Bethesda Talks More on ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ Subscription Fees

Published 9 months ago by

TESO Logo w: characters

Working in video game PR must be a little like putting out fires for a living — just ask Bethesda‘s VP of Public Relations Pete Hines. Having fought off the furore surrounding Prey 2 in the summer, Hines has now returned to extinguish concerns over The Elder Scrolls Online subscription fee requirement.

Back in February, the company’s de facto spokesman defended the concept, as a means to providing consistent, high caliber content. Despite providing a fair enough appraisal of the situation i.e. that studios require cash to continue pumping out quality quests, it seems Hines wasn’t quite finished there.

In an interview with Gamespot, TESO‘s hype man expanded upon his earlier arguments, to try and impress upon gamers the true value of the system, as well as the false economy of a comparable free-to-play model:

“We feel pretty strongly about the support we’re going to have for the game and what you’re going to get for those dollars […] not here’s a new sword or here’s a funny hat–but content that is real and significant and it feels like regular and consistent DLC releases.

[A free-to-play game] just seems like a lesser game, and we’re not going to make a lesser game that might be more palatable […] we want to do the version that we think is the best game and the coolest experience. And that means putting a lot of people and a lot of content creators towards having stuff that comes our regularly; every four weeks, five weeks, six weeks. Big new stuff that you want to do.”

The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot Preview Dungeon

Hines further justified the move as part of Bethesda’s “all-in” attitude towards content updates. The PR rep explained that due to the complex nature of the MMORPG, players were required to remain up-to-date at all times, something a more conventional program of optional DLC additions would prevent.

Asked whether or not the game’s monthly fees might hurt sales, Hines responded:

“We’re not trying to make a game that everybody who plays games will automatically buy […] It is a certain kind of game. There’s no shooter elements. There’s no aliens. It is a massive, ‘Go where you want, do what you want’ game that we think offers the kind of experience that’s worthy of a subscription.”

Despite this rather odd comparison — didn’t the Mass Effect series feature much of the above? — It’s clear what Hines really means here: that MMORPG players are a subset of gamers unto themselves, with different concepts of value based upon the unique and expansive scope of their favourite genre.

Of course, the case could also be made that these fans are just being exploited by publishers, due to their enjoyment of one particular genre over another. Many FPS fans, for example put in comparable hours on their favorite games, though they aren’t made to pay a comparable sum— at least not yet.

The concept that Hines seems to be selling is one of “pro-active DLC,” i.e. content so good you’ll want to pay for it in advance. While the idea isn’t too far removed from the Season Pass deals that are now commonplace within the industry, this system does have a number of weaknesses. For one, a day 1 player will end up paying 6 times as much for the exact same content as the player who joins up 6 months on from release. While the likes of Netflix may have popularized this business model elsewhere, it remains to be seen just how well this monthly system works here.

Are monthly subscription fees becoming a hard sell for studios? What’s the most cost effective way of exploring Tamriel, – by buying in late, not at all, or via the likes of Skyrim and Oblivion? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Elder Scrolls news, right here on Game Rant.

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The Elder Scrolls Online arrives April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac platforms, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports set to follow in June.

Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.

Source: Gamespot

TAGS: Bethesda, Mac, PC, PS4, The Elder Scrolls, The Elder Scrolls Online, Xbox One, ZeniMax Online Studios

55 Comments

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  1. This is a bunch of horse crap! They expect us to pay a damn subscription fee on top of a Playstation plus fee?!!!! Seriously?!!!! Wtf!!!! A free to play version would be the same!!!! You’d just have to pay for the new content which we are already doing. No! The reason why “a subscription version is better” is because there want to bleed use dry of our money. I’m skipping this game! Watch there game they’re expecting to sell over 100 million to probably a couple hundred. I’d give this game a 5/10 and that’s me being generous. I love the concept, graphics, story, action. But if I weren’t being generous and gave my honest opinion I’d give this game 3.5/10.

    • Misinformed much? You don’t need PS + to play this game, you need Live Gold to play it on the Xbox but that is to do with Microsoft not Zenimax. You seriously ranking a game that severely because of a subscription fee? You said you love the concept, graphics, story and action but just because you can’t afford to pay a measly 15 dollars a month you’ve decided to get all petty and give it a 5. Sounds logical

    • 3.5/10? Wow that’s harsh. what part of the game displeased you so much to rate it so low? Oh wait, you haven’t played it yet? what’s your score for watch dogs, or witcher 3, or even better destiny? Don’t score a game you haven’t played yet dumbass.

      • Jacob I CAN pay for the fee! I have a job and I go to college. I am a huge elder scrolls fan! I know how to rate games! The reason why I gave the 3.5 is because I felt it a disservice to all elder scrolls fans! Not because I’m being bitchy about a 15 dollar fee. Though that is a huge part of it. If I’m gonna pay 60 bucks for a game, pay for ps+ I don’t want to have to pay 15 dollars a month on top of that. That is just dumb. No game is worth that. I did say that by being generous I would give the game a 5/10. That’s my fan side and my initial and final grade. The three was just me being critical with my job life, college life, and don’t want to pay a monthly fee when I will hardly get a chance to play it! Think before you comment to another persons comment will you?!

        • So if you’re such a huge fan, why don’t you support the artist you’re a fan of? They need money to make it. That’s how these things work. SWTOR doesn’t rely on goodwill. It gates literally every aspect of the experience unless you pay for it.

        • “I call player like you freeloaders on SWTOR and your kind are the lowest of the low and ride on the backs of those who pay for the game.

          If TESO ever does go F2P I hope the restrict the hell out of it so people like you still won’t be happy.”

          …and you just sank lower.

        • So you’re giving a biased review because you feel it is a disservice to all TES fans but fail to give a reason. You also admit to the fee being the primary reason for the low rating proving my point. I still don’t get why you have to pay for PS + I already told you that you don’t need it to play ESO. Even if you did need to pay for it that would be Sony’s decision not Zenimax’s. You don’t have to like the game, but you already said you enjoyed many of the key aspects of the game but because of the fee you gave it a low review. Again, you do not need PS + to play this game.

          • I think the point he was making with the ps+ comment was that ps+ is technically a subscription because you are paying to be able to play games online and that because the elder scrolls online is an online game it should be covered by ps+ or that he should at least get a discount for being a ps+ member.But I do agree that the score he gave was way too low.

    • I’ve played it, and even though I think ESO is far from being sub-worthy, I would never rate it below a 5. I’d say for an mmo its a solid 7-8.
      A 3, is just stupid and indicative of a person who doesn’t understand how to rate a game.

      • meh I agree. Game play might be fun how ever the price just aint worth it. Paying that ammount of cash forces me to justify a certain time sink into that. Time is money in this case and I deem it unworthy of both.

      • I haven’t played it, but as a long time WoW player, I will say that MMOs get strong later. Never straight out of the gate. WoW stunk in vanilla in my opinion. But for years they’ve added more content, more systems, more sophistication. That’s how the genre works. I expect ESO to be no different. It will start off okay, and if it lasts, it will become richer and more enjoyable.

    • Have you even played the game, as you are saying your mad that you must pay, both fees for the game and PS+, than my assumption is no. Having played the beta many times myseld, and seeing the vast improvement in the game thus far i feel you ranking of a 5/3.5 out of 10 is due to the fact that your on a budget and not used to the mmorpg aspect of paying for what you receive which is hours upon hours of entertainment and playtime, this is not call of duty or killzone, this is a genre in which if it were to go free-to-play than it would not be anywhere near as good, as it could be with a subscription model. Dont judge things cause you are used to skyrim and oblivion etc..this is not an elder scrolls games, rather a world of warcraft with the elder scrolls universe.

      • hey by the way. Your name is dumb. Both literally and figuratively. The ‘your’ you are using means possesion. you want to use ‘you’re’ or ‘You are’. Unless you’re saying that you are our dumby. In which…..weird…

    • I’m sorry but you’re being very ignorant here. Sony gets the money from your PS plus sub, not Zenimax. They are 2 separate entities. you PSP sub does not support the game, or the bug fixes or the new content.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help maintaining the game & its servers. Getting all outraged about it is just plain silly.

