The Elder Scrolls Online Will Have Subscription Fees

| 21 Aug 2013 12:04
Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online will charge $14.99 a month for unlimited use.

If you're anything like us then you're probably excited for The Elder Scrolls Online. The game thus far has looked very much accessible for both fans of single and multiplayer, granting it a flexibility that will likely come in handy for the task of roping in gamers used to an Elder Scrolls universe made for them and them alone. One element that might not be as helpful in attracting gaming loners however, are recently confirmed subscription fees players will need to pay if they want unlimited access to the game.

It's an interesting move on the part of Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios, especially in the light of other recent big name MMOs failing to gain the traction needed to maintain subscription based services. That being the case, the game's developers believe it to be the best fit for The Elder Scrolls. "The Elder Scrolls Online was designed and developed to be a premium experience," said Matt Firor, general manager of ZeniMax Online. "Hundreds of hours of gameplay, tons of depth and features, professional customer support - and a commitment to have ongoing content at regular intervals after launch. This type of experience is best paired with a one-time fee per month, as opposed to many smaller payments." Firor also suggested that players will be "appreciate not having to worry about being 'monetized' in the middle of playing the game."

According to Firor, the current plan is to charge a monthly fee of $14.99, or the equivalent amount depending on a player's region. In return the developers plan to offer consistent premium updates that add new quests, zones, skills, dungeons and overall content after the game launches. Whether or not this will be enough to hold onto gamers' wallets, however, is the emergent question. In turn, we're curious as to what our readers think. Are you up for a monthly fee, or will you be sticking to the Elder Scrolls offline?

Source: GameStar

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bringer of illumination:

Look at this picture:

image

In my mind, I like to imagine two things based on this picture. First, he got the job of 'Lead Loremaster' because no one else on the team looks like they were actually created using the Elder Scrolls Character Creation Screen. Second, his real last name is not 'Schick', but the rest of the team have taken to calling him that because of the noise he makes when gelling his hair back.

Anyway, not interested. Never paying a monthly fee to be bored again.

Zac Jovanovic:
Good, so there is some chance of it not being shit.

I'm a bit annoyed for continuing the 15$/m fee tradition though, I can't think of any game that justified it. 10$ would be much more reasonable IMO.

There's every chance it's going to be shit. In fact if you look at past releases big-name licensed MMOs with lots of hype that launch with a sub tend to be broken/unfinished if not just plain bad. TOR, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan are probably the most notable of them.

Might be a deal breaker for me. 15$ a month is not that much but I do not like the idea of paying 60$ for a game and then shelling out even more money just to play it. Its what kept me from the old republic until it went f2p (which is one of the worst f2p models i have ever seen) and its what kept me away from games like WoW. I am ok with paying for the game like guild wars 2 and I am ok with just paying a subscription sort of like lotro but both is just to much.

Was hoping it would be F2P along with the initial cost but the subscription doesn't bother me too much. Playing WoW since vanilla has gotten me used to paying $15 a month.. it's really not that much. I don't see the subscription being sustainable in this game though so I give it a few months before it goes F2P.

Brother Pain:
This is good news. Most games that have gone to F2P have so many pay gates at different content, be it customization, accessing your in-game cash, respeccing, basic content, or just levelling at a normal rate. Also, many F2P games basically only get new payed content.

Having a subscription allows me to put money down on a monthly basis and not worry about every little feature in the game nickle-and-diming me. I can accomplish stuff in the game without it being completely obscured by a cash shop.

Also, I think I read that the monthly price would not convert to euro and pounds 1:1, but I can't find any confirmation of that. It'd be nice if everyone outside the US wouldn't be price gouged for once.

EDIT: And I found the confirmation about halfway down the page: http://m.gamestar.de/artikel/the-elder-scrolls-online,3026853.html

"Since you've been so forthcoming, could you also reveal the available subscriptions? How much will a month of ESO cost?"

"We'll go into details on this later, but the basic monthly charge will be $14.99/€12.99/8.99 and expect some discounts if you buy multiple months at a time. We'll also support game time cards as well as a variety of payment methods."

I share similar sentiment. I am an avid Mechwarrior: Online player and F2P is just one big pain in the ass. I would much rather have a monthly fee in exchange for having access to absolutely everything (barring expansions) up front.

Well, there goes my interest in the game. I thought I heard this news before, but I guess it was more of a rumor than a confirmation. Still, it's a real shame. I wanted to play the MMO because Skyrim was the only game I've played in the series and I was hoping that the MMO would help me understand the lore better without playing the older games. It would've been better if they adopted the GW2 model where you pay for the game and any cash shop items are mostly cosmetic or provide services (like changing a character's name, looks, or server). I don't think a sub would work well for them, but it has yet to be seen. If a Star Wars game couldn't do it, I don't know if an Elder Scrolls game could.

