The Elder Scrolls Online Is Really Very Expensive

Good gravy, Zenimax must have a lot of money. (Which only fits my firm belief that a company with a name like that is going to be behind the great zombie outbreak.) A sprinkling of their vast coffers has been used to create a very luscious cinematic for The Elder Scrolls Online, featuring your mum as the big baddie. They release this to mark the announcement of an Imperial Edition of the forthcoming MMO, a “premium collector’s edition”, or as I like to call them, The Expensive Ones For Mad People. Except, bloody hell, this game’s going to be expensive for everyone.

Because, blink, the standard version is a touch pricey. £50? For a genre that’s now primarily free? Cor. So that’s like a decade of subscription, right? Nope, that’s 30 days. Before a further £9/€13/$15 (€13 is of course currently worth $17.70 and £10.70, so fuck you, Europe!) monthly tithe. This game costs more than the broadband connection and monthly ISP fee you’ll need to play it.

Fork out £70 for the Imperial Edition, and what do you get other than the same game as everyone else? A whopping 30 days subscription! Indeed, no more access to the game, but rather trinkets. You get to be an Imperial in the game, with an Imperial horse, Imperial gear and a “Mudcrab vanity pet”. The only useful thing in there, unless you particularly want to be playing as an Imperial of course, is the Rings Of Mara – this is a quest for you and a chum to complete, that then gives you experience bonuses when you play together.

Calm yourself down with a very impressive eight minute cinematic:

Charging infinity more than most MMOs, and nearly double a standard PC game, before people can even start playing is going to be the mistake we all look back on. It dealt The Secret World a massive blow, and that was cheaper. I still believe there’s room for subscription models in MMOs, but I don’t think it can be sensibly combined with a whopping great fee to even find out if you want to play it in the first place. That’s where the damage is done. Let people into your game for free, then charge them to carry on. It works for drug dealers. Otherwise, you restrict your customer base to those with a spare £50 to spend to find out if they want to spend far more money to play something… Just crazy. Presumably Bethesda are relying on the breathtaking success of Skyrim, to assume that people are going to pay whatever it takes to get back into the Elder Scrolls’ world.

But don’t let me stop you. You can buy a copy of the game, or its Imperial Edition, right now, before any reviews are out to warn you whether it’s any good or not. Gosh, it’d better be good now, eh? The game is out for reals on the 4th April. Hopefully we’ll be getting our hands on it for a preview nice and soon.


  1. Felixader says:

    “Facepalm”, i mean please anyone up there in the upper ranks of Zenimax have some BRAIN!

    Or in other words: “Whats the definition of insanity?”

    Also: boobwindows (and naked pantys) in female armor. They are not as exccessive here than in other games but nontheless: Go Fuck yourself sideways.

    Also:Also: If someone wants to know why the boobwindows make me so angry please ask and i will tell you in a reasonable way. ^_^

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Why do boobwi… just kidding, I know why.

      • Shadow says:

        I’m more worried about the excessive pricing and the likelihood the game turns out to be merely one more MMO (instead of a proper multiplayer ESO game) than “boob windows” and 2 frames of panty-shots, the extent of which are frankly quite conservative compared to most of the genre.

        I’d focus my rage on substantial flaws, and that rage will most likely be needed to kick sense into the devs’ heads.

    • HadToLogin says:

      I’m pretty sure lack of boobwindow (or actually naked boobs everywhere) will kill this game – half of TES fame comes from people modding naked boobs into it…

      • Felixader says:

        Which is fine because it is a choice.
        And not only has this game boobwindows, it even has a stupid pantyshot in the (otherwise breathtaking albeit sharply misleading in represantation of gameplay) Trailer up there.

        • worrytron says:

          No that’s a totally accurate cinematic in terms of the gameplay experience. It has lots of dynamic movement and action, destructible environm– oh wait, that’s a TESO cinematic, nevermind.

      • kalirion says:

        Boot up ES2 Daggerfall and enter any temple. Or just create a female (or male for that matter) character and remove all armor. No mods required.

    • yobokkie says:

      To be honest I hadn’t noticed until you pointed it out. Are fanboys so desperate that they’ll latch onto some minor cleavage and a brief flash of nothingness? Then again I’m married to an awesome woman so maybe I’ve forgotten the struggles of the lonely geek?

      However it is quite funny how often the woman is the “magician” because women are too weak to be real warriors. I’d like just for once if there was this massive, not terribly attractive woman who just spanked everyone with her ax. Just because.

      • kalirion says:

        Well, the women less likely to be warriors part is more or less realistic. Or do you think it’s nothing but sexism that most professional sports have separate leagues for men and women?

        That said, there is no way the game itself will have gender-specific classes.

        But if you want a woman spanking all opposition with an axe, look forward to Edge of Tomorrow. She’s kinda attractive though, so you might be disappointed there.

        There’s also Brienne of Tarth, but she prefers swords.

        • Uboa Noticed You says:

          It’s a fantasy game, I think women being warriors in it is sort of irrelevant.

          • yobokkie says:

            Well surely because it’s fantasy they could be whatever they wanted? Or is that what you were saying?
            But yeah I’m not really the type to get too attached to the characters I’m playing as or cry over anita sarkeesian videos and I don’t particularly care that most of the women are eye candy, I just think it would be funny for a game to break stereotype just for the sake of being different. Game developers often just seem to be lazy.

        • aludlam says:

          This has nothing to do with the game, but at least based on the fights in the last TUF tournament, a properly trained lady would be competitive with a man within her weightclass. Social more’s would prevent such a thing from happening, but I’d love to see something like Rowsey vs. Barao. I don’t believe women are inherently less capable then men at war. It just doesn’t usually happen because women are usually filling a different gender role.

          (I love my Mom).

      • brgillespie says:

        …It looked to me as if the woman saved everyone’s ass in the trailer…

        …a few scenes featured her slashing about with her sword, I believe…

        …but yes, apparently she’s a woman. Someone alert Tamriel’s equal opportunity office, the female quotas for warriors is down!

    • Lemming says:

      Hey no boob-window is discriminatory! Can’t breast-feeding mums be heroes too? Why should they suffer the inconvenience of undressing out of a full set of platemail when their newborn needs feeding every 3-4 hours? Not to mention all the comments they get from feminists who claim their boobs ‘aren’t proportionate or realistic’. You try keeping a low cup-size when your mammary glands are full of milk!

    • Rizlar says:

      “Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns.”


    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I preferred the woman in X-Rebirth, who was apparently just wearing a T-Shirt with a picture of a boobwindow on it.

    • jrodman says:

      link to

    • TWChristine says:

      I don’t even know what a “boob window” is.. I’m guessing it’s sort of like ass-less chaps for your chest?

      • JanusForbeare says:

        Pretty much: link to

        And now I’ve doomed us all to an eternity of wandering the blasted landscape of TVtropes, until we die slow deaths of dehydration and our emaciated bodies are found by the archaeologists of future generations.

    • Zepp says:

      Now everyone will argue about the damned boobs and ignore the ridiculous price…

    • aludlam says:

      The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing repeatedly, but expecting a different result”. In fairness, I think this is Zenimax’s first go. So we can call them insane when this flops and they introduce “ESO2: Biggerer and Betterer and Expensiver”.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        We-eeell… one can also consider the fact that Zenimax have been ’round the block and have had the opportunity to see a lot of MMO projects fail. And the few which didn’t. I and with my probably plenty of people didn’t expect this to turn out well considering their plans from back then (although we didn’t know a lot). Having an iffy pricing model doesn’t make things any better.

        But who knows, the game might even be good. Just decent might even be enough considering the lack of deep gameplay in many MMOs.

    • Mabswer says:

      :/ They Charge the Hell outof it now because they as in Zenimax knows that it WILL turn in to Free 2 Play Quickly.
      Just Quick grab for moneys.

