Rumor: The Elder Scrolls Online Cost $200 Million to Make

It’s time to play the How Much Did it Cost to Make? game!

Today’s contestant is Bethesda’s upcoming MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online. Cue the applause. Alrighty, let’s get right to it. I’ll hit my button first and come in with a total spend of… $100 million!

According to gaming’s internet sleuth Superannuation, the wrong answer buzzer is buzzing.

How about $125 million? No? Come on, $150? TESO can’t be more than $150 million.

Or can it?

NeoGaf grabbed an embed of Superannuation’s tweet about TESO’s price tag, a message Superannuation has since deleted without providing a reason. With no source cited, here’s what he had to say:

Again, no source cited or further tweets about TESO’s cost, so take this as pure speculation. Based on Superannuation’s lengthy track record, though, it’s safe to think of it as well-informed speculation. And if, if it’s true, that would make The Elder Scrolls Online one of the most expensive games ever made.

Various sources pinned a total spend of $200 million by Electronic Arts on Star Wars: The Old Republic, so it doesn’t sound completely out of the realm of possibility. Insane for Bethesda/Zenimax to spend that much after what happened to SWTOR? Absolutely, but definitely possible, especially given the fact The Elder Scrolls Online will be a multiplatform game and not simply a PC exclusive like SWTOR.

The $200 million figure also makes Bethesda’s decision to attach a monthly subscription to TESO more understandable. Foolish, but understandable.

We’ll see how this potential financial disaster plays out beginning in April when The Elder Scrolls Online launches for PC.

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8 Comments on Rumor: The Elder Scrolls Online Cost $200 Million to Make


On January 2, 2014 at 9:45 am

It wouldn’t be a big suprise considering they are asking for full purchase + monthly sub as mentioned in the article.

The multiplatform thing may have added to the price tag by ALOT. Microsoft/Sony charge each time you want to update the game so I imagine they had to have paid some massive fee ahead of time.


On January 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I imagine Bethseda is a little more productive with $200 million than EA is. I swear you could give EA a completed, fully working video game and they’d still need a few million dollars just to slap their name and micro-transactions in it.


On January 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The game aint ready, not by a long shot. It isnt worth the 15 dollars, and if its released on schedule, i predict 3 months of websites saying the game is super awesome, and then the subs will dive and websites will be talking about all its problems. Save your money, dont invest in this day one

Source: Closed Beta Tester with at least 30 hours played.


On January 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

If that trailer is how the game looks, they really need to put a lot more work into it. The animations are absolutely awful, combat effects look terrible, and the static combat of dozens of people rooted in one spot and swinging swords back and fore makes me cringe.

All reports point to it being yet another themepark game too, with quest hub after quest hub. The developers of MMO’s never learn, do they?


On January 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

All these “cost-to-make” estimates should be be more specific as to where the amounts are actually allocated, I guarantee at least 70% of these so called cost to make amounts are actually/merely the cost of the developers exorbitant, in many cases lately undeserving salaries.


On January 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

What a waste, I wish they would have put this money into making Elder Scrolls 6 instead.


On January 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

I’m not sure what the issue with $15 dollars a month is? That barely buys a pizza nowadays. Not to mention the free to play games will cost you more over a shot period of time quickly because you do have to pay some way to get past level 15 or 20.

Not to mention the sheer amount of teenagers running around in the game because it doesn’t require a credit card to hop in on. Troll central. As for the closed beta testers….clearly you are not in their 24/7 closed beta.

At the end of the day you either pay or you pay. I’d rather opt for a small fee that MIGHT have less of a grind to it and just try it out because it is a luxury and not a need. For all the people out there that think it’s a cheap investment just make a game and that it should always be free….well why haven’t you done it already?


On January 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

I can say for myself that as a console gamer, I’m not prepared to pay 15$ a month just to play this game. It’s an idea that us console gamers can’t grasp onto because we are not custom to this. We already pay 50-60 dollars a year just to stay online. I think it was a bad call to make this game multiplatform. I feel they will lose on the console side.