Kinda was hoping it would be a B2P,
From what I seen so for, TES online doesn't seem to be worth a paid sub, but then again, I also haven't really been keeping a eye on it lately (Mostly on FF XIV and Wildstar (Also a P2P))

Way I see it though, for about $45-60 of a paid MMO, you can get 2-3 months of play ($30/$45 game + Free month + 1 month), while most $60 games take a week to beat. As long as there's lot of content, I don't mind paying.

GW2, while the $60 and done was nice, the RNG boxes (to get the "new" items, requiring keys from the cash shop) were annoying, as well as the lack of a good endgame caused me to stop playing. Also mid-level zones are dead.

Maybe if TESO sub was $10 (as mentioned before) I'd be more interested, or the pay-for-hours method was used as well.

Maxtro:

OCAdam:

Thinking about it some more, that model basically is saying it wants me to pay for the equivalent of a whole new game every 4 months. I usually do buy a new game every 4 months. Thing is, I doubt they'll add even 1/4 a whole game's worth of content in 4 months. Not exactly worth the money in my eyes.

I was thinking the same exact thing.

Odds are this game wouldn't be anywhere close to equal in value with buying a new game every four months.

I'm going to wait for a sale where I can get it for $45 or cheaper and maybe pay for a second month of play time, and then just stop. That way I'd still only pay $60.

You have to pay 60$ upfront?


That is a terrible deal and I don't know why anyone would put up with it. Does the 60$ cover the one month or 4?

I knew that this would be a fail from the start nobody enjoys scheduling gameplay...when I want to play a game I want to do it when I want to not when 19 other people can get together to do something and hope nobody bails out on ya. I Played wow for quite a while and people made it fun but also makes it the most impossible to play game at the same time. All online games would benefit most from having the possibility to just play on local channels where you can create private settings that way those that want single play can enjoy that and those that want large groups can enjoy that too. Any version of gaming that pools 1000+ people into a game space and charges monthly for it really isn't looking for anything other than just a quick cash grab before going free to play and its a viable rape scheme considering there are just some people that wont wait... relax all if nobody buys into this crap we can get a free to play version quick or even better never put up with on line multi-play again! Just spread the word to all those that want to buy it to hang back until 6 months after release. If we wait it will pretty much wash up any monthly plans they have for quite some time.

Vhite:

Yuuki:
Enjoy having paid $90 over 6 months, or $180 over the course of a year.

So... if I drop 3 60$ games that would last together maybe 30 hours I'll get to enjoy one game for entire year? Sign me in for such deal anytime.

For $180 you can buy a shitload more than 3 games if you aim for sales, not to mention you'll be getting vastly different kinds of games. You can look up reviews before buying said games to make sure your purchase is valued, while with the MMO you pretty much have to accept whatever content you're handed. With all MMO's you end up having to grind the same content/areas over and over again anyway.

But that's all besides the point - there is a REASON why the overwhelming majority of subscription MMO's have either switched to F2P/Freemium or closed altogether while WoW is the only one left standing.
Every new MMO is hailed as the next big thing before swiftly dropping after the first 1-2 months and then going into an infinitely long stagnation period where servers end up getting merged to avoid ghost-town-syndrome, the developers consider whether it's worth it to keep releasing content/patches and then people start losing jobs.

I won't judge Elder Scrolls for now, they can go head with their subscription model...the test of time will be their challenge.

Good, so there is some chance of it not being shit.

I'm a bit annoyed for continuing the 15$/m fee tradition though, I can't think of any game that justified it. 10$ would be much more reasonable IMO.

Sight Unseen:

I'd like to make a few comments regarding your post:

As far as I know there has been no mention of either a cash shop or an initial purchase of this game that have been officially announced yet and while it might be likely that one or more will exist, it is still jumping the gun until it is confirmed one way or the other, and just making negative hype over a feature that may not exist.

I suppose it is a bit presumptuous, though I could have sworn I read something about a shop already. Or was it about character races for sale? I'll have to see if I can find it, though it might have been something else. Still, I can't think of an mmo without some form of cash shop system to one degree or another, and I have my doubts that the team behind ESO will have the character enough just charge a sub fee and yet otherwise ignore the captive advertisement audience.

Also $15 times 12 months is $180 a year, for full disclosure and trying not to be biased.

sorry, typo there. Finger slid down to the 2 instead of up to the 8. Still, sort of make my point worse when it shifts from 2 full price games to 3

I don't think that TES:O is a WoW clone in very many aspects at all other than that it's an MMO and has a subscription and that it has dungeons and combat... Maybe this game is different enough from WoW to be able to stand it's own. Like you said, all the wow clones have failed, and this is because they were trying to emulate WoW too much when WoW already exists, so people don't see the point in playing it because they're already established in WoW. I'm not certain that TES:O will be different enough to dethrone WoW and I certainly won't make any such claims, but I think that it can definitely find it's own niche and be successful in it's own right because it is doing several things very differently than WoW.

