The Elder Scrolls Online to have a monthly subscription fee


The Elder Scrolls Online will be a subscription-based MMO, ZeniMax Online has revealed. The basic monthly charge will be $14.99/€12.99/£8.99, with players able to expect some discounts if they purchase multiple months in one go, game director Matt Firor told Gamestar.

Firor said the studio had opted to buck the increasingly popular free-to-play trend in favour of the classic MMO business model in order to make the game it set out to make and the one it thinks Elder Scrolls fans will want to play. “Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make.

"We're building a game with the freedom to play - alone or with your friends - as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content - one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support."

Firor suggested that "putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom". He continued: "The Elder Scrolls games are all about allowing the player to go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want. Just having one small monthly fee for 100% access to the game fits the IP and the game much better than a system where you have to pay for features and access as you play."

The Elder Scrolls Online offers unlimited play for the first 30 days with the purchase of the game. "We'll talk about further discounts, etc. later,” Firor added, “but for now, we are very happy to finally announce our model. It's very simple - you pay once per month after the first 30 days and the entire game is available to you."

The MMO was originally scheduled for release on PC and Mac this year, but at E3 in June, ZeniMax announced that it had been pushed back to 2014, when the game will also launch on PS4 and Xbox One.

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  • Holias101 - August 24, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    Absolutely NOT. You're an idiot if you pay a monthly fee for a video game. Plain and simple. That's not even debatable. All those WoW players were idiots for paying monthly fees, yet they would somehow justify the expenditure in their deluded thoughts. You pay for a cell phone service, television service, heat/hydro service, gym membership and use them month to month. You do NOT pay for a video game service and feel obligated to play every month because you paid some ridiculous user fee. This is completely unacceptable.
  • Frieza - August 22, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Like WildStar, I was really hoping this game would be B2P. Not that I have much interest in the game, but I would love to see more MMOs adopt the B2P model.
  • Sparx0707 - August 21, 2013 10:09 p.m.

