Monthly Subscription Model CONFIRMED for Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online Subscription Meme

In a very recent interview by GameStar with the General Manager, Matt Firor, we have confirmation that ESO will indeed be charging a monthly fee. With this subscription, we are guaranteed to have access to the entire game (something that is rare with F2P titles), top-notch customer service and content releases every 4 to 6 weeks.

The reason Firor gives for this decision is that this model best fits ESO “given our commitment to freedom of gameplay.”  Elder Scrolls Online is all about the freedom of choice and exploration. To be able to play how you want, quest how you want and flat-out do what you want. With other models, you’d be stopped by the game and be required to pay for certain services or content which would ruin the immersion for players. Paying a monthly fee would stop this from happening and allow the player access to hundreds of hours of content unimpeded.

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So what is this going to cost us? After purchasing the game, you will be able to play the game in its entirety for 30 days to see how you enjoy it. Afterwards, you must start paying their subscription fee. Sadly, they are going with the old $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 monthly fee which I feel is a mistake. I understand and completely agree that to receive the best possible service with regular updates and properly maintained servers, you need to charge a fee. But $15 a month is going back to the WoW days and back then I never really felt like I was getting my money’s worth. They will be offering discounts for those that purchase several months at a time and will have game cards for purchase. They did not confirm whether the console players will be paying the same amount but likely they will.

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While I wish ZOS was only charging $5-$10 a month, I’m still happy with their decision overall. I know many argue that they cannot afford a monthly fee and for those TES fans that have not played MMOs before, paying a fee for an Elder Scrolls game will feel quite bizarre. Keep in mind there are several things that a subscription-based MMO will help ensure. Less botting (at least in the beginning) since gold farmers will have to purchase accounts or wait until they get their grubby little hands on hacked accounts. By the way, don’t purchase power-leveling services or buy gold as that’s where they hack most accounts. A fee ensures more serious players since those players are actually paying to play. Much better customer support is guaranteed as they can afford such a thing. And of course the most important thing that hopefully will become true is the guarantee of monthly to bi-monthly content updates.

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To hear our perspectives in more detail, please watch this Friday’s Elder Scrolls Online Weekly show as we will discuss the subscription model further. Let us know how you feel in the comments or visit our Facebook and Twitter.

-Kyle


68 Comments

  1. Tsukasa117 August 22, 2013 6:06 pm 

    I don’t understand all the hate for this model, its not like the possibility wasn’t there. I see it this way if im paying and im getting a constant stream of good content thats fine its when we don’t get support that is worth the price that I see an issue. Of course for all the under driving age gamers that have to depend on there parents for gaming money…work out some kind of way to earn that 15 dollars a month from your folks I mean has the concept of chores and the like such a foreign horrible thing these days?

  2. Rellim August 22, 2013 6:39 pm 

    I agree with Tsukasa, this model can be very successful if deployed correctly. As long as we can trust them when they say, “Every 5-6 weeks” on content releases. I’m still very excited for this game! Can’t wait!

  3. Morgan August 22, 2013 6:53 pm 

    I shrieked out of excitement when they finally announced they were going P2P. I’m so excited! While I agree $10 would have been preferable, I am more than okay with $15 a month. Skip going out for a meal once a month… there’s you’re $15.

  4. NovaPulseGaming August 22, 2013 10:02 pm 

    I understand the distaste with for subscription based payment models, but it’s not the end of the world. So many people fail to see the positives. I actually did a video on Wildstar’s announcement and the same principles stand. In order to get the hardcore endgame content that is missing from nearly every post-WoW MMO that extra cash flow is required. In fact with FFXIV, Wildstar, and now ESO I think we are going to see the upswing of subscription model again. Hopefully they do well to prove to all the nonbelievers that the extra money is being poured into developing worthwhile content. I actually think this is a boon for the overall product that is ESO as long as ZoS delivers on their promise for content. I mean honestly if they were just going to copy GW2 B2P and lack endgame just like that title it would become stale, much like GW2. ( Shameless plug! NovaPulseGaming is my youtube channel. Check it out! :P )

  5. Sirko August 22, 2013 11:17 pm 

    Wow Shoddy i was hoping that atleast u would adress this mistake but i guess you are just eating out of ZOS’s ass.Such a shame.Also look at guild wars 2 it has more updates than WoW and is b2p.90 % of ESO’s fanbase is dissapointed by this fee but i guess u dont care.T.his game will go f2p in a few months anyway.