What I was referring to was a fantasy sword and sorcery mmo. Obvious over-saturation in the market there. As such, the idea of it being a WoW clone is in the theme, tone and subscription model. High fantasy epic adventure with other people and you have to pay monthly to keep playing. Aside from the license fans, it is otherwise not standing out compared to the sea of such mmo, and as such having to pay a monthly fee is instantly a turn off, one that is avoided by WoW because WoW is seen as the mmo king and has the largest player base, therefore by conventional wisdom must be better (obvious issues there aside, this is just suppose to represent a generalized opinion.) Why pay to play the "clone" of it (in spirit and theme) that is unproven when you can just play the actual product?

From what I've seen of TES, it looks a lot less grindy than most MMO's and looks more like Skyrim in terms of gameplay. The quests all seemed to have narratives and you can obtain quests by simply exploring and finding cool dungeons to go through. Yes you level up by using your skills more and more, but it seems like they're trying to make that experience compelling and not just a linear slog from one generic "Kill 15 boars" quest to another or camping one monster spawn for 50 hours so you can finally have fun in the PVP. This is an initial impression and I could be wrong, but that's what it seems like to me.

MMO are by default designed to have a lot of content and to take a lot of time. They are often built to be slower in leveling so that players can experience the massive amount of content and help with immersion. There is nothing wrong with this, by default. My point here was about how a game type that is intentionally slower to consume is being tied to a pay to play model that bests takes advantage of the slower gameplay consumption. Yes, I know that in a business sense that does make sense, but as a player, it also raises very valid complaints and concerns, especially in relation to gameplay decisions that may intentionally slow the game down further. Granted, my concerns are just concerns at the moment, but mmo have often been the largest culprits of intentional padding and slowdown tactics as it is. Adding in a payment model that actively benefits from such tactics is very worrisome and for many is the final straw in how much trust they are willing to give towards trying the game in the first place, especially given how often such payment methods have been abused in other mmo before.

There's been no sign or indication that there will be advertising or product placement at all so I don't know where that came from.

The advertisement aspect is in relation to it being an mmo. Every mmo I have come across, and especially true of FTP models, are essentially tests of will against the subscriptions or cash shops themselves. The game design is a constant barrage on the player to get them to keep paying or buy the extras, and as such the game itself acts like a constant commercial. Now, this might be very faint with just cosmetic aspects, or this might be built right into the system with paygates or cool down periods you have to buy your way past or by intentionally making the game excessively grindy for tasks, yet offer a quick way past with a little cash. Crafting systems are especially bad for this, though also things such as inventory space and on some games even leveling itself can be designed in a way that turns the gameplay itself into a test of patience in hopes of encouraging pay.
For free to play models, this is the trade off for the game itself (players are "paying" by putting up with the advertisement in the same way people who watch videos online pay by watching the adverts before them, with the only difference being that the adverts are owned by the game creators themselves). Of late though, games have been charging full price, yet include a cash shop aspect in order to milk consumers. Dead Space 3's crafting system for instance, making the game an advertisement that the player has to pay for as well, the worst of both worlds. A subscription model on a game with a cash shop (I will assume it will have one as I have yet to find an mmo without) is similar enough to that, but with the upfront pricetag, it is even worse. Players have to pay in order to pay in order to put up with constant advertisement telling them to pay.

While Subscription is the better payment system, I'm happy the backlash is hitting TESO so hard. A blatant slap in the face to every TES fan in the world shouldn't have come this far at all, and it'll be a good day when it goes crashing down.

I would love to play another Elder Scrolls game, just not an MMO.
I will buy dlc forever on a game, (as long as it is good dlc).

Yuuki:

Makabriel:
Play a game without having to pay separate for bank space? Or anything extra? Yes please.

Enjoy having paid $90 over 6 months, or $180 over the course of a year.

So... if I drop 3 60$ games that would last together maybe 30 hours I'll get to enjoy one game for entire year? Sign me in for such deal anytime.

well, I was gonna say how this is not the smartest move they coulda pulled in this market.

but seeing as I'm on page 2 of 5 and the genera conciseness thus far is 'fuck it I'm out', don't think I need to ....

If the game is good enough, this won't be a problem and people will pay, even the ones in this thread decrying it. However, there in lies the rub. It's really hard to make a game good enough to where people will do it in large enough numbers.

kenu12345:

Sight Unseen:

kenu12345:
It aint for me because right now those are all empty promises just like the old republic. Its coming off alot like that game plus this really aint that lore friendly with the actual games. You can say all you want but the actual single players already offer all this and seemingly much better

Fair enough. There are already two really obvious guilds/ questlines for them to add though that should be really awesome: the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild questlines. Those two are notably absent from the core game, but I'm sure they will be added as a content update, and hopefully the storylines will be as awesome as the Oblivion ones, not so much the Skyrim ones.

