Zounds! – Elder Scrolls Online To Be Subscription-Based

By Nathan Grayson on August 22nd, 2013 at 8:00 am.

These are harsh lands, but I am confident that they will not monetize me. At least there is that.

Hello! Welcome to Bizarro Land. In this reality, I’m British, everyone else is American, my hair is flat and lacking in ambition, Jim hates both snazzy hats and robots, John is an adorable kitten, Adam is very mean and also 100 stories tall, Horace IS FINITE, and Alec is still on parental leave… for a brood of fire-puking spider demons (who strongly dislike repeating game titles over and over and over and Space Hulk). Also, two MMOs announced that they’re embracing the all-but-dead art that is the monthly subscription model in the same week. First it was Wildstar, and now it’s The Elder Scrolls Online. Head below for details while I stop John from spitting up on the rug again.

The game’s first month will be entirely free, after which you’ll have to fork over $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 per month. But why would Zenimax do such a thing when free-to-play’s proven to be the whole genre’s single, fraying lifeline over the couple years? Well, I can’t help but admire the reasoning. Zenimax’s Matt Firor explained to GameStar:

“The Elder Scrolls games are all about allowing the player to go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want. 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.”

“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: We don’t want the player to worry about which parts of the game to pay for – with our system, they get it all.”

I’m not entirely on board with The Elder Scrolls Online, but I can definitely appreciate this mentality. Will it actually lead to a successful, sustainable game? Given that it’s not called World of Warcraft, history says no. And when even Star Wars couldn’t Force Brand Ubiquity its way onto the scene, it doesn’t exactly bode well for, er, anybody else. At all. Ever. But who knows? Maybe people are getting sick of free-to-play. Maybe they’ll welcome a good old-fashioned one-time payment with open wallets. I suppose we’ll see when TESO launches early next year.

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190 Comments »

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  1. Dowr says:

    “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.”

    Free-to-Play in 6-12 months of its release.

    • Flopper says:

      FACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

      People will bitch about a game that they are asked to pay $15 a month for IF THEY ENJOY IT. (No one is forcing you to subscribe.) Yet they will gladly fork over $100+ a month for their shitty cellphone that they probably barely use every month.

      Reality check to all the people who live on the internet but never leave the house… Every business in the world costs money to operate. MMOs being money grinders in terms of development costs.

      F2P works for LoL. Yeah we get it. A game with miniscule development costs compared to a persistent world MMO with constant massive content updates. They can’t just added a new shirt and pants every month like league and call that a content update and expect to keep subscribers.

      Seriously if you really bitch about $15 a month for a game you enjoy… Something is wrong in your life. You either seriously need a better paying job, stop spending so much money on delivery/fast food, cheaper cable/phone bill…. Make some cuts somewhere. If you are an MMO player chances are that game is what you will be spending the most of your free time playing… It’s worth $15.

      If it’s not… Then don’t play the fucking game you entitled brat. I am so tired of hearing people say a game will fail if it isn’t free. Bad games fail. Bad MMO’s fail. We’ve had almost a decade of bad MMO’s… That has nothing to do with their payment plan. They just couldn’t live up to the standard set by WoW.

      EDIT: HAHAHA I hit submit and HOLY FUCKBALLS that is a wall of text. That is how much I hate this F2P generation!

      • lordcooper says:

        Are you in the throes of madness, my brother?

      • gulag says:

        Can’t help but wonder, against a background of f2p alternatives, what the up front cost of the client will be. My gut says the correct answer is ‘zero monies’.

        • fish99 says:

          $60, possibly more. Why wouldn’t they charge for the game, that’ll be a big part of getting their investment back from the large percentage who buy it due to hype and never play it beyond the first month.

          To me the way they’re talking about the game, you can see they think they’re going to get millions of subs and rival Wow. I suspect they’re in for a huge let down.

      • bstard says:

        I warms my heart to see a follower of the True Path have their walls of text smash the F2P imbreds. May their souls forever be locked up in Satans privy.

      • Christo4 says:

        While i agree that some games shouldn’t be F2P, i disagree on the fact that 15$ for a game that you like EVERY MONTH is acceptable, along with the box price.
        You can buy 1 or 2 games for 15$ that you can play anytime you want, especially now with steam and other sites offering pretty good sales.
        And when you have competition offering pretty good games for free, you can kinda see why a lot of people don’t agree with the pricing.

        I for one dislike this type of subscription. IMO, the game should either be only box price only or subscription only.
        But the model i would like the most would be only 5$ a month subscription without box copy in which you can get anything in the game and only some vanity items would cost real money.

        • Flopper says:

          Once again apples to oranges.

          This is all assuming someone like Carbine actually puts out meaty sized content updates per month to justify a sub fee with Wildstar. Clearly if they charge you $15 dollars a month and don’t give you any value for your dollar that’s a problem.

        • Talon2000uk says:

          Yeah and I would like a super model who owns a Ferrari for a girlfriend, but life isn’t perfect. :D

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            tigerfort says:

            I know people get attached to their cars, but wouldn’t having a ferrari for a girlfriend make that supermodel a bit weird?

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            DantronLesotho says:

            Personally I would just like a super model girlfriend; she doesn’t also have to have her own girlfriend who is a car.

        • UmmonTL says:

          The game might be worth it but I certainly won’t be able to afford it. 15$ a month is more than what I spend on my gaming in total even though I game almost every day. And I’m certain there are many other gamers who have it much harder than I do. I would also want to play the game with friends but convincing them to pay for the game and the monthly fee is very unlikely.
          Now I can live with that, I won’t play the game and wasn’t very interested in the first place. But I feel the subscription-model is walling off customers right from the start and even if the game is good it might be hard to reach the amount of players you need for a big MMO to survive. Also how worthy of the subscription fee the game is depends largely on the time spent ingame.
          I’d love to see a prepaid model where you actually pay for the time you play but balancing the costs for that would be a nightmare.

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        Harlander says:

        Wow, it seems like you hate people complaining about F2P almost as much as I hate people who say “entitled” when they mean “self-entitled”.

        *narrows eyes*

        • Mattressi says:

          Almost as much as I hate people who say “self entitled” (or “entitled”) when they really mean “you don’t feel that is worth your money, so you refuse to spend your money on it and I hate you for that”.