      Too many people look at this with a knee jerk reaction and not in context. 99.9% of gamers spend far more than that a month on other fluff items like cigarettes, beer, hell even Cheetos. In the grand scheme of things, this is paltry.

      And bottom line, you don’t like it don’t play. Simple.

  2. Same excuses and justifications every deluded AAA sub-based mmorpg dev uses.

    Just before launching their game, milking as much money out of the early adopters as they can, with lame marketing gimmicks like the Imperials hidden behind a$20 paywall, and cheapening their own lore with the pre-order -any race in any faction- bonus.

    Then when the well dries up, and the playerbase has either not resubbed after their 30 free days, or burned through the content in the first three months, they switch to the free to play model they had as a plan B. To suck up more money and ‘creatively coast’ for the remainder of the game’s life.

    SWTOR tried the same exact thing. Does Zenimx Online really think their IP can carry a game better than Star Wars?

    Everquest Next is free to play and already it sounds more fun, innovative, and even better looking than ESO.

    • Anyone who gave me heat/ crap about my response, go screw yourselves. I’m a huge fan of elder scrolls. I currently am playing DC Universe Online and have played Guild Wars. I know hoe to rate mmorpg games. DC Universe id rate a 8.5/10 because it’s free to play and the new content is dlc format. Not update format which is what ESO would be. But since you bitches are whining soooooooo much i will give ESO 7/10.

      • Dude chill….no one cares what you think or what your ratings are. Also you are in no way witty enough to call your seld Archer. happy face

        • He’s not as witty, but you can take one thing away from his moniker. When has anyone ever won a direct argument with Archer? Never. Because Archer is too ignorant and self involved to care about anyone but himself. Also, he likes working people up for his personal amusement.

          Clearly this commentator relates to one or both of these qualities enough that arguing directly with him is pointless. I’d even wonder if he put it there purposefully to warn people with enough common sense, but that would be giving too much credit to a forum troll.

      • 3.5 is a barely functioning game. Its along the lines of Ride to Hell.
        So no, you have no idea how to rate a game.

    • What really stung about SWTOR is that once it went F2P, Bioware treated even those who pre-ordered the collector’s edition the same as anyone who DL’d the game for free. Ruthless nerfs everywhere. I logged in to try it out and discovered my characters only had one quickbar, couldn’t show their headgear, couldn’t use top tier gear, etc. To use or show the gear I had grinded for, I either had to re-sub or pay individual fees to “unlock” features that were available to everyone at launch. For f***’s sake, would it kill them to show a little customer appreciation??

      • It’s EA so yes, in their eyes, any kind of customer appreciation would immediately kill them. They’re deathly allergic.

        • I like that observation. :)

        • Haha, this is true.

      • When SWTOR went ftp, EA/Bioware reminded me of that episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, when Frylock moves out. With EA/Bioware being Master Shake. Who, despite being desperately hurting and sick and needing Frylock back, kept making ultimatums and demands until Frylock said screw it, and left.

        I was a Collector’s Edition owner, and the way Bioware thought they could win me back was by giving me a bunch of free cartel coins…but only if I resubbed before FtP launched.

        I was appalled that anyone would withhold a gesture of appreciation like that. “Hey thanks for being there in the beginning, so here’s a gift if you meet out demands.” Screw you! I’d be embarrassed to work for a company that thought that was acceptable. But its EA/Bioware they lost any semblance of shame long ago.

        • You can’t see it, but I’m standing up & applauding your comment right now.

          • Thank you very much!

    • That is really uninformed, the answer to your big question is YES, Zenimax / Bethesda will do better than SWTOR, the number reason is one of the heads is the same guy that brought us DAoC, which was and still is quite an excellent game, whereas BioWare as great as they are at telling a story, never made an MMO before, and were in bed with EA Games, and we all know what EA is like, all about the money and not about the quality.

