Bucking Trends, Elder Scrolls Online Uses Subscription Model
The Elder Scrolls Online will be a subscription-based game, Zenimax Online Studios president Matt Firor revealed today. Like World of Warcraft, the game will hold a monthly price of $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 after the first free month.
In an interview with Gamestar, Firor said that the game was better suited for a single, monthly charge that opened up the entire experience instead of locking features behind various fees as certain titles do, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“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 percent 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,” Firor said.
“The Elder Scrolls Online was designed and developed to be a premium experience: hundreds of hours of gameplay, tons of depth and features, professional customer support–and a commitment to have ongoing content at regular intervals after launch,” he added. “This type of experience is best paired with a one-time fee per month, as opposed to many smaller payments that would probably add up to more than $14.99/month anyway.”
Despite his stance with The Elder Scrolls Online, Firor says that he sees the value in free-to-play games, which provide gamers with a lower barrier for entry.
“But subscription is the one that fits ESO the best, given our commitment to freedom of gameplay, quality and long-term content delivery,” Firor said. “Plus, players will appreciate not having to worry about being ‘monetized’ in the middle of playing the game, which is definitely a problem that is cropping up more and more in online gaming these days.
“The fact that the word ‘monetized’ exists points to the heart of the issue for us,” Firor continued. “We don’t want the player to worry about which parts of the game to pay for–with our system, they get it all.”