          • Bull0 says:

            If you don’t buy the things I buy, something is SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH YOUR LIFE

            –stopped reading–

      • Bremze says:

        Scratch that delusional comment, you’re a case study in cognitive dissonance. “GW2 was bad because of its business model, but not so for every sub MMORPG since WoW, they where bad because… LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      • aepervius says:

        “People will bitch about a game that they are asked to pay $15 a month for IF THEY ENJOY IT. (No one is forcing you to subscribe.) Yet they will gladly fork over $100+ a month for their shitty cellphone that they probably barely use every month.”

        Except that not all of us fork 100+$ for a shitty (sic) cellphone. In fact I fork about 10$ in communication cost and barely 5$ in contract. That’s because i paid my cellphone upfront. But hey strawman are made to be burned and killed, right ?

        “Reality check to all the people who live on the internet but never leave the house… Every business in the world costs money to operate. MMOs being money grinders in terms of development costs.”

        Sure. But there is this thing with capitalism which means the price is what the market will bear. And the market nowadays definitively tend to think that 15$ per month is too much. At least that is what I keep seeing on forums, and the fact that many sub game transform rapidly into F2P model seems to shore that up.

        “F2P works for LoL. Yeah we get it. A game with miniscule development costs compared to a persistent world MMO with constant massive content updates. They can’t just added a new shirt and pants every month like league and call that a content update and expect to keep subscribers.”

        There are a lot of F2P MMO game. heck even neverwinter was released on that model. For somebody which pretend taht other should go out of their basement, maybe you should eat a bit of your own prescribed medicine.

        “Seriously if you really bitch about $15 a month for a game you enjoy… Something is wrong in your life. You either seriously need a better paying job, stop spending so much money on delivery/fast food, cheaper cable/phone bill…. Make some cuts somewhere. If you are an MMO player chances are that game is what you will be spending the most of your free time playing… It’s worth $15.”

        Or maybe not. See market, decision, etc… I have a lot of money I can put into game, but that does not mean I should throw out of the window and because YOU said it. Well if what I see is not worth 15$ a month then it is not. You are not the god which decide whether I am right or not. The market as a whole decide. And so far as I can see the market lately has been brutal with subs MMO. Especially since subs MMo, almost always also have an upfront box price.

        “If it’s not… Then don’t play the fucking game you entitled brat. I am so tired of hearing people say a game will fail if it isn’t free. Bad games fail. Bad MMO’s fail. We’ve had almost a decade of bad MMO’s… That has nothing to do with their payment plan. They just couldn’t live up to the standard set by WoW.”

        You are getting ridiculous. Ever heard of false dichotomy ? There are bad MMO , there are good MMO but there are also in between : average not bad. Maybe something I regard as “fairly average” would be worth a 8$ subs, but not 15$.

        “EDIT: HAHAHA I hit submit and HOLY FUCKBALLS that is a wall of text. That is how much I hate this F2P generation!”

        Pretty much as I hate people using tons of fallacies and swear words.

        • Flopper says:

          You’re a fallacy, ya fuckin asshole.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            He just spanked your ass good and proper in that arguement.. Good comeback LOL… If in doubt a well placed grunted ‘fuckin asshole’ (very classy BTW) always wins the day.. oh wait…

            You need to go look up the word ‘fallacy’ because your usage of it shows that you don’t know what it means.

          • Quinnbeast says:

            “You’re a fallacy, ya fuckin asshole.”

            Spoken like a true Phallus.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Just because it doesn’t apply to you, doesn’t make it a strawman. There are plenty of people who pay over the odds for their phone contracts and use only a fraction of the features. Not to mention the extortionate fees people pay for memberships to other forms of entertainment… Ever played golf?.. Had a gym membership?.. Went every week? ;)

          If Bethesda think they can attract a decent number of players at $15/m then that’s good for them. If the game turns out to be amazing then there is a good chance a subscription free model would become available too so they can draw a wider audience – the way it works over at The Secret World (albiet not for the same reasons)

          Overall though, I do agree with you that $15/month is a big risk. If they have a true Wow beater then it’s a bold move, but if they don’t then it could leave them looking very silly if and when they do have to change their business model (did they not learn from all the other “Wow beaters”?)

          I’m particularly proud of the first F2P game I worked on because the top roster of players in any given game world are not necessarily whales – investing a lot of time into the game seems to pay off equally to investing a lot of money into the game. So those who are time rich and cash poor tend not to see the game as pay-to-win (with exceptions) while those who are cash rich but time poor have a way to compete with the extremely hardcore.

          Going back to The Secret World, if you pay for a subscription, the main advantage is that you can (for a limited time) gain experience faster. I haven’t played the game nearly enough to reach a conclusion but it does seem like a sensible non game-breaking way to do F2P in an RPG.

          • noom says:

            While it may be true that people do pay rather extortionate monthly rates for things they don’t use enough to really justify the expense, it seems like a bit of a leap to assume the people who refuse to pay $15-a-month for a game subscription are the same group of people who are taking out $100-a-month phone contracts.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Explain to your husband/wife that you’re going to pay $40 a month for a phone. Okay.
            Explain that you will pay $40-$60 to buy a video game. Okay.
            Explain that you will pay $15 a month to play a video game. Huh?
            For one thing, it is embarrassing just to bring up that conversation.

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            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Exactly, Spark. People very often won’t pay for a game what they would pay for something else – there are many more factors in justifying a decision like that, than pure financial ones, not the least of which are social. That said, I know for a fact that some people spend more money on a game in a year than I can save towards a down-payment on a house :|

        • noom says:

          Glad somebody’s taken the time to descontruct this absurd rant. Well done sir/madam.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          My friend makes over 200K a week designing an MMO and charging a subscription, find out more at http://elderscrollsonline.com/en-uk/

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            It took me a moment to realize you weren’t a bot and this was in fact clever metahumor, good job sir

      • KikiJiki says:

        If it’s not… Then don’t play the fucking game you entitled brat. I am so tired of hearing people say a game will fail if it isn’t free. Bad games fail. Bad MMO’s fail. We’ve had almost a decade of bad MMO’s… That has nothing to do with their payment plan. They just couldn’t live up to the standard set by WoW.

        And yet TES:O looks to bring nothing really of note to the genre and to me simply screams money grab.

        18 months tops before f2p or shutdown.

      • Mr.Snowy says:

        Sir, you have issues.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        “It’s worth $15…
        If it’s not… Then don’t play the fucking game you entitled brat.”

        Yeah…that is pretty much what people are saying. It’s not worth 15$ a month, and that is the problem subscriptions-based MMOs are having.

        • shadow9d9 says:

          The problem is bad games, not the subscriber model.

          • The Godzilla Hunter says:

            True.

            The problem is that very few games are worth 15$ a month. The problem is also that no MMO will ever compare to your first, and so it seems that each MMO you play is worse than the one before. At least, that’s what it seems to me.

          • Tacroy says:

            $15/month is just an incredibly bad value for a single game. That’s a Divekick per month on its own.

            And keep in mind that these things also inevitably have a box price that’s usually $40 – $60.

          • Deadly Sinner says:

            No, it has nothing to do with bad games. A game would have to be superb, and an experience you couldn’t get anywhere else to justify a monthly subscription. I would say that the only current MMO that would qualify is EVE. That doesn’t mean that every other MMO is a bad game.

      • Flesh Dumblegore says:

        That´s an Amen bro.
        That f2p crap is just a synonyme for “we let you bleed out with microtransaction”. Best example Lotro:
        Bought the game with Moria addon years ago, subscribed for 4 months, no problems. After mutating into f2p, the clustercrap started. Lotro shop here, Lotro shop there. “Oh you want to make quests in an area of the main game you bought? Please buy the quest package from our Lotro-” AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHH Nope.
        Good thing to see that TESO goes back to the roots (in terms of subscription) for now.

      • ukpanik says:

        I prefer subscription. Keeps most of the plebs and squeaky adolescents away.

        • YogSo says:

          I love when people repeat this dumb comment as if it’s an incontrovertible fact, when it can be proved wrong with just three words: “World Of Warcraft”.

          • ukpanik says:

            Never played WOW. Is it full of plebs and squeaky adolescents?

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            jrodman says:

            Used to be; haven’t checked back in .. uhh.. 5 years or so?

          • YogSo says:

            @ukpanik: Never played WoW either, but I know its community’s reputation as well as you – very well, even if you are acting as if don’t – know.

          • pendergraft says:

            Right, and as horrid as they are they pale in comparison to what is kept out by a You Must Be This Tall & Have A Credit Card To Ride policy. Requiring a monthly subscription for entry keeps at arm’s length a teeming horde of the worst sort of rabble. Poor people. Is who I mean. With their bread crumbs. And pidgin language. And off-putting odors. And, owing to their illiteracy, a complete and total inability to appreciate classic literature penned by long-dead Russians.

        • Machinations says:

          Agree..F2P is a cancer on gaming. im surprised how many otherwise intelligent folks seem to like it.

      • braincruser says:

        Free to play isn’t about not paying you ignorant twat, its about paying when you want to. Its about paying later rather than now. The 15$ subscription is the ULTIMATE pay gate.
        The reason most games fail free to play is because they treat the free userbase as second class citizens. No second class citizen will pay you anything. Ever.
        LoL succeeds at this model since it doesn’t ask you for money, it gives you way to spend it, but doesn’t punish you. World of tanks is the same. Many accuse it of pay 2 win, but it doesn’t discriminate against the free community. It did once (platoons needed a premium account = death) , and it nearly killed it, and now they have changed.

        • dagudman says:

          Actually they made a lot of changes to world of tanks and it is not pay to win anymore.

          • realityflaw says:

            Wow, that’s good news, and I hadn’t heard. Did they get rid of the bullets you buy that do significantly more damage than the regular bullets?

      • newprince says:

        Too many fallacies at once. Don’t know where to start…

    • Yosharian says:

      Mehh I agree but not that quickly, the OMG ITS ELDER SCROLLS!!!!11 attraction will keep it going for a year or two, then it’ll fall to f2p.

      • Emohawk says:

        Star Wars is a bigger brand and it couldn’t do it.. I doubt Elderscrolls will. I’ll pay when it does go free to play and I don’t think I’ll be waiting long..

        • bstard says:

          Then again, Swotr was technically a mess. The PVP area was more laggy as Aeion’s.

          • Bull0 says:

            I wanted to like SWTOR but it had a raft of problems. They need to get on and make more single-player sci-fi RPGs. Maybe now they’ve knocked Mass Effect on the head they can get on with that; EA’s got the Star Wars license; could happen :)

          • Slaadfax says:

            It may be true that SWTOR was kind of crap upon its release. However, is there any reason to suspect that Bethesda will do any better? A company who is known, perhaps legendary, for having the most buggy and broken games upon release? Wonderful excuse to post a YouTube link:

            The music in that one really sells it for me.

            But still: buggy incomplete Star Wars license vs. buggy incomplete Elder Scrolls license that by all appearances isn’t being marketed to its core fanbase…

          • thelongshot says:

            @Slaadfax: Bethesda isn’t doing this game. This is Zenimax Online, a completely different team of developers.

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          HermitUK says:

          Don’t forget that TOR actually had a decent first month, sales wise. If the game hadn’t been so mediocre the sub model could have worked out for them.

        • chris1479 says:

          Ah but you forget, young grasshopper, that SWTOR was an absolute piece of shit that was so shit it enraged huge numbers of people for months on end. I’d be happy to pay a subscription for a game that was actually good and provided higher quality updates without nickel and diming me for stupid hats and lock boxes.

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            tumbleworld says:

            … You mean unlike TESCO, whose mere existence as a grindy themepark MMO tends to aggravate the fanbase of the license it is based on?

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Isn’t that what this game is going to be?

    • onsamyj says:

      3 months, tops.

      Ok, maybe more, but can they be relevant, interesting, desirable after half-a-year or going to fall drop off the radar?
      + Franchise.
      + First-person action combat.
      − Fantasy again.
      − Nothing new.

      At best it’s going to be “Skyrim II” – single-player never-ending RPG there occasionally you can play with friends.

      • Kdansky says:

        Agreed, 3 months sounds about right. It’s another theme-park MMO that’s basically a reskin of WoW and brings nothing to the table. Its license isn’t even that grand compared to SWTOR which failed spectacularly.

  2. Premium User Badge

    jezcentral says:

    Well, that IS why I pay a sub (for SWTOR), so I don’t have to fart about paying for things piecemeal. I’m not sure how many people do the same, though.

    Good luck to them, but I think they’ll need it.

  3. Seiniyta says:

    I think (I hope) companies are smart now and have realistic projections how many subscribers they will get. This isn’t only about ESO but also Wildstar. If they’re fine with a smaller but monthly paying playerbase, all the power to them. And I think of the quality of the mmo is really good people WILL pay for it monthly.

    The problem sterns more that most mmo’s that release simply fail due poor endgame or simply very boring questing. I haven’t actually seen a mmo release where the playerbase was (usual whiners aside) was super happy all the way to the endgame and stuck around. If a mmo can nail the questing, charm, end game I’m sure people are willingly to stick around and pay.

    • Flopper says:

      Can’t speak on end game. But the questing and low level dungeons in Wildstar are fucking superb.

      The level 20ish dungeon in Wildstar has more mechanics than some end game regular mode 5 man dungeons in WoW.

      My fan boy boner is almost busting through my pants after having a few months on the beta. My cries have finally been answered after 5+ years of asking for a successor to WoW!

      • Iscannon says:

        I kind of hate you, I’ve been following Wildstar for a long time, signed up to the beta and encouraged my brother to do the same. He’s had an invite, I haven’t heard a thing. I’m hoping I’ll get a chance next time round though :)

      • zhivik says:

        Well, the very first group instances in SWTOR, at level 10 out of 50, were great – fully voiced, continuing story, etc. From there on, it was much, much duller. I don’t know, I just feel starting with a box price + subscription is increasingly a way to recoup development costs. After that, all bets are off – see what happened with the mentioned SWTOR, Tera and The Secret World. Besides, neither really delivered with monthly updates, even though we had some very large teams & publishers around.

        I just don’t think it is a fair approach to players, since nowadays no one can guarantee an MMO will stay with a subscription for more than a year. Otherwise, I will never argue with the argument that an MMO with a subscription has the capacity of offering more quality than a F2P game.

  4. STiger says:

    $12.99 for a 6 month subscription or bust.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    HAhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha…

    no.

  6. Flopper says:

    Someone fucking finish this F2P bullshit for MMOs! It works on LoL and Dota because they don’t have massive budgets to produce content. It simply will not work on a AAA MMO.

    And don’t give me that GW2 bullshit. I have almost 1700 hours logged in GW2. F2P is the worst part about the game. Every 2 weeks I have Arena Net adding new bullshit for black lion lottery keys. No significant challenging end game content has been added in the last 6 months. Just some bullshit casual 20 minute 1 shot story dungeon and some fluffy activities like tossing a crab around.

    I’d rather pay 15 dollars a month of guaranteed income to the developer so they can work tirelessly to give me some value for my dollar.

    ALSO… I have no interest in ESO. All my hatred for F2P and embracing of P2P is for Wildstar. =D

    • Bremze says:

      Someone fucking finish this sub bullshit for MMOs! I’ve played a ton of WoW and timegated content and the grind was horrid!

      I was interested in Wildstar up until they said it’s going to be box+subs, I’d rather explore the game at my own pace instead of always feeling presured to get the most out of my sub. And if I get bored, I can go back later without having to rationalize resubing.

      I don’t even get the issues you have with GW2, the cash shop is pretty much only there for pretty skins and can be used with in-game gold, how does it in any way inconvinience you?

      Then again, even a larg-ish team can’t whip up enough content to last a dedicated player more than a few days when given a month to work, so I’m erring on you being delusional.

    • DiamondDog says:

      You seem upset about something, Flopper.

    • BobbyFizz says:

      1700 hours on a game you seem very angry about… I can’t work out if you got your value for money or not.

      The GW2 model is in my mind fantastically well implemented, but then each to their own.

    • Saikun says:

      Subscription only guarantee is that you’ll pay every month, whether you play 1 day or 31. Believing you’ll get quality end content would be more of a matter of faith.
      Will you ask for a refund if the content is not of your liking? Well, god luck with that :)

    • Machinations says:

      Agree completely. All the F2p mmos are complete shit. The fad will die away soon..not everyone is Riot. You have to be pretty obtuse to not be able to see this. EvE is still the best MMO, by far.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Wait, you got 1700 hours out of a single payment of $60, and that’s a BAD thing? I haven’t played ANY game even half as long as you have played GW2.

  7. Mr.Snowy says:

    “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: We don’t want the player to worry about which parts of the game to pay for – with our system, they get it all.”

    Indeed, with their being monetised up front, all their worries will evaporate in a flash. “Oh how lucky we are not to have to choose whether or not to pay for something” they will chant, their rosy cheeks aglow with happiness “worrying about that would have completely unmanned us!”

    Agree, F2P within 6 months. following the usual cliff-face dropoff in subs numbers 30 days after launch. Given that this looks as ‘by the numbers’ as it is possible for an MMO to be, I suspect this one will hit the skids even faster than SWTOR did.

    • Machinations says:

      Naysayers spouting accepted wisdom. But once there is another successful sub based mmo, you will all change your tune. F2P has led to a crop of shit games, period.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        No, it’s truth, which you seemed determined not to accept. IF there is another successful subscription MMO, it will be the exception to the rule. And it likely won’t be a normal subscription, but something modified like Wildstar, which allows players to buy subscription time with ingame currency.

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    drewski says:

    I can see their point, but I think given the origins of the IP, the Guild Wars 1 model would have been better. I suppose server costs etc.

      • Christo4 says:

        Haha great post! Didn’t know about it thank you for linking.
        Pretty much shows why a subscription every month is stupid. They’re just greedy.

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        Screwie says:

        That’s fantastic. Thanks for linking!

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        JamesTheNumberless says:

        Oh right, yes, MMO developers only need money to pay for servers. We can’t get enough of the things! A server cabinet, with the right amount of straw, is a fine place to sleep – plus the air conditioning in server farms is a godsend in the summer. They do, however, require a lot of seasoning when it comes to eating them.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          In all seriousness now, one has to remember that developers’ traditional source of funding is from publishers, who pay you monthly (if you’re lucky) while you’re working on a game for them and then take almost all of the money from sales of the game.

          If you switch from that model, to self-publishing and running an MMO, you need income in order to keep maintaining the game, work on new projects, and also to cover what it cost you to actually make the game in the first place. Nobody is going to spend a couple of years and a few million dollars of their own money, making a game, just so that they can keep the servers ticking over for a few years.

          F2P and subscription based games that are successful are great for everyone. Whether they’re publisher owned or indie titles, they can provide a long tailed income stream that adds a bit of financial stability to an industry that traditionally wobbles on its financial legs and very frequently falls flat on its face. It’s reassuring to work for a publisher when you don’t have to ponder which banks they’ll have to rob in order to pay you next month :)

        • onsamyj says:

          Read the whole thing.

          • Premium User Badge

            JamesTheNumberless says:

            I did.

            He offers wisdom such as “NCsoft has high costs, because they have a lot of staff to pay. That’s where the money goes. This is where your subscriptions end up”

            It ends with “But as long as people think that an MMO server costs trillions of Dollars to maintain, people will pay and companies will charge them for something that could be free.”

            So his opinion is clear: Don’t pay staff. Invest time and money in making games purely to create the games. Don’t expect me to buy your games to fund your extravagant mortgages, grocery shopping and fuel bills. Obviously all that’s needed to run an MMO is a bunch of servers… In fact, the servers autonomously make the whole thing, don’t you know?

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        Eh? I don’t mean it’s entirely server costs – but they have to make the ongoing revenue to keep the game running from somewhere. You either pay for it when you buy the game (or as a premium on expansions), as a sub, or as microtransactions. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

        The consumer is going to pay for the server costs one way or another – what’s wrong with charging the people actually playing the game on an ongoing basis?

  9. Laini says:

    I’m still curious about it and probably going to give it a go but I think the days of paying £8.99 a month for a MMO are long gone.
    £5? Sure, count me in but I can’t justify that price anymore.

    • Boris the Impregnable says:

      £8.99? Try £11.10. That’s the Eurozone price, we get fucked again. I’m not buying at that price. Drop it down to something reasonable, like €5 and I’ll buy in if I like the game.

      • KikiJiki says:

        I think it depends on your audience as to whether the cost seems steep or not.

        I remember when I was a student and played WoW, sub prices didn’t seem expensive at all. Now as a working adult it seems like a lot of money, doubly so when it’s competing against other games and entertainments for that money.

        • Boris the Impregnable says:

          Well, lets put it this way. With steam sales and humble bundles, this seems like a really crappy deal. It’s also above my “don’t care” limit. For €5 a month I wouldn’t think about it and just pay it if I enjoy the game. €13 I have to think about, even though I could easily afford it. It just feels like a lot of money.

          Plus knowing I get a bad deal because I live on the other end of the North Sea doesn’t make it any better.

  10. Yosharian says:

    Everquest Next

  11. honuk says:

    FFXIV is also subscription based

  12. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    The thing that bugs me about subscriptions is the feeling that, if I don’t play it ALL THE TIME my money’s been burnt for nothing. Perhaps that’s not wholly rational, but that’s human thought for you.

    Has any game ever used a model where you pay for hours played?

    • andrmegawatt says:

      My thought exactly.

      My problem with subscriptions is not the cost, but how you pay for it — as a subscription. People like to compare the cost of subscription to mobile phone cost, like, “YOU DON’T LIKE A $15 SUB? WHAT ARE YOU? A BEGGAR PLEB?”, but I use a pre-paid account there: I drop some money on my account, and pay only when I use the service. Why should I pay for the game when I’m not playing it? Is it really difficult to make a service in 2013, which would track my time online and subtract the money only when I am? And considering the fact that it’s a difficult genre from a business standpoint, someones’s better to implement a different business model there; F2P with a cash-shop is not even a cure-all for such games, they’re just lazy.

      My father tought me to save every penny, even if I earn enough. It’s not the cost, it’s a rificulous business model — games are not magazines or web software services, and what I need to start playing is a pre-paid account, not a “subscription”.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I do recall some games floating that idea, but I don’t recall if it ever went anywhere.

    • bleeters says:

      It’s my understanding that pay-by-the-hour is what World of Warcraft uses in Asia.

      • dagudman says:

        That’s because they have internet cafe’s there. So you pay to the internet cafe and then the internet cafe pays for the game.

    • vexis58 says:

      As a player, I can understand why this doesn’t happen.

      If I were to pay for a game by the minute or hour, every additional minute I spend online feels negative. I can’t just sit in a game and enjoy the scenery, or hang out in town chatting with friends, because every minute of that is costing me. I feel like I’m wasting money if I’m not constantly doing something productive.

      If I were to pay for a game by the month, every minute I spend in it feels positive instead. I’ve already paid for the month, and every additional minute I am in-game doing anything, productive or not, simply adds value to a purchase I’ve already made.

  13. nbringer says:

    MMOs = the ultimate digital depiction of human greed and addiction. Bleah, despicable! Never played one, won’t start now. ..

  14. Lobotomist says:

    15$ monthly is nor reasonable price anymore. It was norm 2004.

    But the world suffered 2 exonomic recessions since than.
    Not to mention that server hosting got cheaper not more expensive.

    And beside that i just bought 8 top selling EA games for 5$ , not to mention Steam sales and what not. Heck today you can get best AAA titles for less than 1 subscription price.
    And that is on top of 60$ box sale.

    Not to mention that I can play other, not less quality MMOs for completely free.

    So yea. Good luck with 100 thousand players – maximum….

    • Machinations says:

      There is no game as quality as eve in the mmo space. Apparently, people here like the shit that has come out as F2P? Forgive me but I wouldnt take the forums here for business advice.

  15. Tarrax says:

    There is a really interesting article over on IGN about Why Core Gamers Hate F2P. It’s pretty clear to me that the ESO team have read it and I’m a little surprised no one here has referenced it yet, including the author.
    http://au.ign.com/articles/2013/07/29/why-core-gamers-hate-free-to-play

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Because IGN is totally a reputable news source in touch with the ‘core’ gamer.

      It’s also Apples and Oranges, the article discusses Borderlands 2. specifically as a case study.

    • dagudman says:

      It’s funny because they took 3 comments they got from their twitter followers. Just think about that. Who in their right mind follows IGN on twitter and are ‘core’ gamers. Also I looked into the comments for that article and guess what, most people disagreeing with IGN.

    • Machinations says:

      Core gamers do hate F2P..period. It means shit games. So sorry you cannot afford the equivalent of a mcdonalds meal once a month, but if thats what it takes to ensure quality and to keep out the plebes, I am allllllll for it.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        How obese are you that you spend $15 on a single meal at McDonalds?

        And it’s not necessarily about affording it, it’s about getting your monies worth. I could afford to throw $15 dollars out of my window, but that doesn’t mean it would be worth it.

  16. Scilantius says:

    Horace FINITE?!

    Blasphemy, I say! Blasphemy!

    • Premium User Badge

      DrScuttles says:

      The whole RPS Mirror Universe that Nathan outlined sounds like the sort of thing from my most anguished, fevered nightmares. A world without Nathan’s ambitious hair is a world I want no part of.

      • The Random One says:

        Cara is a shy, prude men’s rights activist. Rob Florence is a cute girl with a weekly games show on SpikeTV. Craig has played games. Tim Stone is Jim Stering. Porpentine is Bob Kotick. Lord Smilingleigh is PCGAMER4LIFE and vice versa. People know who Ben Barrett is.

  17. Kinch says:

    So they want to directly compete with another sub-based MMO still alive and kicking (WoW), a possible contender (Wildstar), and a title such as Guild Wars 2 where you pay once for the game and then can spend money in the in-game shop (entirely optional).

    I guess the Elder Scrolls IP may carry them for a while as long as the game is good enough, but they will probably lose the subscription sooner than The Old Republic did.

    The game’s entirely off my radar as GW2 is currently filling my fantasy MMO needs. It’s not perfect but it’s the best one out there. ;)

    • Premium User Badge

      Screwie says:

      Arguably they’re also competing against the main Elder Scrolls franchise, which provides more than a hundred hours of content, more with mods, has only a single purchase fee, and offers a much more authentic Elder Scrolls experience.

  18. ghling says:

    Except $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 isn’t a “small monthly fee”.

    • Machinations says:

      I would disagree. netflix is eight bucks a month, its nothing..i dont care if i watch it pr not, just that i have it if i do want to

  19. Premium User Badge

    Screwie says:

    How about the more insulting unquoted portion of Firor’s comments, from the source article?

    “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 any way.”

    That’s a fundamental lack of understanding of how F2P games support themselves. It seems doubtful the even considered it, which means they aren’t even looking at the MMO market to make their decisions. This doesn’t bode well.

    I’m not hopeful for the game’s future. SWTOR launched with a ton of hype (and arguably the ultimate franchise license) and still fell under quickly. This game has had mixed reactions from the off.

    However I am looking forward to seeing quotes from this article getting shoved back in his face when the game goes F2P within a year.

  20. Jimbo says:

    My minimal interest in subscription MMOs has nothing to do with the subscription and everything to do with them all being the same game over and over again.

    That said, I have no interest at all in -and in fact an active dislike for- games which have been designed around a F2P / nickel & dime business model, so at least this isn’t that. It’s still going to flop of course.

  21. Taidan says:

    Translation: “Elder Scrolls Online designed as Free-to-Play title, but will endure short box+subscription-based phase in order to front-load efforts to recoup development costs from early adopters.”

    It’s a business model we will be seeing a lot of in the coming years, I’d imagine.

    • Premium User Badge

      Screwie says:

      It seems cynical but, I can see that happening. It seems the most secure route for maximising returns on developing an MMO currently.

      Just steer clear of the lifetime subscriber offer!

  22. Chris says:

    Or they could switch to Pay-To-Play when Subscription fails, rather like Secret World did.

    I’m certainly not going to subscribe to anything unless I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO PLAY IT NOW.

    So either the suits so so confident that punters will want to rent their game in droves, or they want to keep player numbers low for what will be a beta test.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Rather like Secret World did. Rather like TERA did. Rather like Aion did. Rather like SWTOR did. Rather like LOTRO did. Rather like D&DO did.

      Did I miss any?

  23. naetharu says:

    Personally I like the idea of these games going with a subscription. I appreciate the feeling that many games have tried this and failed but I’m not yet convinced that F2P is the only answer.

    Nathan mentions that even Star Wars could not make headway. That is true, but then Star Wars (in my opinion at least) was a pretty crappy MMO. It had bad combat, a non-existent end-game, terrible itemization and a serious identity crisis between being an MMO and an offline Bioware RPG. At the end of the day if you pulled the Star Wars skin off the thing the MMO game you had left was ok, but nothing special. WoW on the other hand has always been a really solid game. Spells that all make sense, classes with clear roles, and combat that really works. Plus all of those little touches like day/night cycles, virtually no loading screens and holiday events. In short, I think that the failure of many MMOs has been down to their being bad games that fail to offer the quality and depth of content that WoW has offered, and not really due to their business model.

    From what I have seen so far Wildstar! is very impressive and I have high hopes that it might just carve out a neich for itself. Granted it is more likely to be the size of Eve rather than WoW but all the same it could work. As to this Elder Scrolls game I am less sure, but that is because it seems to be a rather derivative game that tosses aside a great deal of what makes a game ‘Elder Scrolls’ in favor of merely copying WoW style content.

  24. Funso Banjo says:

    This game had a chance to not fail.

    Until this.

  25. Bull0 says:

    Any plan for detaching players from the MMOs they’ve been playing for years and will continue to play because of the massive amount of time and money they’ve already invested in their characters, etc? No? My goodness

  26. Acefrog says:

    I have no interest in ESO at all, all I see is a for sure cash grab from a popular IP. Yet I have been desperately waiting to hear from WS on what there business model was and myself and friends were so happy to hear it was sub only!

    All I see from f2p MMOs is some shitty market and not much else, just devs grabbing money from rubbish hats etc. With a sub at least the devs have to be dedicated on making content to keep people subscribed.

    • 2helix4u says:

      *whispers* Wildstar will go f2p within a year like all sub MMOs. Don’t tell anyone or they’ll feel ripped off for paying all that money.

  27. Maxheadroom says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if going F2P was already on their roadmap. 6 – 12 months of subs is still a fair chunk of change.

    Genuinely hope it works out for them but my interest is now at zero. Dont have the free time to warrant a Lovefilm subscription let alone a sub based MMO

  28. BlackAlpha says:

    I can see why they are sticking to subscriptions because here’s the problem with “free” to play: Pay 5 bucks for this weapon, pay 5 bucks to gain XP at an acceptable level, pay 5 bucks for this skin, and poof, you are past the 15 bucks a month already for far less content.

    • dagudman says:

      That is called pay to win or freemium, and will be bashed just as much as the subscription model is if it happens.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    You know what disturbs me the most about your Bizarro Land? That apparently Ms Ellison does not exist there. What a sad world that must be.

    • KingFunk says:

      Is that an allusion to the aesthetic qualities of said correspondent, as judged by your eye?

      Get thee to bigotry corner!

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        What? I have no idea how you got that from my comment.

        I complained about the fact that Mr Grayson did not make up a Bizarro version of Ms Ellison, which made me sad.

        • KingFunk says:

          Sorry – I was just trying to make a satirical reference to Soupgate… Nothing personal!

    • nemryn says:

      Well, that’s the opposite of her existing here, isn’t it? It’s only logical.

  30. haydndavid91 says:

    I hate the F2P model in everything except LoL.

    F2P mmos are horrible, monetized, pay to win garbage, filled with in game stores that use real money to boost you through the game from the get go.

    The P2P model means you get everything, and the developer gets more money to make even more content for the game. Also if you seriously can’t spare 15 dollars/9 pounds a month you’re either 14 and don’t get pocket money or live at home with absolutely no job.

    • dagudman says:

      You sir do not know anything about free to play games.

