In what’s already becoming a standard trend in the MMORPG world, Bethesda is going to be ditching subscription fees for The Elder Scrolls Online in preparation for its release to the Xbox One and Playstation 4 in June. Considering the lack of a splash the game made in the MMORPG world, this was something many predicted happening.
The Elder Scrolls Online will also be getting a sub-name called Tamriel Unlimited when it hits shelves (again) on March 17 for PC/Mac, and for the first time on June 9 for Xbox One/PS4. From Bethesda:
Beginning June 9th, you can join your friends on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to play The Elder Scrolls Online – Tamriel Unlimited… with no game subscription fees!
Tamriel Unlimited is arriving on PC/Mac, too – beginning on Tuesday, March 17th. To celebrate the announcement, we’ve released The Confrontation, the final chapter in our thrilling series of cinematic trailers. Watch the stunning conclusion and get ready for Tamriel Unlimited!
However, all is not lost in being able to buy things! That’s right, The Elder Scrolls Online will also be going down the road of an optional premium membership, as well as microtranscations (aka Free-to-Play mode). More from Bethesda:
Tamriel Unlimited also debuts ESO’s new optional membership package, ESO Plus. With this premium membership service, players will be granted free access to all of the game’s DLC game packs; bonuses to XP, gold, and crafting; and a monthly allotment of Crowns to purchase items from the Crown Store. What’s the Crown Store, you ask? This is an all-new merchant store to ESO full of optional cosmetic and convenience items you can purchase for Crowns, a new currency allowing you to buy content directly from PlayStation Store. You’ll be able to fully enjoy ESO without being a member, but we think you’ll really enjoy the benefits if you have fun playing the game.
Those that don’t enroll in ESO Plus can still expect free patches that implement fixes and other improvements along with optional DLC offerings you can purchase to add more adventures to the already-enormous game.
Considering the difficulty of being able to sustain a long term subscription based model that almost all MMORPGs face (the rare exception most notable being World of Warcraft and the re-released Final Fantasy XIV) this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whether it’s lack of replayability, gameplay content, or various other factors, many MMORPGs face the uphill struggle of trying to earn the moniker of the World of Warcraft killer. Now it’s only a matter of time to see if Elder Scrolls Online can still make enough to keep the servers open, or face a fate similar to Star Wars: The Old Republic.