    • tidhus1346732 August 23, 2013 12:56 am 

      I’m sorry that you feel this way, especially with other’s comments on the matter shoqing light onto the WHY ZoS is doing this. You scream GW2 but I ask you, what meaningful content have they put out? Living story sure isn’t and there hasn’t been any endgame that emulates large group content at all. Gw2 is a completely different animal than ESO. Just for an example look at Gw2 and Wildstar. Both owned by McSoft so why not use the same model? Because B2P doesn’t provide enough income to develop substantial endgame content; something that has been missing from MMOs for quite some time. I do understand the backlash from TES fans but to them I would say that you need to accept this is an MMO first and TES game second. Granted the balance between the 2 seems to be well done, this has to be an MMO first or else the product simply won’t work on the base of it’s premise: that this is an online experience and not a single player game like the previous TES titles. Before jumping on the hate train I would hope everyone even remotely interested in ESO to give the game a chance. How do you know you will hate something you haven’t played? And even more importantly, if you are new to MMOs why ignore the product you have been following without experiencing this MMO first-hand?

      • tidhus1346732 August 23, 2013 12:58 am 

        NcSoft*
        Damn you phone! :P

  6. Firestar2471 August 23, 2013 12:20 am 

    Yessss. After this came out I have read many articles to the effect of this model. Most of the were skeptical and 70% (this is just a estimate) of player feedback was negative. Let me try to tear them all down all at once.
    Point 1. it is too expensive…. You think 15 bucks a month is expensive?!?!? First of all I hear lots of whining “oh I have to pay 60 buck plus 180 for the whole year? curse you Zenimax!”. my problems with that statement coming mostly from the 60 bucks. I have read nowhere that Zenimax has settled on a release price and if i had to peg the cost of the game I would say it will end up closer to maybe 30$ that includes the free month of game time making the real price closer to 15$. Most people commenting are TES players and are used to the 60 dollar release price. However they charge 60$ because other than DLC’s they can’t hope to make any other money off it. P2P models however have the benefit of being funded by subscriptions and therefore can charge lower for the release game. Even wow expacs never cost more than 30 dollars. My second problem with that statement comes from its 180 dollars per year. While that is expensive it is more or less ones natural reaction to protect his wallet when he sees a big number. 180 dollars per year is not a big deal and while I too wish the pricing was closer to 10 bucks per month if the game is good enough I would pay 20 dollars per month and I am a poor fricking college musician. You can’t get much poorer than me and I manage paying for WoW by only playing 8 months out of 12.
    Now that I have dealt with point one here point 2. SWTOR, RIFT failed as a P2P model. Thus every game from now on with a P2P model will fail? No, they failed because if we are honest with ourselves for a minute they were simply bad WoW rehashes. Let me start off with RIFT. When Rift came out it was praised as the WoW killer the amazing game that would rock the gaming world down to its core. Then I remember logging into Rift for the first time as a mage. I opened up the spec tree for fire and was startled. It was almost as if RIFT had copied word for word the fire mage spec tree from WoW. I even remember switching to my WoW account and finding that RIFT had a talent that had the same name and effect as the one from WoW. In short RIFT was a newer copy of WoW with different lore and newer graphics a semi cool world system and absolutely nothing else that I couldn’t already find in WoW. I will come back to Rift later for now lets examine the mess that’s SWTOR. A wise man once told me that simply throwing cash at something doesn’t make it great. SWTOR also came out to much fanfare of predicting WoWs demise. I mean cmon it was Star wars mixed into a MMO what could go wrong? I will with that statement ask you too subjugate yourself to the three Star Wars prelude movies (sarcasm people). The movies worked as they could be a one time deal SWTOR didn’t as it was a WoW rehash (and a bad one at that) thus SWTOR P2P was a bad idea. If you want to know why SWTOR was a bad rehash let me say this. RIFT at least had endgame content that was sorta cool. SWTOR was amazing while leveling. But when you hit endgame….it was just that the game ended not exactly healthy when you need to playerbase busy to keep them buying monthly subscriptions. Now last part of point two, WoW. When F2P freaks need evidence they point to SWTOR (which I have just torn to bits) and WoW. WoWs problem is simply unavoidable and inevitable, aging is a pain in the butt. WoW was a concept idea in 1998 and was released in 2004. In simply terms the game engine was designed when computers had those big square screens that looked like cardboard boxes and ran off hard drives with at most 75gigs of memory. The system is around 11 years old or in dog years its around 80 years old. When WoW came out it is was back when MMOs consisted of a bunch of substandard F2P systems (runescape anyone?) Back then the things WoW did were things no one had ever seen before, weather effects, screen shaking, hell even its combat system were practically brand spanking new state of the art systems. Now weather effects and all I mention above are standard. In conclusion of point two look at the above paragraph. Basically all I said can be summed up into WoW is old and you have a bunch of MMOs not pushing the envelop like WoW originally did but instead opting to try to beat a old game at its own game (see what I did there) by coping it and thus failing horribly.

    My final point will be as to what needs to happen for TESO to succeed. The gaming world has seen so many games deemed WoW killers fall over and die quickly. Rift was the only WoW killer that managed to operate on P2P model long enough to get a expac out. RIFT was a shiny WoW updated WoW and managed to get about 1.5-2mil people at its height. But still its problem is despite what the game designers may claim. It is a WoW rehash. There were very few new systems and even then those tended to be terrible. The games namesake RIfts happened so often as to drive one out of his mind. They were cool the first 3 times you saw them. Now to the red meat, TESO has none of those. When I read TESO had classes and skills I lost all interest and basically game it a dead on arrival. I imagined a “oh great here comes another shiny wow” then a few weeks ago I checked back and saw a combat article stating “combat will be like skyrim” I now have gone from no interest as to reading just about anything I can get my hands on and it looks good. Back to the main point TESO needs this: A brand new combat system, hotbars are okay but irritating after mass use, stats for combat too. WoW was designed in 2002 back then doing a skyrim combat system was only possible if everyone had supercomputers. Even then with wows graphics it barely would have worked, therefore blizzard took then current route of whether or not you hit the opponent doesn’t depend on whether you where shooting your bow towards its face but rather on a magical unseen die that would roll in you favor the better you hit chance was. Also relating to what it needs for combat WoW may be old but it nailed one thing, endgame content. Endgame content is WoWs bread and butter and the main reason it has survived the endless WoW killers over the years, SWTOR had no endgame, RIFTS endgame was weak and leveling was a pain, GW2 because of there complete elimination of the holy trinity has also a weak endgame. TESO’s endgame is unseen however. We hear about adventure zones and depending on how good that is will make or break TESO’s ability to steal WoWs thunder. Even then WoW has the high ground of having years of endgame content so adventure zones/dungeons/and PVP better damn well be good or TESO’s time on this earth as P2P is limited. Those are the main things. The combat system is good (and a welcome improvement) in TESO but if it doesn’t open with lots of repeatable good enjoyable endgame for solo players and MMO players. I say dead on arrival.

    However should TESO fulfill those requirements maybe, just maybe may it grow to dominate the MMO market and fully deserve its P2P model.

    • Simon August 23, 2013 12:41 am 

      Well said sir… Well said. :)

  7. Atlantic August 23, 2013 4:15 am 

    Over kill man

    • firestar2471 August 23, 2013 4:39 am 

      The proper phrase I believe is the ‘double tap’. Better the subject totally demolished than having any wiggle room to fight back in my personal opinion…….. Shall I elaborate? (sarcasm)

  8. Brook August 23, 2013 8:46 am 

    I really doubt this model is going to work. People are too simple minded to understand how much this actually effects the amount a developer can make. It’s a very large gamble. You have to ASSUME your game is going to have something NO other game has that is currently already out or will be coming out soon. A P2P model could actually RUIN this game if it doesn’t work out well. I rather have a great B2P game, from start to finish. Not a great P2P game that turns into a crappy F2P game because it couldn’t sustain it’s numbers.

    Well, guess only time will tell. I will feel bad for anyone who pays if it ends up going F2P 6 months to a year after. All the time and money spent. So many people love gambling it seems. -.- I can’t take those chances. I rather pay a flat fee for the game and always have access to it.

    Lol I already been screwed over by subscribing to TERA.

    I know a lot of people will say, “don’t compare ESO to other MMOs”. However, what else are we comparing it to then? Hope? XD Sorry, but I look at evidence over hope and the only evidence that exists is passed MMO games of the last 5 years.

    Some say the model works, but really, where has it worked enough times to actually base that on? You can’t just base that on a few games out of 100s. That isn’t proof.

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