      • Machinations says:

        I certainly do. I know tf2 was a good game ruined by thousands of absurd item combinations.
        In fact, other than dota and lol, is there a single successful F2P game?

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          TF2, World of Tanks, Planetside 2, Warframe, Tribes: Ascend. And that’s those that stand out as particularly successful, there are plenty more that are apparently making enough to keep their servers running.

      • haydndavid91 says:

        F2P MMO’s was what I was generalising, F2P Mobas or even the likes of Path of Exile do F2P correctly, they monetize things with vanity items that people just fancy having, instead of feeling the need to have it so they can rush through the game.

        So yes sir, i do know about free to play games, i’ve played plenty of them.

  31. Premium User Badge

    tumbleworld says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha TESCO. Just what the gaming world _really_ doesn’t want — another weary grind-fest. It’s going to tank hideously.

    … and I’m an Elder Scrolls fan, too.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      If you’re an elder scrolls fan you would’ve hated this lore butchering generic fantasy quest em up anyway.

      • KingFunk says:

        Um, so you’re now the spokesperson for Elder Scroll fans everywhere…?

        And are you implying that considering getting this and hoping it’s good makes me some sort of inferior Elder Scrolls fan?

        Sir, your elitism smells of mudcrabs in tophats!

        EDIT: Oh and I feel it’s also worth pointing out that the single-player Elder Scrolls game were never particularly non-generic in their questing. The point (for me at least) was a world to get lost in. As long as they find a way to keep f*ckwits from spoiling it for others and the world to get lost in keeps growing/changing, then I honestly don’t see the problem with it being an online game.

        And in case it matters, I joined at Morrowind.

        • TsunamiWombat says:

          Forests of moving tree’s inhabited by cannibal elves that build cities in said tree’s made out of living wood.

          Aztec lizardmen who are descended from tree’s

          Meth addict Cat people who develop differing varies of furry based on the moon cycle they’re born under

          African-Japanese Warrior people who can cut atoms with swords

          That’s not generic.

          TESO pushes to rewrite and retcon existing TES lore and make it complete generic fantasy. The buildings in Valenwood are made out of lumber for gods sake.

          PS: Transcription Error

          • KingFunk says:

            I agree – the lore is not generic (although I often wonder if anyone feels embarassed about the name Elsweyr, which must have just started as a geeky joke).

            However, the quests themselves have largely been fairly generic – this was even tacitly acknowledged in Fighter’s Guild rat-killing quest references.

            I admit, there are some that are great and non-generic (such as Oblivion’s magic paintbrush quest) but a lot tends to be filler that just gets you out in the world and exploring.

            I appreciate your concern that TESO could devolve into ‘Kill 20 scamps’ territory, but I’m choosing to remain optimistic that the only reason these guys are doing the project under the TES name is to avoid such crass choices. I may be wrong…

            EDIT: also, it’s just dawned on me that your concern was more about dulling the lore and not the quests being generic, but hey-ho.

  32. caddyB says:

    Eh, I’m already paying TERA and SWtOR subs every month, even though I spend very little time with them. ( Yeah I know about the F2P, I like being subbed )

    I just don’t see what this game brings to the table. From what I’ve seen so far it has the sub-par WoW combat and gameplay which only means when the ELDER SCROLLS LOL veneer starts to fade people will go back to WoW. Having good pvp could save the title ( me and a lot of ex-WoW arena gladiators are playing SWtOR simply because it has the best pvp out of all the WoW clones since Warhammer Online bit the dust ) but I’m not too hopeful.

    Truth be told, I’m not sure enough people are interested in it even as a F2P title but we’ll see.

  33. oxykottin says:

    Holy crap….. All of this has nothing to do with subscription models vs F2p. It has everything to do with with the staleness of the mmo genre. If you make something original (eve online) or extremely high quality (wow) you can do subscription based… If you do a make something unoriginal or mediocre you do F2P.

    TL:DR make the shit good enough and original enough you will pay 15 20 25 30 40 50.

  34. Dr.Green says:

    sounds terrible…looks terrible

  35. PopeRatzo says:

    The only online games I have ever played for any length of time have been subscription based.

    Free to Play makes me feel bad when I play. I would much rather just pay a subscription.

    • dagudman says:

      It matters what games you were playing, and when. Because 10 years ago it was normal to have a subscription model.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Dunbine says:

    At this point, I have to assume that developer / publishers must just be planning on squeezing six months or so of subscriptions from their player base, while all the time having a F2P business model in their back pocket that they plan to implement once those earning dip.

  37. shimeril says:

    I paid for my Everquest subscription for years, and I reckon I got value for my money. I still play it occasionally on a F2P account, where there are a few disadvantages but nothing that breaks the game. If the game interests me enough I’d try it on a subscription basis. Though this one probably isn’t the one for me. Maybe Everquest Next will be? Point is I have tried many other MMO’s, and many of the F2P ones we’re in my opinion broken by crippling the whole experience. Need a horse? Here’s the button to pay real money for it. I might have paid real money to be put onto a server where I didn’t have to put up with the puerile ravings of the 12 yr old cadre of players. But pay for a horse that I can’t get any other way? Piss off. Delete. Next!

    • dagudman says:

      In most mmos that are not pay to win you are able to get horses or ‘mounts’ without paying. But to get the fastest one or the coolest looking one you need to pay real money. This is a good free to play model as you only pay to get somewhere faster or for cosmetic purposes, but if you have to pay to unlock a dungeon or loot then that is unacceptable .

  38. Mnemosys says:

    What I don’t understand though is why the heck do they all ask for $15. Ok, it’s more or less the historical fee requested for all the MMOs but I really hate that they stick to it blindly.

    SWTOR failed because the ratio game quality/fee was ways to low. (also because they used the same guys who ruined warhammer too). I’m pretty sure people would have been content to pay $5/month while waiting for content and bug fixes. :p

  39. Zekiel says:

    Why hasn’t anyone else commented that this is probably the best article introduction ever!

  40. TsunamiWombat says:

    TESCO has been a complete clusterfrick from word go anyhow, this is just the cherry on top of the sundae of failure.

    Enjoy your Transcription Errors

  41. tk421242 says:

    Biggest issue with this news story is the following statement “The game’s first month will be entirely free”.

    It will not… you still need to pay the box price so the first month will actually cost what I assume will be the standard $60. Want to get my attention Zenimax… try something really bold. Make the core client purchase price super low. Why not a reasonable $20 for client purchase? If the content is that deep you should have no trouble making up for that initial lack of profit in the client sale.

  42. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Upon seeing the article title, I was mildly excited for the exact reasons stated by their PR (“mildly” because I’m not confident I’ll like the game). Then, after reading some rants and thinking a bit, I realized: I think I payed $60 for Skyrim when it came out, and the Dragonborn expansion was $15. That’s equivalent to the first 6 months of TESO if you include its first free month. Sure, cheaper is nice, but I didn’t want to wait a year to play the spiffy new TES game, in Skyrim’s case.

    Now, if the (imaginary) box is free, there’s no risk that first month. If the game sucks, I’ll stop. If I enjoy it, I’ll see if I still enjoy it month by month. If it’s good enough to play for six months, that’ll be financially equivalent to playing Skyrim and its expansion (vampires and homemaking quests don’t count).

    If the box is not free (probably the case), I’ll wait to see what TES fans think of it and maybe wait for a possible ftoopee conversion.

    Doesn’t sound too bad to me, given the supposed initial lack of “monetization”. I hope the game is good, but if it isn’t…meh, I can wait for TES6 and/or go hiking and stew-making in actual mountains and forests and stuff. And, for all my online human interaction requirements (aside from RPS commenting), there is almost certainly more Awesomenauts on its way, not to mention the impending Star Citizen beta.

  43. smeaa mario says:

    The way they reduced the great Elder Scrolls universe into a petty MMO had already turned me off. And now they want subscription? Sorry but I am out.

  44. Necron99 says:

    Everyone here is right. 14.99 is SO yesterday!! I would gladly pay 19.99 a month for a sub.

  45. fish99 says:

    OMG that ‘reasoning’. “We don’t want to financially limit players roles in the game by charging money for specific things, instead we’re going to charge money for EVERYTHING by not letting you play unless you keep giving us money”.

    TBH I don’t even get why this is being made. If it succeeds (which it won’t) it’ll squeeze the Bethesda Elder Scrolls games. And who wants lots of other players in their Elder Scrolls game with all the BS that goes along with that, or wants an Elder Scrolls game with the structure and (lack of) gameplay of an MMO? Elder Scrolls is about becoming the hero, the baddass, saving the world while wiping every monster/bad guy off the face of the planet, whereas in this you’ll be … another max level clone, exactly the same as everyone else in the world.

    • Bluestormzion says:

      That’s not what he’s saying. What he’s saying is that they want to remove the game-ruining checkpoints all over the damn place when you discover that, sorry, this THING that we just showed you that’s really cool costs 5 bucks.

      Also, there’s a reason why so called “Free to Play” games are so popular. It’s because people often wind up spending MORE money on them. 15 dollars a month isn’t too bad. Comparitively, in Neverwinter, I could have spent 15 dollars in my first three days, if I wanted that speedy horse, one key to a lockbox, and two dye packs to make my armor fancy.

      That’s what Free to Play games DO; they find new things to charge you for. I’m not saying it’s morally WRONG, just that it annoys the fuck out of me. I want to either buy a game and then it’s 100% MINE with no micro-bullshit, or to either pay you on a rental basis to play YOUR game, and then you don’t pop in from time to time and say “Yeah, no, you can’t use that unless you give me a little more.”

      • fish99 says:

        That’s all highly debatable. I imagine most GW2 player spent way less on the game in the first year than people spent in their first year of WoW (at launch, since that’s the only fair comparison). There’s plenty of F2P games which make money entirely from cosmetics and boosters without locking any content away.

        Also he is clearly saying he doesn’t want money to be a barrier for entry, while having a large and continual monetary barrier for entry.

  46. Barberetti says:

    Zoiks!

    That’s a shame. I was rather looking forward to trying it out.

  47. khalilravanna says:

    6 months F2P and hopefully 6 months after that dead. I still just can’t understand why they went with the sacrilegious idea of attempting to make TES into an MMO. Shame.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      I think it’s a nice idea but I never would have set it in The Whole Of Tamriel. The best thing about the more recent offerings in TES series has been the attention to detail and the continuity of the setting and backstory.

      I would have set a TES MMO on another continent, where each of the established TES races has a fledgeling colony, and most of the game is about exploring uncharted territory and encountering new civilizations. The worst and most immersion-breaking thing about being in Tamriel in this MMO will be visiting all the places that have featured in past TES games and finding them wanting.

  48. Bluestormzion says:

    I’m glad to hear that there are no Microtransactions. I get why they do it, but the fact remains that at every turn you’ll be running into things asking for real money for fake nothings. Examples:

    I am currently playing Neverwinter with friends. It is a free to play game. Every day, I pick up at least one “Nightmare Lockbox” that enemies drop. Inside that lockbox is random stuff. BUT I can’t open it without buying a Key. And that key costs Zen. And Zen costs either RIDICULOUS amounts of Astral Diamonds (A limited-per-day in game currency) or Real Dollars (A limited in reality due to a shit economy real currency.) I can hire companions with in-game gold or astral diamonds… but their levels are limited. Until this expansion that goes live today, only Zen could be used to get companions that can actually hit the level 30 cap for companions. And even now, with items to upgrade crappy companions so they can hit the cap, I’m not sure that the upgrade items won’y cost Zen. Some Crafting Jobs take EIGHTEEN HOURS, but you can pay upside of 30 thousand Astral Diamonds (I can only earn around 7000 a day, currently,) to finish the job instantly… and I can buy Astral Diamonds for Zen. And it’s annoying. Every little thing I try to do has a “Spend some real money on it!” button.

    And the worst part? Most “Free to play” games are actually RIDICULOUSLY expensive if and when you spend real money on things. Neverwinter is cool because if you don’t mind a near infinite grind you CAN earn millions of Astral Diamonds to turn into Zen and then buy the zen stuff, but tons of them have complete price tags are hundreds of dollars. I’d much rather pay a price of admission, and then the only thing standing between me and the things I want are my own skill and effort.

  49. sinister agent says:

    “I saw a subscription-based MMO the other day.”

    “Horrible creatures, I hate them.”

    “I’ve heard others say the same.”

    • KikiJiki says:

      I used to be a gamer just like you, until I took a subscription based MMO to the knee

    • KingFunk says:

      “You see those developers from Zenimax? They’ve got a subscription-based MMO. Subscription-based. MMO.”

  50. Loque says:

    Instead of killing the fun by adding small pay per play purchases over time, we decided to limit your free gameplay to the first month. Then you are required to cash out just 15 dollars per month for the full content. Every month, of course.

    Oh, the irony.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And, by the way, that free month? Not that free, actually. You do know what you’re paying for with that box, don’t you?