Whispers of an Elder Scrolls MMO have been gathering for ages, but now it looks like 2012 will finally be the year that Tamriel announces the opening of its online borders. At least, this is the latest rumor coming from tech website Tom's Guide, which claims Zenimax Online Studios and Bethesda are preparing to make Elder Scrolls Online official this May.
Like most promising rumors, Tom's Guide has only its anonymous industry source to go by. If the information is true, Elder Scrolls Online will be set 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim. The source also indicated the MMO will feature three playable factions, but did not say what those races or groups would be except that they are currently being represented by images of a lion, dragon, and bird.
Lending further credence to the rumors is the fact Zenimax has been seeking an art director, concept artists, and other talent with MMO experience on its job site. Tom's Guide also states its report was backed by two other insiders, and both Zenimax and Bethesda replied to the site's request for confirmation with “no comment”.
An Elder Scrolls MMO has always been a matter of when, not if. These latest rumors seem extremely plausible, but all the same we'll wait for the official statement before breaking out the Spiced Wine.