In a somewhat unexpected development, ZeniMax GM Matt Firor confirmed that The Elder Scrolls Online will be employing a monthly subscription model.
In what some might consider the golden age of the Free to Play model, The Elder Scrolls Online will charge a monthly fee of $14.99.
Matt Firor, in an interview with Gamestar stated: “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. Charging a flat monthly (or subscription) fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play. Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren’t willing to make.”
He went on to say: “And it’s important to state that our decision to go with subscriptions is not a referendum on online game revenue models. F2P, B2P, etc. are valid, proven business models – but subscription is the one that fits ESO the best, given our commitment to freedom of gameplay, quality and long-term content delivery. Plus, players will appreciate not having to worry about being “monetized” in the middle of playing the game, which is definitely a problem that is cropping up more and more in online gaming these days.”
This is an interesting announcement in a day and age where more and more MMORPGs are converting to a Free to Play model. There are a lot of choices out there for gamers to choose from, the most successful of late being Guild Wars 2.
I’ve had the opportunity to play The Elder Scrolls Online briefly and while it appears to be a great game, the subscription model will most likely give me pause when deciding to purchase the game at its release. There are so many quality Free to Play games out there, with more likely to come, that it will take some considerable effort to convince players to pay nearly $180 / year to play the game.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts…