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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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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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44. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 15:38 JeffD
 
Lonswd, you argument is so full of holes, in no way, in no world does subscription = game worth playing.  
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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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42. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 15:23 Longswd
 
I'll happily pay a sub if it means not being bombarded with micro-transaction offers every time I want to upgrade my inventory, bank space or that I can buy a mount with a reasonable amount of in-game currency etc. etc. etc..

If a game isn't worth a piddly $15 a month to play, then it's not worth my time to play for pseudo-free either.

 
I don't always drink carbonated Mexican rat piss, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.
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41. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 15:04 Tim Collins
 
Ill be honest, guild wars 2 felt like a giant waste of time, couldnt even stand leveling my character to max level which is a REALLY bad sign.

Dosent mean that gw2 isnt innovative, their wep switch mechanism is top notch.
 
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40. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 14:57 JeffD
 
Guild wars 2 is living proof you can build a cutting edge MMORPG with no sub, ingame store, and NO P2W model! There is nothing, zilch in the store that gives a competitive edge. Lots of cosmetics, xp boosters, and pets. You can convert money to gold, but you would have to be pretty bad to not beable to afford the baseline excotics at level 80.

In GW2 it isn't expensive to purchase (or use dungeon currencies or karma obtained from events) max armour and swords, it is merely a preference because they all have their own skins. Infact as of now, it is even easier. All currencies are now account wide. This allows you to run dungeons and events on a main character and then purchase armor on an another. Imagine if WoW's dungeon and raid tokens were account bound and could be used on alts.

Meanwhile every 2 weeks, new themes content is added to the game.

This comment was edited on Aug 21, 2013, 15:02.
 
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39. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 14:47 Tim Collins
 
A. Its kind of expected at this point they will mess this game up, if a Star Wars MMO goes bust, anything can....anything.

B. If its a typical game from them its going to be SUPER, SUPER buggy when it comes out, all their games are, lack of polish.

C. The ONLY model for a AAA MMO IS $50/$15 type subscription model
1. Free MMOs are 100% garbage from my experience
2. Free MMOs have a stigma


 
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38. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 14:43 Fletch
 
Atomic wrote on Aug 21, 2013, 13:49:
I can't fathom playing an Elder Scrolls game I cannot mod, let alone one I have to pay a subscription to play. Pass.
+1
 
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37. Re: The right move! Aug 21, 2013, 14:41 Fletch
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Aug 21, 2013, 12:47:
However, the players that actually keep the game afloat are getting screwed.

Ridiculous. If you are hardcore into the game, why shouldn't you pay more? If you are willing to pay "to keep the game afloat", and DO pay, you are screwing yourself. UNLESS, of course, you actually ENJOY the game and feel what you pay is worth it to keep playing. Casuals obviously don't feel it's worth it, and probably wouldn't play at all if it was subscription-based. If you do, it's on YOU. The content you are paying for is "restricted" precisely because people like YOU are willing to pay for it. Those "freeloaders" you refer to might call you a SUCKER.
 
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36. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 14:37 Cutter
 
Welp, this'll last all of a year. The smart move for all these MMOs would be to do F2P and tiered subs. Have a $5, $10 and $15 tier that gives you more stuff than F2P and complete at the top end. Most people don't want to pay $15 per anymore. And F2P can be too restricting, but two other tiers could be a lot more viable. I know I won't be subbing to it.

And given this is a consolized MMO it probably won't do well long-term - look at DCUO. That was such stupid and greedy move on their part and it's going to bite them in the ass for it.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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35. Re: The right move! Aug 21, 2013, 14:02 jdreyer
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Aug 21, 2013, 12:47:
If Elder Scrolls Online was NOT subscription based, I would have skipped it.

You would have skipped it if they'd gone the Guild Wars route?
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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34. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 14:01 LgFriess
 
I don't mind a game being subscription based, but it better be an amazing game if it wants my money month after month. And no way will I give $60 up front, knowing there will be a continued cost, until I know that the game is great.

So it's down to them. If it's truly a great game, people will pay whatever it takes. If it's yet another WoW clone ("Oh wait, we do this and that so much better then WoW...really!"), they'll fade away.

I honestly believe some of these companies don't really even care about making great games anymore. Just put out enough product to produce a mild profit and they're happy. ESO probably knows if it gets X number of subs, they'll make enough to keep running, so that's good enough. Those of us looking for a great Elder Scrolls game will be disappointed and they don't care. We're not their audience.
 
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33. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 13:57 jdreyer
 
Yeah, I agree with others here, and it was my first thought as well: They really should be going with a Guild Wars model. They might make more money doing subscriptions then moving later to Free to Pay, but they'll create a lot of ill will in the process. Given that they sold millions and millions of copies of Skyrim, most of those at either full price or only slightly discounted, they would have no trouble selling it. People want to play Skyrim with their friends, and the GW model hews closest to that. As someone mentioned, subscription models result in grindy gameplay, and that's going to turn a lot of Elder Scrolls fans off.  
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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32. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 13:52 Sicotic
 
OK they just lost me, moving on to the next game. I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars to play a game on top of everything else that I have to pay for to play games but that is apparently just me. This certainly may be fine for some people just not for me. It is not a matter of having the money just thinking there are better ways to spend that money. Love the Elder Scrolls games but I am not in love with them, they are going to have to take me out to dinner a least a few times and kiss me on the neck first before I hand out that kind of cash on a single game. If you are OK with this that is fine, it is just my opinion but I won't be paying for the game and then paying for a monthly fee especially after 30 days.

