By Khurram Aziz email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 23, 2013 10:33 PM EST
The highly anticipated fantasy game, "The Elder Scrolls Online", is about to open its door to the public for the first time, and Bethesda, its developer, is inviting users to sign-up for a beta test.
The massively multiplayer role-playing game takes place in the same universe as Skyrim and is scheduled for launch sometime in 2013.
The Web site's sign-up page features a live update of your chances of getting selected for the limited beta based on information you fill out such as previous MMO and RPG experience, play style, and system information for your computer.
Alongside launch of the beta test, Bethesda also released a new five-minute CGI video promoting the game (shown below).
"This is a big moment for us," Matt Firor, director for The Elder Scrolls Online, told NBC. "The beta announcement means that we're confident that external people can get into the game and start playing it and have fun, and also give us feedback about how the game is, how sticky it is, how much fun it is, how reliable it is."
This is the first time a game in The Elder Scrolls series has entered the world of MMOs. All previous releases, such as 2011's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, have been offline role-playing games.
The game is set a millennium before the events of Skyrim in the fictional realm of Tamriel, and features many of the gameplay elements of previous Elder Scrolls titles, most notably its treatment of combat.
The game also has a new social network element, as Firor told USA Today.
"We wanted to bring more of the modern social networking, Facebook-era concepts ... into ESO," he said. "The first thing you do is remove barriers between people. We wanted to go shardless ... and make everyone able to interact with potentially everyone else in the game."
Exactly when the game will be released, or when the beta test will begin, is still uncertain except for a vague "2013" release. However, since the closed beta is launching sometime soon, it won't be surprising if the game arrives in the second half of the year.
Check out the trailer below: