If you're a big Elder Scrolls fan and/or the voice cast revealed last week got you excited, maybe you don't need another reason to pre-order The Elder Scrolls Online. For those on the fence, Bethesda has announced an Imperial Edition along with pre-order bonuses that makes pre-ordering very enticing.
The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition comes in physical and digital flavors. Both versions feature exclusive digital content, including the ability to play as an Imperial in any Alliance, a white Imperial horse, a Mudcrab vanity pet, and Rings of Mara, which grant bonus experience to you and a friend when you complete the Ritual of Mara. For the physical version, you also receive a 12" Molag Bal statue, a 224-page Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel, a 21"x26" physical map of Tamriel, and a limited edition Steelbook case.
The Physical Imperial Edition costs $99.99 (€99.99/£89.99), while the Digital Imperial Edition costs $79.99 (€79.99/£69.99). For anyone who already planned on investing their time in the game, these versions seem like outstanding deals.
In addition to the Imperial Editions, Bethesda also announced pre-order bonuses for both the Imperial Edition and Standard Edition. All pre-orders come with the Explorer's Pack, which includes the Scuttler vanity pet, four bonus treasure maps, and the ability to play as any of the nine races in any Alliance. Whether the Explorer's Pack will be available for purchase separately post-launch was not stated. In addition, those that pre-order the PC version through The Elder Scrolls Online Store will receive Early Access – a five-day head start for those that pre-order either Imperial Edition or the Digital Standard Edition or a three-day head start for those that pre-order the Physical Standard Edition. If you plan on pre-ordering from other retailers, be sure to check if they're offering Early Access as well.
The Elder Scrolls Online is set to launch on April 4, 2014 for PC (Windows and Mac), but quantities of the Physical Imperial Edition will be limited, so if you want those physical goodies, you shouldn't dawdle. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will arrive in June 2014.