Though several titles were rumored to be revealed at tonight's VGA ceremony, the first world premiere came completely out of left field. After a strange preamble, which saw dozens of hooded figures walk on stage in front of a mountainous background, Bethesda producer Todd Howard appeared to reveal his studio's next game.
Later, a trailer for the game unspooled, revealing its title, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The trailer showed a wall of carvings against a voice-over that sounded eerily reminiscent of Swedish actor Max von Sydow.
"The Elder Scrolls told of their return," said the voice-over. "Their defeat was only a delay. From the time after Oblivion opened, the sons of Skyrim would spill their own blood. But nobody wanted to believe...believe they even existed. And when the truth finally dawned, it dawned in fire."
Simultaneously, a large gray dragon pried itself free from the wall and breathed faux fire against a lone warrior, who beat back the flames with a shield. "But the one they fear is dragon born," the voice-over concluded, before showing the release date of the game: November 11, 2011.
The announcement comes just weeks after a report surfaced that a new Elder Scrolls was in the works, and it would be a direct sequel to the last entrant in the series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
[UPDATED] The game's official teaser site is now up, and the first trailer is viewable below.