  2. trjp says:

    Except that this is Elder Scrolls which sells buckets and so they’ll get loads of money from doing this.

    It doesn’t really matter if it succeeds beyond that initial tidal-wave of cash – if it does then they spent money supporting and developing it – if it doesn’t then they still have a mountain of cash.

    Comparing it to The Secret World is slightly odd – that was someone attempting something genuinely new and which (IMO) didn’t really work as an MMO and didn’t really fit a subscription model anyway

    I’m not surprised in the slightest at the pricing here – it’s basically the same as SWTOR only it’s starting with a considerably larger potential purchaser-base.

    Even if it follows SWTORs path (into limited F2P and premium-bits subs) that deluge of banknotes will still be in their bank…

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Ha. “If” it follows SWTOR. That’s hilarious. It’ll be Free to Play within 6 months, guaranteed.

      • ran93r says:

        I haven’t looked but are there any figures on whether SWToR has broken even yet?
        That was a big money sink for them, would love to see a breakdown of what they managed to get from sales and subs before it went F2P and what they have gotten after.

        I do see this heading in the same direction but who knows, I’m personally not that interested, I had an invite to check it out but didn’t bother as they last few videos I saw left me feeling empty, and cold, and sad.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Yes it did – last year microtransactions-ONLY brought over $100 millions.

          • ran93r says:

            Fair play to them then, worked out well. I remember seeing the original development cost estimates and saying “they will never make that back”. Shame on me.

            I must go and update my game, I subbed for 3 months but have only been back once since the F2P.

          • MisterFurious says:

            Breaking even is far from ‘doing well’.

      • trjp says:

        You may be right – but sales of Skyrim on PC and peak subs of SWTOR (if reports are to be believed – we only have guesses to work with) are in the 2-3m range

        Thing is tho – Skyrim sold FIVE TIMES more on 360 than PC – a fact I still find quite astonishing…

        • jacobvandy says:

          Where’d you get that load of bollocks from, VGChartz? Hah. You know they have no way to track Steam sales, right? So the 2-3 million is probably just retail, a much smaller chunk than digital.

          There were nearly 300k people playing Skyrim simultaneously, every day of its first week. Think about what proportion of players are ever playing any game at any particular time… If you extrapolate what percentage of online people that represented into the total number of accounts at that time (40 million as announced in January 2012), you can guess there may have been that 2-3 million sales almost immediately. Then it dominated the top sellers on Steam for MONTHS despite remaining at the full $60 price, and then sees a major resurgence every time there is a discount. To this day, that still happens — I believe it was the only thing to take the #1 spot from DayZ over this past holiday sale.

          So no, Skyrim PC has sold much, much more than you think.

          • socrate says:

            Console gamer always think they have a larger market share on everything /facepalm…when game are actually good PC gamer get them the difference with console is we get to easily try it before we buy it *snicker evilly*

          • trjp says:

            It’s hard to know the source because similar figures appear all over the Internet – XBOX around 60%of sales – PC under 10-15%ish

            Odds are successive sales have skewed that but it’s worth noting that most games which release multi-platform sell MUCH better on 360 – then PS3 – then PC – that’s roughly the demographic split for popular titles.

            We may forget, from time to time, that maintaining a decent games-ready PC is a pain-in-teh-ass many people cannot be bothered with (a fact Valve are relying on for this Steambox thing i guess)

          • DougyM says:

            It is the exact same thing that people said about Battlefield 3, “it only sold 2 million on PC but about 6 million each on the consoles, Battlefield is not about PC anymore”, companies that come up with that data like VG charts only account for physical sales from retail shops so of course the PC numbers are lower because the PC has long since switched to being primarily digital.

            Dice announced shortly after that that BF3 had sold over 20 million copies, so you go take away the numbers for each console and then you take away the retail PC editions and you get left with the number of digital sales to that point. I done a big post about it on reddit at the time and it put the PC sales about a half million ahead of the 360 and about a million ahead of the PS3.

            Skyrim will have been the same if not even more skewed towards the PC seeing as its still a title that is heavily promoted by mods.

        • Juan Carlo says:

          Isn’t this releasing on consoles too? If so I suspect it will be massive there since it will basically be the first console MMO of this sort.

      • jonfitt says:

        It’ll go F2P, but 6 months is very optimistic/pessimistic. SWTOR took 11 months. The “Free to Play in 6 month” crowd came out when it launched too.

        • neonordnance says:

          Yes we did. And just like Elder Scrolls Online, our initial excitement at seeing a classic IP adopted into an MMO rapidly turned to trepidation, then to outright despair, as successive previews showed that the resulting MMO was a bastardized, cut-down shadow of the games we loved.

          Fuck this game. A classic series deserves better. When (WHEN!) this abomination bombs, there’s a very real chance that it will push back the Elder Scrolls VI.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Actually you are wrong here.

            It’s not a bastardized anything, it IS actually far more of an SP game played online with the opinion of co-op.. and not really very similar at all to ‘classic MMO mechanics’.. And that is the problem, people are expecting this to be ‘just another MMO’ and it simply isn’t. Those who enjoyed the SP games are FAR more likely to enjoy this that those who are looking for another MMO fix.

            In this particular case, I, personally as one who in general despises MMOs, am glad of the design.

            If your disregard my opinions on other matters, you can at least regard them on this.

          • DougyM says:

            If its far more of a SP game than a regular MMO then they have a bit of a cheek wanting £9 a month to play the game.

            They only wanted 30 for the 2 and a bit years of play i got out of Skyrim and that had mods that made it much more feature packed than this will be.

            If i was to play ESO for the same amount of time i would be £50 right away and then another £200 in sub fees, without the ability to mod the game… all so that i can play in a glorified multiplayer environment?

          • Derpa says:

            RProxyOnly, I think you played a different ESO then the rest of us

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        Maybe thats going to be the new model, fleece the pre order fanboy crowd and then make it free 6 months later.

        • trjp says:

          In fairness, creaming money from early adopters isn’t a new idea – it is, in fact, how almost all tech markets work.

          I got a stack of emails from various stores offering me deals on this – but the standout one was clearly Ubisoft’s own – buy the £70 version and get AssFlag for free now.

          I’m guessing that will tempt many people.

          • Sharlie Shaplin says:

            Yeah, tell me about it. I just meant new in terms of MMO pricing models. The “Have their cake and eat it too” subscription/F2P model.

    • Jorum says:

      Slight tangent but I agree Secret World would probably have been better a single player experience. MMO aspect actively goes against the game theme and feel.
      You’ve just joined an invisible, shadowy secret world hidden amongst the mundane – wow!
      And then you go to Innsmouth and there are literally hundreds of other people running about everywhere like an amusement park. Way to break the atmosphere.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Yup every part of Secret World would have been better as a singleplayer game. Exorcise a Ghost! But you gotta way because there’s a queue to exorcise and the ghost spawns every 5 minutes. Solve the murder case! But don’t ask any of the other twenty people who’ve already solved the case. Such an idiotic game to shoehorn MMO mechanics on to.

        • mechabuddha says:

          The misses and I play this game together. We pretty much ignore every single person we encounter, making the game a nifty coop venture.

    • jonfitt says:

      For reference, in 2011 SWTOR cost:
      and monthly fees were:
      $14.99/ £8.99/€12.99

      So basically the same.

    • blackfire83 says:

      This seems to be assuming that an ESO game has a potential larger audience than a Star Wars game. Is this entirely true? Star Wars (regardless of success of past games) is a MASSIVE franchise. ESO is a massive franchise as far as games go, but does it compare to Star Wars?

      Also, I can’t be the only one who enjoys the single-player ESO games and is entirely uninterested in an MMO version. In my opinion, they missed the boat and should’ve just focused on the next single-player ESO game. Too bad I’m not on the board of directors. :/

      • Grygus says:

        They can do both; this isn’t being made by Bethesda, so doesn’t affect their single-player series.

        • MacTheGeek says:

          “Bethesda Softworks” appears in a title screen 13 seconds into the preview clip, and their name and logo appear at the end of the clip. They’re most definitely involved.

      • GROM says:

        Missed what boat? this wil be one of the first AAA mmo’s ever to launch on three (four counting mac) platforms, 2 of wich are starving for a decent MMO. The team that did Skyrim is either working on a new singleplayer ES or Fallout game, this is complementary and if they manage to get a decent amount of subs they will have made their money back in the first year.

        With a franchise as succesful as ES they would be idiots not to make an mmo

  3. Alfius says:

    I remember shelling out £30 for a boxed copy of Eve Online back in 2003 and they still wanted a tenner a month after that.

    All seems a bit mental now with digital distribution.

    • RedNick says:

      Eve is now cheaper to buy than the subscription itself

      • strangeloup says:

        Isn’t EVE currently the most expensive subscription, of the sub-based MMOs? I know you can technically play for free if you earn enough in-game spacedollars to buy PLEX, but still.

        • jacobvandy says:

          No, it’s pretty standard at $15/mo or as cheap as $11/mo if you pay several months at a time.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Unless you happen to live in Europe in which case it’s 15€ (or 20.5 $). So fuck Europe again!

  4. tk421242 says:

    I would give it a go if it was simply a one time client purchase or only a monthly fee… but with both of those costs this is most definitely a no go for me.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Exactly this. If the game were free for the first month, with a sub after that, I would jump in and try it. But to pay $50 up front…no. What tiny little bit of interest I had left for this – and it was pretty insignificant already – has officially died. Not even on the radar any longer.

  5. lautalocos says:

    for a second i thought you where going to say £50 per month.

    • jrodman says:

      They should offer Limited Edition subscriptions for this amount.

  6. bit_crusherrr says:


    TESO is dead in the water, you’d have to be fucking stupid to pay £50 for a MMO with a sub.

    • jonfitt says:

      Not defending this pricing model…but
      I refer you to my post above where I checked and SWTOR launched with the same pricing structure bar a 5 pound increase for UK customers. SWTOR is still going, so you’d have to have other data to call TESO dead at this point.

      Edit: it seems the UK version is 40 pounds, so actually less than SWTOR’s MSRP.

      • qrter says:

        Yeah, but that is with Star Wars as the franchise behind the game. Sure, The Elder Scrolls is popular, but it’s not freaking Star Wars.

        • jonfitt says:

          Perhaps. I have no data for the projected number of Star Wars fans interested in a non-film timeline MMO compared to Elder Scrolls (Skyrim) fans. I could offer some out of thin air conjecture that might agree with you, but that’s all it would be so that’s not very useful.

        • Arglebargle says:

          I know a ton of hardcore Star Wars fans. None of them play SWTOR. A decent percentage don’t game at all.

          Every Elder Scrolls fan, by nature, has played computer games.

          • jrodman says:

            it seems possible that some just watch?

            I know i enjoyed shoulder-surfing through daggerfall, and haven’t played any of them.

      • bit_crusherrr says:

        link to

        UK Elder scrolls is £50. I think TOR was £40? GW2 did this same shit, overprice to fuck but at least it didn’t have a monthly sub

        • frightlever says:

          The pre-order is forty quid on right now. Guess I’ll wait until it’s F2P or at least has a free weekend or something.

    • mtomto says:

      If TESO is the same old MMO setup in a new shell, then they might as well cash in on the hype while it’s there. Then after a year of decline, it will go f2p like the rest… and then 2 years after release we have all forgotten about another shitty MMO.

      The only MMO I currently see going in the right direction is everquest next. At least it seems like they are trying.

      • socrate says:

        its pretty much that from what ive played…its kind of stupid that this kind of scheme is getting extremely common at this point and still make money in the process because people are to stupid to face reality and think that them buying the game doesnt hurt when in fact it push people to just do this all the time basically cash in on the hype then slowly end its slow agonizing death…at least going back to WoW you’re sure you will at least have a game that doesnt die in 12 month max.

  7. Choca says:

    I can’t wait to not be able to do all those things in the game.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      Yeah, it would be disappointing if I can’t scavenge myself an almost-dead female Elf to be my sex slave after a battle.

      Still, the only way I’d not be able to see that is by paying 50 quid and that’s not happening. Maybe when the game is FTP, but until then, my fiendish Elven sex slave idea remains in my head…

      • Guzzleguts says:

        There are Skyrim mods to do all that you know. Not even joking.

        • brgillespie says:

          Fits the time period, I suppose.

          It’s like realizing that the king of the newly-established Hungary in Crusader Kings II took another kingdom’s 17 year old princess as a “concubine”. It makes one pause when experiencing it in-game as mental images float about in one’s mind, but there it is.

  8. Seiniyta says:

    I don’t have a problem with the 60 euro box purchase and 12.99 monthly cost, which has been standard for subscription mmo’s in the past. What I do have a problem with is the Exclusive Imperial race you only get when purchasing the collectors edition (or seperately afterwards surely). That’s just obscene.

    • Great Cthulhu says:

      I don’t think the Imperials are exclusive to the Imperial Edition though. The descriptions of both editions say “Play any race in any alliance”. I think the extra-expensive edition just gives you bonuses if you play an Imperial. Or maybe Imperial-themed bonuses for any race. It’s poor communication in any case.

  9. DatonKallandor says:

    There’s only very few sensible MMO pricing schemes:
    No Entry Fee + Subscription cost: This model has a very good raison d’etre for it’s subscription, that being mostly server costs since there’s no other income source to pay for them.

    Entry Fee + No Subscription: This is pretty self explanatory and perfect for the heavily instanced MMO (which is pretty much most of them). Pioneered by Guild Wars, starting to get wonky when you add a cash shop on top of it (but still viable if the cash shop is 100% strictly non-gameplay – not even gameplay-adjacent)

    Free to Play + No Subscription: Your bog standard F2P done right. If it’s really done right depends entirely on the contents of the cash shop and quality of the game.

    Here’s the model that is absolutely 100% WRONG:
    Entry Fee + Subscription + Free to Play: Fuck right off. This model is absurd because inevitably it cripples the Free players so the subscription is attractive while also kicking the player who bought the game so the subscription is attractive.

    • phelix says:

      Firstly, “reason raison d’être” is rather doubly.
      Secondly, how can an MMO have an entry fee and be free-to-play at the same time?

      • DatonKallandor says:

        They have optional fixed price purchase that covers not enough, a free option that covers even less and a subscription that’s basically required because the other two options are so cut down.

  10. tumbleworld says:

    Hahahahahaaaaa, TESCO. I seem to say that every time, but Zeni keep managing to up the Stupid levels…

  11. Geeman says:

    Here’s something to make the Europeans feel better about that pricing: broadband costs way, way more than that monthly subscription fee here in the U.S. More in the $60-70 range, at least in these parts.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      I’m in Europe and it’s basically the same. UK broadband seems incredibly cheap if it’s less than 15€ a month.

      • Geeman says:

        No kidding. Perhaps I misunderstood the line in the article, but I’d heard our pricing was high (and access low) in international terms, so I thought maybe it was worse than I knew.

    • Foosnark says:

      I pay $95 every month for broadband. (Theoretically it’s for broadband and cable TV, except that it’s impossible to get broadband where we live without getting cable TV also. It’s basic cable, and we ignore it in favor of Netflix/Hulu/Amazon.)

      • Geeman says:

        We do the same — and as a result some portion of our $72/month is an increased fee to pay for the privilege of getting broadband without cable TV.

    • Werthead says:

      Theoretically, you could get broadband in the UK from as low as £15 a month. For £35 a month I get 50mb broadband, a landline and cable TV (with a recorder box) from Virgin.

      • Foosnark says:


        Americans Paying More For Worse Internet

        So, pretty much like healthcare.

        • Baines says:

          It is even worse if you live in the country in the US. Worse service, lower bandwidth, fewer options, but the same prices.

          Of course the existing providers fight to keep it that way, and to exploit those that have few or no other options. For example, when TimeWarner considered adding strict usage caps, they only ran the tests in areas where no viable alternative provider was available. Or when TimeWarner fought to prevent a city from installing its own fiberoptic service (which the city was doing in part because of the bad service it was receiving.)

          • Arglebargle says:

            Yeah, Time Warner is Evil, with extra Evil Sauce….

            They have had an effective monopoly here for a long time, with only the far ‘burbs, and newly gentrified ‘wrong side of the tracks’ getting real competition. That is, until Google Fiber chose the city as a new test bed. I expect to see TW use crater as decent alternatives become available.

  12. witzkawumme (wkw) says:

    what saddens me is the fact that with all those resources they could have made a great and awesome Elder Scrolls VI single player game (+ coop), but the made a cookie cutter mmo with an Elder Scrolls Skin…
    the magic of Elder Scroll games for me always was exploring places and venturing deep into woods, dungeons, etc. not running down a cave with a bazillion other people…

    • Kreeth says:

      Exactly. Well, with any luck this ridiculous pricing policy will kill it off sharpish and they can get on with making a proper Elder Scrolls 6 instead.

    • Werthead says:

      It’s a completely unrelated team. Zenimax Online Studios are making the MMORPG whilst Bethesda themselves are making FALLOUT 4. I think it’s pretty clear that once FO4 is out, Bethesda will make THE ELDER SCROLLS VI. By the time that comes out, the MMORPG will either be dead or an ongoing success.

      Remember that the MMORPG is set 1,000 years in the past, and this was almost certainly done to prevent it interfering with the storyline and future direction of the SP RPGs.

      • strangeloup says:

        Theoretically the time setting should prevent clashes with the single-player series, but from trailers and promotional guff alone there’ve already been observed a substantial number of cases where the lore contradicts established material, to the extent that a lot of long-term fans are regarding the MMO as non-canon.

    • Turkey says:

      I don’t really care about the game. I’m more worried about about the smaller studios under Zenimax’s wing if this game goes to crap. Zenimax is one of the few publishers left who give risky games and developers a shot… Well, with the exception of Prey 2 :(

  13. Senethro says:

    This has to be some kind of mistake, right?

  14. TillEulenspiegel says:

    Gotta make back all that money they spent on development.

    Don’t worry, just like SWTOR and everything else, it’ll go F2P in about 12 months.

  15. Perjoss says:

    I dont see why all MMO games should be free or even free to play, £50 sounds about right considering the colossal amount of work that must have gone into this game.

    And £9 a month is a total bargain when compared to orher forms of entertainment, even if you only spent 5 hours a week on this thats 20 hours of entertainment for £9. How much would you have to fork out for 20 hours worth of cinema tickets?

    • Ich Will says:

      In the cinema though, you’re paying someone to hoover up your crumbs

    • deadfolk says:

      £9 a month? Maybe.
      €13 a month. Nope.

    • Keymonk says:

      That’d be very true if you compare with other entertainment, but we don’t need to – we can compare it with other games, which are typically cheaper.

    • Sceptrum says:

      Also remember that in later years other monthly subscriptions for other entertainment has popped up. Take myself, I pay around 10 £ give or take for Spotify, Netflix and HBO Nordic. Those give me just as much if not more entertainment than a MMO would (have a WoW sub as well).
      And having little money left after rent, electricity, internet/phone bill and groceries you sometimes have to prioritize. I know myself would keep Spotfiy, Netflix and HBO subs over any other subs.

  16. Ross Mills says:

    It’s not £50, it’s £40. (At least at Amazon and Game)

    Other comments have correct facts. No problem with the article, just want to make sure any criticism comes from a foundation of facts.

    link to

    • darkkai3 says:

      That’s the bog standard edition, we’re talking the “collectors” edition here.