      ESO will outshine SWTOR for many many reasons, too much to gon into in one reply, but if I were to name but one, they have done a better job at the fully voiced over quests, ok another, have better graphics, ok another, better character development, more options, more more more … this game is worth the 15$ sub in a heartbeat. Everyone complaining about the sub are all just “pissed off” players that are hopeful they could play too but sadly can’t afford it, and that’s ok, not everyone has 15$ a month in their budget, but F2P models kill a games longevity – there is not a single game out on the market that is F2P that can put out regular content that is worth a damn. If any of you quote GW2 I will e-slap you silly! I say this mainly because GW2 cannot be compared mainly due to the lack of PvE enjoyment out of GW2, the PvE in ESO is probably the best I’ve ever played, and I have been playing since Coleco and Atari came out, matter of fact, I have been playing since the first computers made their way into the classrooms and we all learned how to move a green turtle accross horizontal and vertical lines.. yay! In my vast experience of gaming, I can honestly say that the SUB model is superior for longevity, do you think WoW would still have over 6 million active subs if the model was not solid? Name me ONE free to play model that has as many customers… There aren’t… the reason why is because without the steady stream of income, you can’t afford to pay the infrastructure required (employees in design, dev, graphic artists, actors, testers, researchers, accountants, marketing, sales, customer support etc etc etc) all the people that basically are behind the scenes that you don’t think about, that are required in order to make the game LAST a long time. If you are only looking for a box price and the rest free, buy console games and play mutliplayer, or play single player games… That or hit up the manyF2P s***** games that are on the market… The biggest question is, why the hell if you don’t like the game would you be hanging around in threads pertaining the something you don’t like? I would say 15$ a month is the last of your worries.

      • There is so much in your post that just strikes me as the mindless ranting of an ESO and P2P fanboy. A lot of it just misses the mark entirely or is just absolutely untrue.

        You claim ESO will be better than SWTOR simply because Firor heads up ZeniMax and he worked on DAoC? Big whoop. He wasn’t the only one at Mythic that worked on DAoC. Mythic released it’s own turd in WAR. By the way, who Mythic hopped in bed with to release that game? You guessed it, EA. I’m sorry, ZeniMax doesn’t get an automatic advantage based on anything. One man does not a succesful MMO make. Ask Brad McQuaid, Sigil Games Online and the players of Vanguard.

        Stating that ESO has better voice acting, character progression, this or that is all a matter of opinion and simply isn’t based on fact. Personally, I strongly disagree the voice acting is better. As for character progression (not sure if you mean in terms of story or skills), story-wise SWTOR wins. In terms of skill progression, it’s a toss-up to me. Skill Morphing in ESO is just a not-so-cleverly disguised skill tree.

        You’re claiming there isn’t a single F2P MMO out there that can produce regular content worth a damn. I’d think players of LotRO and Rift would probably disagree. You might not like those games, but that again is your opinion and not an indictment of F2P in favor of P2P. It’s just your opinion that the steady stream of content they put out isn’t “worth a damn”.

        You say ridiculous things like, “name me one F2P MMO that has as many customers as WoW”. That sword swings both ways, bro beans. There isn’t ANY MMO that has as many customers as WoW. F2P OR P2P. That, therefore, is – in itself – a crappy argument for P2P over F2P. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem fair to claim F2P games don’t have a “steady stream of income” unless you can provide actual month-over-month revenue numbers with a citation. Make no mistake, F2P in-game shops provide monthly revenue. Who’s to say how much?

        Additionally, I really wish gamers such as yourself would STOP using WoW as the baseline for what defines a “successful” MMO. WoW is an outlier, an anomaly, and therefore simply can’t be used as the sole measurement tool for what defines “success” in the genre. Yes, it is the MOST successful. But, we can’t measure success based on the fortunes of one game. That would be like saying you or I are an abject failure because we haven’t made as much money as Bill Gates. It’s silly.

        To be perfectly honest, for someone who essentially claims to have “seen and done it all”, it seems you have a very limited understanding of what’s really going on in the genre and instead choose to attack people with rabid fanboyism of a particular developer, IP, revenue model or all of the above. I’m fine with P2P, I have nothing against it. I just don’t find either revenue model to be clearly “better”.

