Bethesda's Todd Howard delivered a heart-crushing blow to fans of Oblivion (and the Elder Scrolls series as a whole) during a recent speech at QuakeCon 2009. When pressed about the company's next big project, Howard told the audience not to expect "Elder Scrolls V" any time soon. Amidst wails of anguish from the Tamriel enthusiasts in attendance, Howard followed that statement with a minor concession -- he joked that "there's always a chance" for an Elder Scrolls MMO.

Flash forward to this morning, when stalwart internet lookyloo Supererogatory noticed a startling trend. A number of intriguingly named web domains use Zenimax's nameserver as their host -- domains such as ElderScrollsOnline.com, ElderScrollsMMO.com, TheElderScrollsMMOG.net, etc. This is so very far from a confirmation of the project -- but definitely food for thought following Howard's QuakeCon remarks.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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