    I must admit being an ex WOW player I was interested in this game to begin with but I have no interest in paying a subscription for this game at all. Doesn't look amazing from the footage I have seen and with the vast number of games coming out I dont see the need to pay to play a game I own. As stated by someone else, console gamers are less likely to pay due to the ps plus and xbox live subscription fee on top. This game will be getting a pass from me and I do have the funds to afford it just dont think I should have to pay for a game I am already paying a fee to play online for.
  • Proe24 - August 22, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I feel as though it is fair to say that you wouldn't want to pay a subscription to play it on a console that you are paying a subscription for, but the main reason I say that is because MMOs simply don't belong on console. You are missing out on a ton of functionality that way. PCs will always be the best place to play an MMO, hands down.
  • Proe24 - August 21, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    I feel as though most people complaining have never played a subscription based game and/or do not have a job. I have six years of experience in World of Warcraft and I finally quit playing only last year, but I can honestly say that I don't regret a single dollar I spent on that game. In a subscription based game, you know that you are getting everything the game has to offer. The only advantage a person can have over you or anyone else is skill, not money invested in buying things from the games real life currency markets. You know that if you want so,etching in the game, you have to work to get it, you have to invest time in your character and, in turn, you begin to fall in love with your character and immerse yourself into the game. In free to play or a game involving microtransactions, you have two choices: a) Work an extraordinarily long amount of time to get something, way, way longer than subscription based, or b) Buy it with real money immediately, like everyone else. There is suddenly a distinct lack of character-player relationship. The game just stops being fun, and there is no uniqueness to the game. Everyone has whatever they want, and they have no pride in the items that they have. Back on the glory days of WoW, and even up into the point that I finally left, people had pride in their characters. No one played the game because they felt like they had to, they played it because they loved to. People would come together to reach common goals, there was no way to pay your way to the top, you had to earn your way there and that is what got you involved in the game and with the people and the communities. Furthermore, the community and the development team were very involved together. You were certain to get high quality updates on a timely fashion that focused on the playability and the quality of the game rather than ways the devs can make more money by offering you more things to buy. Free to play and games involving micro transactions have ruined the online experience, especially for those who have experienced the major benefits of subscription based games. But most of you have grown up in the era of f2p and micro transaction games and have never experienced a subscription based game. Let me tell you something, you are missing out. Ever since TESO was announced, my friends and I have been begging and praying for it to be subscription based. We were more than pleased to find out that it was. If you can't afford a subscription based game, then you either need to get a job or really, really rethink your spending habits. All you would have to do in order to pay it is work a MEASLY TWO HOURS PER MONTH AT MINIMUM WAGE. If you aren't willing to do that, then you have absolutely no right to judge a games price, because its clear that you have no concept of money at all. TL;DR Subscription is far higher quality with a development team that is focused on you and creating amazing content for you to play, not making more money. You are getting THE FULL GAME; you have nothing to worry about except for you and your character and building your own skill, not paying for better items $15 is equivalent to TWO HOURS OF WORK AT MINIMUM WAGE PER MONTH. If you can't handle that, then don't you dare complain about a games price.
  • Holias101 - August 24, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    You're completely missing the point here. Your justification of monthly fees for a video game, is sickening. Video games are meant for quick entertainment, not a lifestyle. The younger generation these days, including yourself have lost all common sense.
  • Bansheebot - August 21, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    My interest in ESO just went from curious to "Nope." I wasn't hoping it would be F2P mind you, I was hoping for B2P like Guildwars 2, which would've have been perfectly viable considering the numerous opportunities to release expansions for ESO. (Not including Bal's since it's already part of the game, there are 15 other Deadric planes ripe for visitation.) I truly like the idea of MMOs and even had a wow sub for a time, but I hate feeling obligated to play a game because I'm spending money on it every month. I like being able to play a game when I want and not feel like I'm making sure to get the most mileage per dollar.
  • GOD - August 21, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    The big issue I always have that keeps from getting into these is that if I want to play the game, I have to pay the monthly subscription fee AND the initial $60 game price. If it's going to be a monthly subscription fee, then make the initial price for the game cheaper or make it come with the first 2-3 months free rather than just 30 days. $60 is too much to only play a game for a month. Something has to be adjusted in that pricing structure. Either lower the monthly fee, lower the game purchase price, or increase the initial subscription time included with the game.
  • Sinnott - August 21, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    best to wait it out, with psn adding subscription fees, it'll b pricey enough
  • The_Tingler - August 21, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    "the studio had opted to buck the increasingly popular free-to-play trend in favour of the classic MMO business model in order to make the game it set out to make and the one it thinks Elder Scrolls fans will want to play." Translation for Bethesda: "the studio had opted to buck the trend that both works and is profitable in favour of the classic MMO business model that is no longer sustainable, profitable, or workable in the current gaming climate. Oh, and is the single biggest reason MMOs aren't big on Xbox 360 because no one will pay an Xbox subscription fee AND another subscription for a single game."
  • Craza - August 21, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    I got a beta invite for their latest stress test, and I actually really enjoyed it. I can understand them going for that monthly sub fee, and I don't honestly have that many qualms with them announcing that as it does seem that the game is packed with features and entertainment for many hours/days/weeks. However, I wouldn't pay a monthly fee to play it. I was hoping my fiance and I could play together as we both love TES and are the kind of people who wished Skyrim was multiplayer, but we won't pay for it per month. If it ever goes F2P, or they make it so you just have to pay for the game and no monthly sub, we'd most likely both buy it. As it stands, nah. I guess I'll miss out for a while (or forever if they're adamant enough).
  • Child Of Death - August 21, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    And just like that my interest for this game crashed and burned.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - August 21, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    They're overreaching and thinking that people's recent fandom for all things skyrim will make them reach for their wallet.
  • EAC73 - August 21, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    I never had high expectations for it, so I don't think I'll be missing much. That and with Everquest Next coming out that is free, this is for sure going to be overshadowed.
  • ZeeCaptain - August 21, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    It won't last, the MMO market has changed, mostly due to WOW, so this will be subscription based about as long as The Old Republic was, then it will go free to play with paid subscribers getting special treatment.
  • wadesmit - August 21, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    That makes me think all MMO devs know this, but they try their luck with a monthly sub system before reverting to a microtransaction model that was long in development anyway.
  • D0CCON - August 21, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    My love of TES would have allowed me to put up with a $5/month subscription fee, but I can't bring myself to pay any more than that just for access to a single game that I already bought once, even if it is TES.
  • Shadownerd45 - August 21, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Seriously? What about consoles who pay $60? (Already a huge investment) Why do you have to pay 1/4th of the base game price each month? I did not like the looks of the game and now this is making me not want to play this ever.
  • punkamisto - August 21, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Good grief...they just don´t learn do they? Always the money first..
  • GoldenEagle1476 - August 21, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    I have no idea who they're making this game for. I'd say that the vast majority of Elder Scrolls fans aren't going to want to pay a subscription fee, and fans of other mmos aren't going to want to jump ship to another game that looks a bit too much like a WoW clone.

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