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Elder Scrolls Online's New Companion System Lays Groundwork For NPC Romance According To Creative Director

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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Yesterday, ZeniMax Online Studios announced their upcoming chapter release for The Elder Scrolls Online, named Blackwood. As part of the new chapter, Companions were announced as well to be coming to the MMO. In a new interview, however, more information was gleaned from the developer as to what this could mean moving forward, namely in-game romance with NPCs.

In an interview with Game Informer's Liana Ruppert, ESO's creative director Rich Lambert confirmed that relationships are something the team has in mind for the future, even if it won't be present when Blackwood launches in June.

"With these companions, they have their own likes and dislikes," Lambert tells Game Informer in the interview. "You can go up one side and down the other side with your relationship to them. There is going to be something special that unlocks when you max out that relationship spectrum as well, though initially, romance won't be a part of it. [...] Down the line, though, romance is definitely somewhere we want to get to. We just want to make sure when we add it that we do it right."

Romance is a large part of the  Elder Scrolls series, with some NPCs in Skyrim romance-able, and other games in the series capable of marriage and romance through mods. To add this type of mechanic in the MMORPG could inch it closer to being more like the single-player experience.

In the interview, Lambert also talks about two of the companions: Bastion and Mary. These two companions have wildly different personalities according to Lambert, such as Bastion's "chivalrous Knight" demeanor versus Mary's "stab you in the back" outlook. Companions themselves are unlocked by doing quests, and you can then assign them to specific roles, equip gear and more, allowing you to fit the needs of your solo adventure.

You can check out the full interview on Game Informer. The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood will hit PC, Mac and Stadia on June 1st, with consoles coming June 8th. The next-gen versions are still being worked on, though Lambert said during yesterday's reveal that the MMO runs great using backwards compatibility on both the Xbox Series consoles and the PlayStation 5.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore