It’s fair to say that The Elder Scrolls Online has had a turbulent start. The MMO, developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda, launched for Windows PC and OS X in April to a lukewarm reception from critics. This faltering start has been followed up with delays to the home console versions of the game, and a series of issues with spammers, bots and bugs.
Nevertheless, The Elder Scrolls Online has come out swinging. Many raised an eyebrow when Bethesda reiterated its stance that a subscription model was “the right decision,” especially given the decline in subscriptions for even juggernauts like World of Warcraft. However, according to the most recent figures, The Elder Scrolls Online is doing better than expected. An analysis last month put the figure at over 770,000, suggesting there may still be room in the market for subscription-based MMOs.
ZeniMax and Bethesda are now looking to reward loyal players for their patience. According to a recent update on The Elder Scrolls Online website, the game will now include a subscriber loyalty program. Those who have stayed with the title will be rewarded with in-game prizes as they pass through different subscription landmarks. “We think it’s important to give some special recognition to those of you who have already been there every step of the way,” reads the post.
But what, exactly, will players receive? Starting in September, all eligible paid subscribers will receive emails with details of the first loyalty rewards. The first of these rewards is set to be a High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet, which will be rewarded to “every paid account that has been subscribed for three months.” This excludes any game time included with the purchase of The Elder Scrolls Online and any complimentary game time.
The vanity pet, which “will let you show your dedication to saving Tamriel wherever you adventure in-game,” is not the only prize in store. According to the post, the program will increase over time. Longtime players can expect more rewards in the future, and the bonus for subscribing to The Elder Scrolls Online for six months will be revealed to players “soon.”
The loyalty program will also be available to Elder Scrolls players who have not kept their subscription active. Those gamers will still be able to get the Wraith vanity pet and any other upcoming awards when they reach any requirements in the future. Finally, the post thanks fans for spending time on the title and makes a promise: “stick with us, and you’ll have quite the collection to show off before long.”
There’s no word on whether these prizes will be available on the home console releases, so those wanting to play the title on consoles will have to wait longer than expected. The game’s release on PS4 and Xbox One could not be “guaranteed” for this year, meaning that The Elder Scrolls Online may not hit consoles until 2015.
Are you eligible for the newly announced Elder Scrolls Online loyalty rewards? What do you think of the program? Let us know in the comments!