The Elder Scrolls Online will not be Free to Play
Matt Firor, General Manager at ZeniMax Online, has confirmed that the highly anticipated Massively Multiplayer Online RPG The Elder Scrolls Online will be subscription based. In an interview with Gamestar, Firor stated:
The Elder Scrolls Online offers unlimited play for the first 30 days with the purchase of the game. The choice is yours to play as much as you want; hundreds of hours of content, PvP, etc – is all there for you to experience with the base purchase of the game. If you want to continue playing for hundreds of hours more after that first month you’ll pay a flat fee for continued, unlimited access to the game.
The fee varies per country but the basic monthly charge for US gamers would be $15. Now there are still some MMOs out that charge monthly fees, but the majority of them have adapted a different business model and ditched the monthly subscription altogether. An example of this would be Star Wars: The Old Republic. Although the game opened to high subscriptions (almost 2 million), the subscription count dropped after several months and EA eventually converted SWTOR to a free-to-play standard. However, free-to-play does not mean 100% access to game content in SWTOR. In fact, to unlock 100% of the game’s content, you have to pay a subscription fee. According to ZeniMax’s Firor, this what their company is trying to avoid, He goes on to say:
We feel that putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom, and 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.
What do you think? Would you prefer a free-to-play Tamriel? Or are you willing to dish out $15 a month plus the upfront cost of the game to get your fix? Do you think that Bethesda and ZeniMax will eventually convert The Elder Scrolls Online to free-to-play? Let us know in the comments.