Too many other games to play and I like some variety for my money.
 
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31. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 13:50 jdreyer
 
dj LiTh wrote on Aug 21, 2013, 09:40:
Personally i hate both F2p and subscription models, I wish they came out with a subsciption BASED on how much you play. So i buy a 10 days of game time, i can play literally for 10 days whenever i want, skip a few months go back finish off the 10 days i bought whatever. Really suprised noone has came up with something like that yet.

I think they do have this model, sort of. It's called Guild Wars, and you pay once, and play or don't play at your leisure.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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30. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 13:49 Atomic
 
I can't fathom playing an Elder Scrolls game I cannot mod, let alone one I have to pay a subscription to play. Pass.  
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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
-George Bernard Shaw
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29. Re: The right move! Aug 21, 2013, 13:44 maximus0402
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Aug 21, 2013, 12:47:
The only people coming out ahead in FTP games are casuals who play for free, aka freeloaders. Average or hardcore players who don't want to be restricted on content end up paying more than a normal monthly fee every month on average, to make up the difference. Sure, FTP is great...if you're a casual noob who just wants to check the game out, play occasionally, etc. However, the players that actually keep the game afloat are getting screwed. I predict the FTP trend actually reverses itself in the next decade as more and more people catch on to this fad.

If Elder Scrolls Online was NOT subscription based, I would have skipped it. Since it IS subscription based, I'm looking forward to it. After all, if your game isn't worth subscribing to, it would be FTP. If it's "FTP" but has a subscription option, it's not a FTP game, people need to start being honest with themselves.

If you think there is actually going to be obvious and fundamental differences between the subscription based version of this game and what is most likely to become the FTP version of this game then you are just fooling yourself and gullible to their marketing ploy making it sound like it really is different. You are the one that is screwing yourself really and falling victim. By the way I was you a couple years ago paying for subscriptions. But I am not throwing re-occuring money away on these again. These MMOs no matter how they market themselves are very much all the same. Even GW2 marketed how much different they were and put the fun in the game and takes away the grind, but that was wrong as well. While some improvements, Even GW2 gets into the grind game as well. Difference is, I can take my time knowing I am not paying monthly for it.

You can throw your money away up front if you want. I will wait until it is non subscription based. Since "casual" gamers are the majority, there is no way they will sustaintain this subscription model.
 
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28. Re: The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions Aug 21, 2013, 12:48 Creston
 
Choosing the right business model is part of that. Since we are going with the subscription model for ESO, we failed utterly.

Free to play, I can see this thing be successful. Subscription based? Yeah, because if Star Wars couldn't hack it with a subscription, obviously Elder Scrolls will?

They should just make it exclusive to the Failbox 180. Fits better.

 
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27. The right move! Aug 21, 2013, 12:47 JohnBirshire
 
The only people coming out ahead in FTP games are casuals who play for free, aka freeloaders. Average or hardcore players who don't want to be restricted on content end up paying more than a normal monthly fee every month on average, to make up the difference. Sure, FTP is great...if you're a casual noob who just wants to check the game out, play occasionally, etc. However, the players that actually keep the game afloat are getting screwed. I predict the FTP trend actually reverses itself in the next decade as more and more people catch on to this fad.

If Elder Scrolls Online was NOT subscription based, I would have skipped it. Since it IS subscription based, I'm looking forward to it. After all, if your game isn't worth subscribing to, it would be FTP. If it's "FTP" but has a subscription option, it's not a FTP game, people need to start being honest with themselves.
 
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26. No subject Aug 21, 2013, 12:41 Comet
 
That's a good point too. In all honesty, I keep on coming to GW2 from time to time, precisely because it's an MMO that "acts" like one of those SP RPGs...You know that other Elder Scrolls called Skyrim. You can return whenever you want and you never get bored.
 
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25. Out of experience I think they made a bad move. Aug 21, 2013, 12:37 Comet
 
I can see how they can turn this around any time they want but this will hurt them and can lead to failure. I know that they can start with the subscription model and later on move to free to play. But in this market, this will hurt their sales.
In Guild Wars 2 I know at any time I can go back to the game. If I feel like playing it for a bit more I end up buying this or that in-game item. With subscriptions once I decide to cancel it, there is little to no chance that I'll return to the game.
Besides, If you're going to buy a MMO, it's not like you'll just check it out and quit. But if you have a subscription and after a couple of months or so of playing you want to rest for a bit, you may decide to cancel. That is not unusual.
Bottom line. F2P increases your community size and makes the old gamers return to check what's new. Subscriptions require that you can convince new players to join over the years. And that is harder, because as a game gets older, so does the appeal to new gamers.
 
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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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