The Elder Scrolls is a series of action role-playing open world fantasy video games primarily developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The series is known for its elaborate and richly detailed open worlds and its focus on free-form gameplay. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all won Game of the Year awards from multiple outlets. The series has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
Within the fictional The Elder Scrolls universe, each game takes place on the continent of Tamriel. The setting is a mix of early or pre-medieval real-world elements, often revolving around a powerful Roman-like Empire in a world with very limited technological capabilities, and high fantasy elements, such as widespread magic use, travel between parallel worlds and the existence of many mythological creatures such as dragons. The continent is split into a number of provinces of which the inhabitants include humans as well as popular humanoid fantasy races such as elves, orcs and anthropomorphic animals. A common theme in the lore is that a chosen hero rises to defeat an incoming threat, usually a malevolent being or an antagonistic army.
Since debuting with Arena in 1994, the series has produced a total of five main games (of which the last three have each featured two or three expansions) as well as several spin-offs. In 2014, an massively multiplayer online role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls Online, was released by Bethesda's affiliated ZeniMax subsidiary ZeniMax Online Studios.