Former Elder Scrolls devs announce 'Grand RPG' The Wayward Realms

The Wayward Realms
(Image credit: OnceLost Games)

Back in 2019 we learned that veteran developers Julian LeFay and Ted Peterson, leads on The Elder Scrolls Arena and Daggerfall, had founded a new studio, OnceLost Games. At the time they said they were working on a new RPG, though they didn't give out many details and haven't said much since. Today that silence was broken.

OnceLost Games has announced The Wayward Realms, a singleplayer open world fantasy RPG. That's exciting news, especially if you've been impatiently tapping your foot waiting for The Elder Scrolls 6 to arrive.

"The Wayward Realms is set on a group of over 100 realistically scaled islands, known collectively as the Archipelago, where scores of factions vie for influence and power," reads the announcement. "Kingdoms strive to maintain their dominance, upstarts seek to earn a place at the top, and dynasties set generational plots into motion. Should the player earn a position of prominence, they may change the course of history."

The game world of The Wayward Realms is "Way bigger than most other games you can think of," according to the game's page on Steam. "Big cities with hundreds or thousands of NPCs, deep, dark, dangerous forests, gigantic mountain ranges, sprawling swamps and marshlands, vast oceans, and more, brought to life through dynamic, procedural generation."

Players won't be bound to a class in The Wayward Realms but can create their own with "customized skills and abilities to craft your own spells, potions, and enchantments." And the world, which is managed by a "virtual Game Master," will treat you differently depending on who you choose to be and the actions you take. "World events have very different effects in the life of a socializing aristocrat, a thief entrenched in underworld conspiracies, a scholar collecting ancient artifacts, or whatever role you craft for yourself."

To me it sounds a bit like the Mount & Blade games, which also let players choose their backgrounds and have a huge map filled with NPCs that roam the world, fight for power, and act on their own agendas independently of what the player is doing.

There are a lot of pretty big claims made in the announcement, particularly in regard to the sort of thing we've heard many games promise in the past: that "choice and consequence are experienced on a scale never attempted before." OnceLost games even calls The Wayward Realms "a new class of game: the Grand RPG."

Unfortunately we're not sure how long we'll have to wait to find out how well the game backs up those claims: The Wayward Realms' release date hasn't been announced yet, or even hinted at. We'll let you know when we learn more.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.