More details about The Elder Scrolls Online have now appeared, this time with developer Zenimax Online Studios confirming that the title isn’t using the Hero Engine, as it relies on a proprietary technology developed from the ground up by its development team.
The Elder Scrolls Online was revealed earlier this month and after seeing a few screenshots of the game
, many players were disappointed as they believed it had graphics similar to the ones featured in other online games powered by the Hero Engine, like Star Wars: The Old Republic or Rift.
While it’s true that Zenimax licensed the Hero Engine when the studio was founded, it was just used to quickly get working prototypes of the game, while a separate team was busy developing the proprietary engine that would actually power the online title.
“We started ZeniMax Online from scratch, with no employees and no technology. We had to build everything ourselves. It takes a long time to write game engines, especially MMO engines, which are inherently more complicated than typical single-player ones. So, we decided to license the Hero Engine to give us a headstart,” The Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor told Game Informer
“It was a useful tool for us to use to prototype areas and game design concepts, and it provided us the ability to get art into the game that was visible, so we could work on the game’s art style.”
“Our plan is for ESO to be a world class MMO, with the most advanced social features found in any MMO to date – so while we were prototyping the game on HeroEngine, we were simultaneously developing our own client, server, and messaging layer that were specifically designed with ESO in mind. Think of Hero Engine as a whiteboard for us – a great tool to get some ideas in the game and start looking at them while the production engine was in development,” he added.
Given that the engine is completely new and developed with The Elder Scrolls Online in mind, Firor believes that it will result in a very stable and reliable multiplayer experience when the game is actually launched next year, for PC and Mac, echoing previous statements about a beta stage
that will help improve the game.