  3. The reason they can’t ask players to pay for DLC packages individually is because this would split the user base. When you buy Halo or Battlefield DLC, you usually have to enter a special playlist to play with others who’ve bought the same content. Otherwise, your new levels would be filtered out of matchmaking pretty regularly, negating your reason to purchase new content. This is only problematic if you want to play with your friends who just don’t know if those extra levels are worth the extra cash. In an FPS this is a bummer, but in an MMO, it would be both world and genre breaking.

    What Bethesda is asking, is that people who are involved in this constantly growing communal world simply commit to investing in their part of it. This ensures consistency and fairness for all players. Whether this will provide enough quality content to justify the fee will certainly be something to discuss on a month by month basis after the game’s release, but arguing about that now is premature.

    It seems pretty obvious however that one thing is clear. If you can’t see yourself investing 15 bucks a month to develop the world of a single communal game then Elder Scrolls Online is not being made with a person of your specific tastes in mind. Wait for the next single player/one fee/one experience iteration and please stop complaining that a video game company expects to be compensated for the work they do. It’s insulting and childish.

  4. Here is the biggest point from the post:

    “For one, a day 1 player will end up paying 6 times as much for the exact same content as the player who joins up 6 months on from release.”

    So true. Theoretically the Day 1 player is also paying to play the game “right now” instead of later. That’s not any kind of incentive to me for MMOs because that means you are paying to be a part of the Beta Plus testing phase, AKA launch. Server overload on release day, everyone flocking to that one class that has the OP skill tree, unbalanced servers, glitches, bugs, etc. Anyone who played SWTOR at launch knows what I’m talking about.

    I’m not necessarily against sub fees since you have to pay at least $15/mo to be able to advance in F2P games, but I will never buy another MMO at launch. It’s throwing your money away. Wait a couple of months for most of the kinks to get worked out then try it.

    • Your logic is why every MMO after WoW died or went free to play. You’re paying for a promise as much as a game. Without that money, the game goes no further.

      • I prefer to pay for playable games that are not broken rather than promises. AAA games, whether single player or MMO, are marketed as ready to go on Day 1 not as Kickstarter investments or Steam early access deals. They should function as such.

        I’m not rooting for ESO to fail. I’ll be totally fine if it lasts for two decades and never goes F2P. I hope the launch goes smoothly and everyone who pre-orders it ends up perfectly happy. I’m just saying that, based on my past experiences, I don’t see myself ever paying to jump into another MMO at launch. I’d rather spend that extra money somewhere else or save it.

        • That’s not what I mean. I mean no MMO out of the gate can be an MMO worth the price of entry. As I said, WoW was laughable. Everyone forgets because it’s giant now. If they relaunched vanilla WoW, it would absolutely bomb today. These things are investments. They’re the closest thing AAA has to Kickstarter. Besides, well, Kickstarter.

          • I hear you but I think too many devs have the attitude of, “The rubes will fork over $15/mo because of our brand name. We don’t have to work too hard.” Not to beat a dead bantha, but SWTOR seemed incompetently handled from the start. There were many simple features not available at launch that had been in WoW for years and they rolled out updates to address complaints excruciatingly slow. And don’t get me started on the holocaust that was ranked war zones.

            One of the virtues of having so many MMOs on the market should be that new ones don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. Seems like a good number of them are done in a slapdash fashion with no forward planning, though, like the focus is more on making a quick buck rather than making something that will be successful for a decade. If the EOS team does their homework, understands how to cater to MMO players, and is thinking 12 months ahead on how to retain subscribers, this could be a very successful game.

          • I think that definitely used to be the thought process (remember the Conan MMO?) but after so many years of a 100% fail rate, now I think they’re largely convinced that the pay model is done for. Whether this means that Bethesda truly has something good, or is just painfully behind on the times, remains to be seen.

            I think SWTOR is a perfect example of how a lot of developers don’t know what the actual draw of an MMO is. Every part of that game that I liked, didn’t require the presence of other players. That’s the only part of the game that felt well-crafted. Everything else was an absolute mess. I found the combat to be painfully bad. It’s like they wanted to take a page from WoW in many ways, and they should have taken a couple more or none at all.

