014 – Notable Zenimax Online Studio developers took the center stage at QuakeCon in Austin, Texas to discuss the future of the Elders Scrolls Online. The main feature in updates planned are a justice system, spellcrafting, a new adventure zone, new guilds, and opening up the Imperial City. –

August 2014

September 2014