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The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions

The Elder Scrolls Online tweets about a an interview with Matt Firor saying The Elder Scrolls Online will be using the subscription model that's almost completely out of style for current MMORPGs. Here's word:

Choosing the right business model is part of that. We are going with the subscription model for ESO.

We're building a game with the freedom to play - alone or with your friends - as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content - one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support. Charging a flat monthly (or subscription) fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play. Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make.

The Elder Scrolls Online offers unlimited play for the first 30 days with the purchase of the game. The choice is yours to play as much as you want; hundreds of hours of content, PvP, etc - is all there for you to experience with the base purchase of the game. If you want to continue playing for hundreds of hours more after that first month you'll pay a flat fee for continued, unlimited access to the game.

We'll talk about further discounts, etc. later, but for now, we are very happy to finally announce our model. It's very simple - you pay once per month after the first 30 days and the entire game is available to you.

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43. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 15:33 NewMaxx
 
I've already mentioned it in this thread but I'll do so again: the issue isn't subscriptions, it's that they expect the majority of their customers (those using next gen consoles) to pay a recurring monthly fee for the title. It's just not realistic or sustainable. I also stated before that it changes the overhead costs for a variety of reasons. I wasn't pulling it out of my butt, there are any number of sources that will agree with that. Here's one from a GW2 content designer:

"Console is a hard thing to do. You wind up in situations where, whenever you’re doing an update…with an MMO, we need to be really flexible. If there’s a common game-breaking bug, something like that, we need to be able to patch the game relatively quickly. When you work on consoles, you start having to deal with publishers and having to go through checks and balances with them as far as making sure they’re okay with the executable that you’re pushing up. And there are costs associated with it as well. It’s much easier to reflexively adapt to situations on the PC than it is with console."

I restate my preference for separate pricing models, and specifically a hybrid one for the PC. An attempt to shoehorn all customers into the same bucket with a unilateral, flat subscription fee is just not going to work long-term.
 
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