The creative director on The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, Paul Sage, has departed from the company and has moved on to begin work under Gearbox Software on an undisclosed project. Bethesda has already filled in a replacement and will continue to advance The Elder Scrolls Online in the direction they see fit.
According to assistant community manager, Gina Bruno, she confirmed on the Elder Scrolls Online forums that Paul Sage did indeed move on from ZeniMax and the rest of the Bethesda development stable, writing…
We can confirm that Paul left ZOS after the launch of ESOTU on console. He, along with rest of the team, are very happy with how the game is doing and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. ESOTU continues to be in great hands with Game Director, Matt Firor and new Creative Director, Rich Lambert, overseeing development.
The Elder Scrolls Online originally came out back in 2014 for PC. The game was scheduled to launch on the PS4 and Xbox One but it ended up getting delayed and pushed back into this very year, where it eventually became available under the Tamriel Unlimited label.
Sage, however, has left after the rocky launch and after recovering the game during the console release, so it’s not like he jumped ship while things were completely in the tank; sort of like how Don Mattrick left the Xbox brand during the time when it was going through the worst marketing gamut ever.
According to Eurogamer, Sage’s departure from the Bethesda wheelhouse didn’t just render him high and dry, he’s landed well on his feet under the care of Gearbox Software.
The article notes that Sage is now the creative director on an unknown project. The article speculates about a potential connection between Sage and Gearbox recently announcing their staffing up for Borderlands 3. Of course, the third game in the very popular and very colorful Borderlands series is a long ways off from release (probably two years) and it wouldn’t be surprising if Sage was helping head up the creative side of the game.
Alternatively, Battleborn is due for release this winter. Bringing on Sage at this stage in the game might be a bit late, but if they were looking to fine tune the creative direction of the game before launch it might not be a bad idea to bring on someone with experience with launching MMO-style games.
Of course, it seems the Battleborn position would be a little weird because, once again, it’s very close to launch and I doubt much would change in the way of the story or the characters having someone come on this late into development… especially as a creative director.
Alternatively, Gearbox Software could be working on something completely different and Sage has been brought in to help kick off an all new project by the company. Right now we just don’t know… all we do know is that the former creative director for Elder Scrolls Online has departed from the company and decided to join up with the studio best known for Brothers in Arms and Borderlands.