The Elder Scrolls franchise is one of the most popular brands in gaming today and last year, Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) made its debut on PC and MAC. As most of you will remember, the game debuted with a subscription model that had many gamers scratching their heads at.
Last year, Elder Scrolls Online launched with a $14.99 monthly subscription fee that players had to undertake after their first free month of playing expired. While it’s unknown what the exact sales numbers looked like for the game, the subscription model clearly had to go and Bethesda recognized that.
Back in January, the announcement to drop the subscription model came alongside the release date for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. While the news may have not been too surprising to some, it was still a big deal for a lot of people who are looking forward to picking up the console version of the game.
zoomdune.com had the chance to chat with Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor about what went into the decision to drop subscriptions in ESO. “The decision came about by us listening to our fan’s feedback – they really liked the fact that they had so much freedom in the game and they wanted that same freedom with their payment methods,” Firor said.
“So, we changed our subscription-required payment model to subscription-optional, and we created a virtual currency/in-game store system that allows players to purchase customization and convenience items. Player reaction has been outstandingly positive since we announced the change, and especially since the changes went live on March 17.”
It’s doubtful ESO would have found success on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One had the game kept its subscription model. With the selection of other games already available on the systems, it would have been hard to justify spending another $14.99 per month for a game you already own.
One factor to keep in mind is the type of experience people will face if they don’t opt into the optional subscription. While it sounds like Bethesda won’t be choking any features or aspects of ESO from those who do not pay the optional fee, launch and the days after will tell the full story.
The next few weeks are going to be huge for Bethesda with Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launching on May 5, which is then followed by Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited that launches for PS4 and Xbox One on June 9. Finally, Bethesda is hosting their first-ever E3 press conference on Sunday, June 14, and everybody and their mothers are expecting a Fallout 4 announcement. No matter what happens, we’ll keep you updated on what transpires in the weeks to come.