TESO will include microtransactions along with a subscription model.
The Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor revealed in an interview with German site ESOhub.de that his game will definitely feature microtransactions. After much speculation, publisher ZeniMax revealed yesterday that it plans to charge a monthly subscription fee for its upcoming fantasy MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. Like many other subscription models, these microtransactions will be for purely cosmetic items and offer no gameplay advantage.
Explore the rich world of Tamriel with your friends in The Elder Scrolls Online. The elements that make TES a unique experience will be there, includes an emphasis on exploration, visceral real-time combat, and immersion into an ancient world. Set a millennium before Skyrim, TESO is a rich world where three factions vie for throne of an empire. It's an ancient time of heroes an legends. It's time to make your mark.
"We'll have a shop to buy kind of fun stuff, and services too, like name changes and things like that," Firor told ESOhub. "But it's not part of the core game. Anything in the core game is included in the subscription price."
This shouldn't come as a major surprise, as almost all MMOs feature microtransactions for things like server changes, etc. It is a relief, however, that ZeniMax isn't planning to use this as a major revenue driver, as that could easily turn off gamers already dealing with the recently-announced subscription.
ZeniMax could either signal a slow return to subscription models in online games, or it will almost certainly be the last game to try. Over the last few years, we have seen countless online games switch to a free-to-play model as a way to capture a larger audience, while subscription games die on the vine. World of Warcraft is a notable example of a game that has managed to stay solvent with a subscription model, and it seems that TESO is looking to follow [/i]WoW[/i]'s lead. Only time will tell if this is a smart decision.
Source: ESOhub Interview