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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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52. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 19:06 NewMaxx
Subscription models work well for niche games, actually, like EVE. WoW is pretty much the only real exception to the rule. Of course it has more content than's been out forever! I've gone through all that in a previous thread. GW2 and WoW, and for that matter likely ESO, are in two different classes. Anybody who argues otherwise misses the point. GW2 was made to be sub-free.

The GW2 model, for consoles, simply makes more sense, though. Don't care what justification you come up for a counter-argument, it falls flat since it's not considering either A) a niche game (honestly FFXIV on consoles fell and falls into that net) or B) a game on PC only (easier to develop for). Yes, if ESO was PC-only, I'd agree with a sub, which is why I suggest they use a hybrid sub model for the PC within the multi-platform framework.

It would make for a better game and PC players would pay it. If you honestly think that model will work for consoles, then you're very much out of touch with the average player. Guess what they'll consider a "failure" if it doesn't deliver? Console subs. PC players will get screwed over for that as the game will "end up F2P." Hence why I again say that approaching the platforms with different pricing schemes is the logical choice.

Let me put it another way...imagine GW2 comes out on consoles. The game design and style fits a gamepad pretty well, actually (I'm sure ESO does, too). With their payment structure you can bet they'll get their sales, their microtransactions fit into existing systems, and really the only overhaul necessary is contiguous updates. It fits console players perfectly. Then ESO comes out and tries to be WoW in that same space...good luck. They'll never be able to keep up with content across 3 platforms needing individual testing and updates at a subscription quality.

Oh wait, what if they give a WoW experience like that on the PC and stagger the console updates...but PC players pay subs...oh no, no! Not logic! What kind of person pays a sub to get the game on a PC that provides a more up-to-date and nicer experience when they can pay upfront + micro to enjoy a more stable experience on a console gamepad...oh wait...that would make sense.
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