  5. Hang on – this happens all the time with most other products – you want the latest greatest graphics card you are going to pay a premium if you buy it at launch, wait a year you’d probably get it half the price. There will always be people willing to pay more so they can have it quicker – if you’ll not one of those just wait, lol, no big deal.

  6. I don’t have any issues with what he’s saying, although the market may not tolerate it. WoW similarly puts out pretty big content patches in addition to expansions fairly regularly, and to me it’s worth the money.

  7. This comment will come back to bite them in the ass when they are forced to go free 2 play in a year or so. Not smart.

  8. As with what happened to “Star Wars: The Old Republic”, the “Elder Scrolls: Online” will be affected by ‘Free to Play’.

  9. i hope this game is a success. but 15 dollars a month is a lot for just one game. five to ten on the other hand seems more reasonable. After all in a few months i would be able to buy another game with. I personally think thats too much.

  10. I’m always on the fence when it comes to these situations. On one hand, I love the Elder Scrolls and anxiously await every new game created in that universe. I also understand that with MMORPGs developers have gigantic servers that have to be running constantly and are expected to release additional content regularly. It’s not a one-fee kind of game where you have everything already created and sell it for $60 and then when the content is done it’s done. MMORPGs have the ability to add more and more content. As such, developers expect fans to continuously pay for all of this so they can all have paychecks and in turn create more content.

    My only problem, as with most people, is the $15 amount. While some people don’t see this as such a large sum of money, to others it seems daunting. As one person mentioned, dropping $15 per month on a game you’ve already paid a substantial amount for means that the amount of content that should be released every 4 months should roughly be the equivalent of a one-fee AAA console game, otherwise you’re spending more money for less content. It also means that as a player, I should be spending an equivalent amount of time playing this game to get the full effect of it all. I dislike this because I don’t often have time to play a game for dozens of hours a month, and even though the game might be worth $15, I might be wasting the money if I’m only playing a third of what’s out there.

    F2P isn’t really a good option either, because while they hope that players will end up paying money for “exclusive” content, there are so many people (myself included, I shamefully admit) who will jump at the chance to play a game for absolutely free and never throw a single cent into the coffers of the publisher. This just leads to more and more desperate measures taken by the publisher to try and make money, which is nearly impossible if it’s also trying to create more content at the same time.

    The only feasible way to use F2P to create revenue is how RuneScape did it. WoW had their 10 day free trial, but the problem with that was how little you experienced in those 10 days, and how difficult it was to do anything when you had no friends to help you with instances and whatnot. With RuneScape, they dedicated an entire are of the game to be F2P to allow players to get their proverbial feet wet and see if the game is fun enough and worth their time to pay for it. Some stayed in F2P land forever, but many eventually paid the monthly fee to see what the game was like on the other side of the fence. This is why RuneScape was consistently rated as the #1 F2P game overall, because the F2P version was by all means its own standalone game, but for a measly $5 a month you could gain access to much, much more.

    As such, the only real way to measure an MMORPG is by testing it out. Sadly, with EOS being on consoles as well as the computer, you don’t have an option (at least not yet) to try the game out without shelling out sixty bucks for the full game and one month’s subscription. That alone I think might hold more players back than the monthly fee, because if you buy it and decide you can’t play it enough or don’t like it, you just spend $60 on a game that you were only able to play for four weeks. If you love the Elder Scrolls universe and have been a strong supporter of the series, I still suggest having good faith and trying the game out for at least a month. Most likely you will enjoy the game and find it worth the money spent, even if it’s only for those 30 days. After that you can decide to spend an extra 15 a month to continue playing, or you could stop and come back later after more content has been released or you have enough time to make it worthwhile. Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on the game and see firsthand what it’s all about.

    P.S. for you whiners complaining about having to pay for Xbox Live or PS + to play it, GET A COMPUTER. MMORPGs have been on the PC for decades, and they’re there for a reason. Internet access doesn’t cost anything extra and playing games that complex usually require more buttons than a console controller can offer. (Just think of how many spells you used in WoW.)

