ESO CE: Racist

The only pay-to-play (beyond, um… having to pay for the box and the sub…) race in ESO will be Imperials, found ‘only’ in the collectors edition.

Imperials are the ‘white people’ of ESO.

So if you pay extra, you get the privilege of playing a white person.

Once in-game, whenever you see a non-white character, you can just safely assume the person behind the character is too poor to afford the privilege of playing a white character.

Only thing missing is a farming-based crafting skill, where you can hire other characters to pick the crops for you, and only the Imperials (for lore reasons, obviously) can’t be selected as farm hands. Bonus points if the Redguards (dark skin) get a bonus to farming speed.

Edit but not really an edit: I originally had (blacks) after Redguards, but went with the safer and more PC (dark skin). Meta layers everyone.


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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25 Responses to ESO CE: Racist

  1. Matt says:

    The single player games had Bretons as white too, are they gone from ESO?

  2. anon says:

    In addition to Imperials, the Elder Scrolls world has: Bretons (short white people), Nords (tall white people), and Bosmer (white-ish elves).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Technically Imperials are more mediterranean or Roman than white. Nords (duh) and Bretons (French) are white.

  4. zubonganai says:

    Was it Playstation Home or some other gaming social network system that got crap for making white the default and selling brown skin?

  5. Actually there’s a thingy at the bottom of the offer that if you pay “x” you can play any race in any alliance.
    Just scroll to the bottom.

    I can see what they’re trying to do though. That makes it rare to have other races in zones they’re not usually in, but not so rare to have imperials around. Also… money. :P

    Way to pricey for me unfortunately.

  6. Doone says:

    Astute observation :)

    The real problem is that the game is designed such that this could even emerge as a possibility. It shows the extent to which the racism is part of the fantasy, just as I wrote about recently in “The Digital Frontier”.

  7. Galien says:

    Yeah, while this is a beautifully crafted blog headline, it’s inaccurate. Both Nords and Bretons are playable in TESO, and the Redguards themselves run from African to Middle Eastern in appearance.

    This does not invalidate the fact that it’s a dubious move. A whole race behind that paywall is a big deal (ESO uses racial skill lines in addition to many others, and it wouldn’t shock me if the Imperial skill line were pretty strong…), and the XP bonus rings are a pretty big deal if you’re the type who tends to press and compound the initial advantage.

    Judging from already-tepid Elder Scrolls fan sites, Zenimax may have lost a fair bit of goodwill with this. We’ll see.

  8. How about designers not being racist and never even realizing this could be perceived as such? Don’t confuse malicious intent with good old-fashioned stupidity or ignorance.

    All they have to add is a wider range of skin colors when customizing the appearance of your imperial character?

    • Kyff says:


      They might have picked a random one or the one they thought most people would like to play.

      • SynCaine says:

        You guys are taking a joke post way too serious. I’m pretty sure Zenimax isn’t trying to further the KKK agenda with ESO…

        • Even though I watch the daily show and the Colbert Report I still find it hard to distinguish between someone making a joke and someone being extremist/fundamentalist.
          I do not (yet) know you well enough to know if you are joking about a subject or if you have strong feelings about something which leads to an emotional or irrational response.
          I am pretty sure there are people out there that would cry havoc. Also, I never played any of the ES games so was not aware there are other white races or anything.

          Serious? I take almost everyting serious, not just internet spaceships. If the other guy is serious then it appears as if I am taking him serious as well or just trolling, if he is joking then a serious response is usually funny as well or will be trolling.
          Guess I am just a hypocrite troll in most ways :)

        • SynCaine says:

          A lot of my stuff is written with a bit of extremism; people who struggle with getting the point get caught up on the extreme, while the ones who ‘get it’ are able to see that the extreme is the entertainment part, and are able to dig out the larger point being made behind the details.

        • Matt says:

          I was wondering if I was the only one who took the post as satirizing the political correctness brigade.

        • biophazer242 says:

          Zenimax Online is headquartered in Hunt Valley, MD. For them to be in cahoots with the KKK they would need to be on the other side of the Baltimore beltway in Rising Sun!

          I have to thank you for this post… I have always wanted to use the word cahoots in a post!

    • Doone says:

      Most racism isn’t KKK style or malicious. It’s the kind where people don’t even recognize it. It’s not about the intent, which I’m sure is benign on the part of the devs. Satire is at its best when it mocks the truth in order to show it us.

      I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls since Morrowind. I think the things we construct our fantasies on are interesting to look at in context. Whatever joke Syncaine did or did not intend, the observation is valid and founded.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You also get a “Imperial White Horse” if you buy the imperial edition. Obvious racist conspiracy, otherwise why would they make the horse white?

  10. John says:

    Not even f2p game sell you Races..they usually sell extra character slots… So in a game that focus on RvRvR Faction war and after so many articles explain how they made the 3 alliances(lore wise, so fans don’t get pissed), IF you pre-order the game you can play any race in any Faction! And this is not our last offer!

    Ladies and gentleman I present you, the Imperial! For extra 20 bucks you will be able to play this race, again in any Faction. And the best part of all??We are still have NDA so you don’t even know what shit you are pre-ordering!

    I can clearly see a tough competition between Zenimax and the hotbar salesmen for the reward of the stupidest seller of the year!

  11. Lani says:

    Though I appreciate the joke I can’t help but feel the real reason for this move is that Zenimax finally got some stats on what people play in TES games and discovered that Imperial is by far the prefered race to play (your anecdotal experiences may vary) and therefore it makes sense to do this to
    A) grab some additional money and
    B) not have one overflooded Starting area with 5 times the number of players to any other zone at launch.

    I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if a short time after launch Imperials become available through seperate purchase on their in-game store. That’s assuming the launch goes as Zenimax expects and they don’t have to do an SWTOR emergency move to F2P.

  12. Tierless says:

    I wonder if you pay again when you log in, then pay to walk, then pay some more to run…pathetic, especially considering the quotes from the dev about NOT trying to cash grab.

  13. coppertopper says:

    The problem with this joke post of your is that if racism were the issue, the dark skinned race would have an instant kill skill with no saving throw or defense. That imperials are the ptp race means they will have a largely forgettable racial ability.

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