In terms of lore, i'm not much of a TES lore knowitall, since this game takes place 1,000 years before the other games in a period I don't know much about, I probably won't notice some small inconsistencies in backstory. But the motivations for the different factions and the overall struggle for power seems to make enough sense for me. There are a few lore-junkies though who have already posted their displeasure over differences but I don't think it'll be enough to ruin the game for any but the most hardcore TES fans.

I honestly don't see how they are going to do the thiefs guild quest line. I hope its more oblivion but I don't seeing an mmo doing that. Seems mostly action so it seems like it would be at skyrim level or worse. I hated having to kill somebody in the thieves guild questline on that.

Well they did add sneaking to TES:O which I haven't seen in any other MMO. Also if the quests are more narrative structured, like Runescape, then I could see them doing this pretty easily.

Yuuki:

Sight Unseen:

PatrickXD:
Does Guild Wars 2 not exist, or something? There's a third option here, guys, and it has led to one of the fastest selling MMO's of all time - if not the most.
I was looking forward to the announcement that TES:O would require a one off payment, and include aesthetic microtransactions. Now I'm just going to ignore the title, because one game is not worth 120/year.

Fast initial sales but precipitous drop off after 2 weeks is not an ideal sales model for an MMO that should be designed to keep gamers playing for a long time. It means that they get a large initial recovery of their investment but then nothing to sustain them to develop the game further.

I'm not at all an expert on GW2, but several people here have been posting about the glaring drawbacks of their model ( no apparent long-term growth of the game, temporary updates, expensive microtransactions, player population drops, etc) If a company wants to maintain and nurture a player base for an MMO they need the financial assets to be adding compelling and substantial content and show long term growth of the game to encourage their fanbase to keep playing, and a buy once and be set forever model doesn't work that well when you have to also consider server maintenance and upkeep and longterm growth of the game.

Where the heck are you getting your info from? I just checked now (3:45pm in USA so not exactly peak times):

Population:
Very High - 10 servers
High - 30 servers
Medium - 11 servers

There's 22,000 people online right now.

Like I said, my sources were from previous posters in the thread so I apologize that my information was incorrect in this case. Still, I'd be interested to see how many active players there were when the game launched compared to now, and I don't know how many people are needed to turn a profit for the devs. All interesting info I'd like to know.

Sight Unseen:

kenu12345:
It aint for me because right now those are all empty promises just like the old republic. Its coming off alot like that game plus this really aint that lore friendly with the actual games. You can say all you want but the actual single players already offer all this and seemingly much better

Fair enough. There are already two really obvious guilds/ questlines for them to add though that should be really awesome: the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild questlines. Those two are notably absent from the core game, but I'm sure they will be added as a content update, and hopefully the storylines will be as awesome as the Oblivion ones, not so much the Skyrim ones.

In terms of lore, i'm not much of a TES lore knowitall, since this game takes place 1,000 years before the other games in a period I don't know much about, I probably won't notice some small inconsistencies in backstory. But the motivations for the different factions and the overall struggle for power seems to make enough sense for me. There are a few lore-junkies though who have already posted their displeasure over differences but I don't think it'll be enough to ruin the game for any but the most hardcore TES fans.

I honestly don't see how they are going to do the thiefs guild quest line. I hope its more oblivion but I don't seeing an mmo doing that. Seems mostly action so it seems like it would be at skyrim level or worse. I hated having to kill somebody in the thieves guild questline on that.

endtherapture:

Nocturnus:
Fifteen dollars a month for a gamer is a lot of money? Really? 0.o..

... on what planet.

Unless you're pirating the ever living crud out of your games, which i'm going to assume that nobody is, you're looking to spend that much for even a good indy title. And it won't give you hundreds of hours of content. Maybe... twelve? If you're lucky?

That includes a one off cost of 30 to buy the game, plus costs of Xbox live and Playstation to play it online. It all adds up and some of us have bills and rent to pay.

And let's be honest, a lot of MMOs give you that much content because you have to grind and grind and grind to get your moneys worth.

Maybe if you play.. Final Fantasy XIV or XI. There are plenty of games out that aren't a "grind", some of which even have pretty compelling narratives and storylines.

EverQuest II, The Secret World, heck, even Guild Wars 2 are a huge departure from that. Matter of fact, most games now adays have been moving away from that so much that the "old school" MMO people are upset.

Quite frankly, i'm happy that the grinding days are behind us as MMO Gamers.

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