  11. ok lets do a hypothetical lets say it lasts for only a year and then they scrap it so I would spend 60+ on the initial purchase and 180+ for the year well when they scrap it there is no logging in so you paid for a game you technically don’t own and can never play again, guild wars for example you pay once great mmo and if you want the expansions you can purchase them but if you don’t you can still play just cant access the new areas

    • This is a dumb comment, no MMO that has ever failed got scrapped, i.e. you can still log into most MMO’s that have been a ghost town for a long time… LOTRO comes to mind… AoC comes to mind.. and others. This is not something that would likely happen, it’s beyond hypothetical. PPL just don’t get it, to get a game to go beyond 6 months to a year, you need to believe in it, and you NEED TO SUPPORT it. Supporting it means you pay a monthly fee, you are then paying for ongoing customer support, ongoing development, ongoing marketing of the game so it can grow, you’re paying for the paychecks of all the employees that are required to make a game like this a success… I ask you this which MMO is the biggest on the market… we all know this answer… next question, is it F2P or Sub based after 10 years?? SUB model. Conclusion? Sub model = longevity and ongoing content. Period. F2P is what kills a game.

      • Two words:
        GUILD. WARS.
        You have no idea where your sub money goes. Stop making up s***.

        • True but Guild Wars 2 was meh…..

          • So is ESO.
            and DDO, LotRO, Conan, TERA, Rift, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, etc. and those all actually HAD subs.

      • Since you felt it necessary to call someone else’s *hypothetical situation* a dumb comment, let’s talk about how dumb your comment is. First, how the hell can something be “beyond hypothetical”? Just…what? Hypotheticals are used all the damn time to analyze unlikely scenarios. Back to your dumb comment: Let’s bear in mind that there hasn’t been an MMO in the last 10 years or so that hasn’t had a large number of people (the “hardcore”, if you will) burn through nearly all content from level 1 to the cap on at least 1 toon in a matter of 2-3 months.

        That said, you’re trying to argue that these players should have to pay for the game and a monthly sub fee for an additional month or two to reach end game. THEN, pay for another 3-9 months to “support the game” and ensure it’s longevity DESPITE the fact that there’s little left content-wise for them to do? So, your contention is that anyone who wants a particular MMO to succeed should be ready and willing to make a minimum initial investment of $215? Even after completing all content once over to the tune of an initial cost (assuming 3 months) of $80?

        Yeah, yeah, we know. WoW is the most successful MMO ever. You keep repeating that. It still doesn’t change the fact that it’s the ONLY MMO to have that kind of success. You can’t keep using it like it’s empyrical evidence that the P2P revenue model is better than F2P. The very fact that it IS the only MMO with that kind of success indicates the revenue model by itself likely has nothing whatsoever to do with it’s success.

        That game came out in – what? – 2004? In the following decade, plenty of P2P games have been released and not one has come close to WoW’s playerbase. As a result, due to the larger investments made in those games – the increase in which was likely due to the perception that this was an emerging market – these games were forced to make a choice. Continue the P2P model despite lack of subscribers, never make money and the studio folds as a result OR go F2P to attract players to at least try your game and introduce microtransactions to generate revenue. This again, tells me at least, that a revenue model is not what determines the success of a game. The quality of a game and what new innovations it brings to a genre are what ultimately define it’s success.

        Let’s use your favorite example (WoW) as an example. Everquest was the first real, big “commercial” or “mainstream” success in the MMO genre. At it’s peak, it had something like 500k subs. The knock on it was that there was a steep learning curve and it contained some pretty harsh penalties for things like dying, etc., so it turned a lot of people off. Enter WoW: they took an already-popular IP, made it an EQ-esque MMO and removed nearly all the harsh penalties people didn’t care much for in EQ and added cool new things that made the game even easier and more accesible to the average or new gamer.

        Point being, timing in an emerging genre/market and increased accessibility to the average gamer lead to the initial success of WoW. There’s no way to say for sure that WoW couldn’t have been even more popular if the F2P revenue model existed in 2004-2006. If millions were willing to pay per month to play it, how many more millions would have played it for free every month and paid for microtransactions? There’s no way to say with any measurable amount of certainty, “WoW would have made less money if was F2P at launch.”

  12. No, I don’t feel exploited as a MMORPG fan – I’m an Elder Scrolls fan! But, I’m also aware that I can be milked for my $15/mo. I don’t want that and I’m definitely holding Bethesda to its promise. And I’m still enjoying Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind and Skyrim, anyway, so no skin off my back. Haha, I love the work they’re doing – so far they haven’t missed a step! Great updates, ear-to-the-ground developing – much respect ZeniMax!

  13. You know, personally, I think that they should either do $15 a month, or JUST $60 at purchase. The $60 deal and making it F2P is not a good idea for the players or them. Because, when that money from buying it runs out, what do they have left? Nothing! But then also as a counter argument you will have the people that buy stuff like currency and armor ect. for the game. I think that if they went the $15 route without the $60, it would all be good. Although it would equal up to $60 dollars in 4 months, you still get the chance to experience the game and see if you like it instead of putting $60 down right away. And if you do keep playing it, $15 a month is a small amount of your money per month, and if you have an Xbox one, a gaming PC, or a PS4, you should be able to pay a measly $15 a month.I personally think they should make it 60$, then maybe $5 – $12.50 a month

  14. what I want to know is how they plan on making new content 6 mounth-1 year. I all ready have the game and im enjoying it, however its tamriel, and elder scrolls has a certain history and lore, so what else could they add after you have completed the story and hit level 50. I know u can quest in another fraction, but are those quests the starting fractions quests, making rerolling a character hard because you start off in the same starting zone for each race and the quests can get old. and also because they have a veterans level up to 10, which is different from the 1-50 levels, how would they expand leveling, because it seems this game eventually will have an end, and can a game that only has 5 spells and abilities available in combat just because they want to make it easier for putting ESO on the new gen consoles. but will it really keep a gamer interested long enough to reach level 50 and beyond.
    again I just got the game, I don’t know to much, and don’t want to seem like I know it all, but thee were the things I had concerns about the most that I couldn’t find answers to on the internet

  15. I didn’t bother reading through all the comments but here’s my question. Do you absolutely HAVE to pay the $15 a month subscription to even just play the game, or is it only if you go online? What I mean is that if I wanted to just single-player story mode as a regular RPG and not a multiplayer MMO, could I do that? I’m thinking that only if you create an account on the Elder Scrolls Online website that you sign up for the monthly subscription. I highly doubt that it will ask for your credit card information just to play the game, but I haven’t played it yet, so I’m not sure. I just got a PS4 and since this game is coming out for that console next month I figured I would ask. I really don’t care about getting new content or anything like that for the game right now.

    • Yes, you have to pay $15 per month on top of the initial purchase cost no matter what. It’s a MMO so you have to go online to play it and it will not allow you to login to the game w/out a valid subscription. This isn’t Skyrim or Oblivion so there is no “regular RPG” mode. If you aren’t familiar with MMOs, try one out there that’s already “free” to play or wait a few months for ESO to switch to F2P, which will happen.

  16. Alright follow along with me… take 1000 people × 15 dollar fee that is 15,000 dollars now take 1 mil × 15. 15 million per month for a game to get updates is way overated and is just another big company trying to juice your wallet or purse. These so called employes that work on the game is maybe groups/offices of 30 people. How much money do these people need to sit on thier computers, i mean really. 15 dollars a month is way out of proportion. Im already paying 60$ a year on xbox live and when u add on 180 dollars a year ohh yahh + the 60 dollars u pay for the game is a total year of play is 300 dollars for the couple hours you/me/we play each day.

  17. Ok so $60 to buy it plus $15 a month and also however much dlc will cost (or does that just come with it). Yeah I think I’ll pass gaming should be a past time just to have fun after you buy not sit there and literally fork out more money just cause the developers think its what right.But what really gets to me is how the guy put it like if you don’t pay a monthly fee for a game it’s insignificant not good enough, So what about your future game FO4 ES6 are those insignificant too or are you going to have to pay each month for those too. Yeah I thing my hands are full with Dragon Age yoy can keep mmo’s PC

  18. Sorry for any misspelled word/letters typing on my phone not as easy as typing with a keybourd plus the backgrounds black and so are the letters.

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