      • Ross Mills says:

        No, he was saying the standard edition was £50, which isn’t true.

        “Because, blink, the standard version is a touch pricey. £50?”

        And then the collector’s edition was more. Too much for what you get.

        We’re all irritated about the subscription atop it all, though.

        • John Walker says:

          Yes, and I link to Bethesda’s online store for the game, where they are charging £50 for the downloadable version.

          That some stores are wisely discounting it doesn’t change the fact.

          • Ross Mills says:

            It just doesn’t seem fair or balanced, or honest, to not even mention this fact. Especially if the rant is about price. It’s a noticeable omission

            It’s like if I ranted that Game was selling XBoxes or PS4s for £500, when they’re just £400 at HMV. Why rant? Just go to HMV, and recommend that others do if they want a console.

    • Rosveen says:

      He is correct, the official price is £49.99. If you buy the digital edition straight from Zenimax, this is what you’ll pay. Of course, as always, some retailers decided to lower the price. It’s pretty normal. Amass pre-orders, then it will go back up to standard £50.

  17. Ergates_Antius says:

    I’m guessing that if you search through the bins outside Zenimax HQ, you’ll find loads of little glass pipes with scorch marks on them.

    • tk421242 says:

      Well Zenimax Online is based outside of Baltimore city (home of The Wire) so that would not be so unusual!

    • Foosnark says:

      I know a couple of Zenimax people.

      This is not too far wrong.

      • tk421242 says:

        I was at my local pub one day and there was a group of about 8 people and a few of them had Elder Scrolls Online logo clothing on. I simply walked up to their group and said ‘don’t screw this up’. I am not really sure if the look they had on their faces was surprise that I knew who they were… or fear because they had already screwed it up!

  18. guygodbois00 says:

    Hahahahaha…oooh, my spleen. But, seriously, no. Just no.

  19. darkkai3 says:

    I read the post about physical edition prices on the bethesda blog. $99.99, €99.99 and £89.99 for the (rather sexy, I will admit) 21″x26″ map, 12″ statue of Molag Bal and the art book, as well as a steelbook case and rather fetching imperial box.

    I wouldn’t mind (because the three main physical version items are pretty sweet), but those values don’t equate anywhere near each other, with Europe and UK being well and truly shafted at those prices!

  20. Sceptrum says:

    So, only pre-orders and CE owners get Imperial race? If not, how will people who buy the game later get hold off that? Buy separetly as some digital deluxe upgrade? Isn’t that a cash shop? Cash shop which TESO fans were still saying was not coming just a week ago.

    While other MMOs have had pre-orders and digital deluxe upgrades, today’s MMO market is different. And WoW with its sub + cash shop doesn’t sell separate races or non-cosmetic gear (and expansions are a different category).

    If anyone wants to see fanboism in action, just read the comments on TESO’s subreddit.

    • Bury The Hammer says:

      The other difference with WoW is that it’s got an established playerbase and will probably be around for a while, so it’s worth investing in if you’re enjoying the game (same with Eve). The best part of an MMO is playing with other people. If the playerbase sods off, the game loses momentum and becomes a lot less fun.

      TESO is unproven and entirely relying on “OMG ELDER SCROLLS” and a pile of cash to keep it alive. Given the graveyard of newcomers trying to claim the MMO throne throughout the years (Warhammer, Aion, SWTOR, etc) who wants to pay £50 + x per month for something that could play like arse and die in a year?

      • Moraven says:

        And most similar MMOs is like new content for the people who play daily. Lots will try this. How much people are playing 6 months later is what will be most telling. Just look at Warhammer and SWTOR numbers.

        April? I am thinking WoW expansion will come out in May after people use up their “free” month of TESO. Beta is not out yet and they announced an additional PvP season. May sounds about right.

  21. bodydomelight says:

    That left me with the same impression every other trailer for ESO has – “How can something so expensive and technically proficient be so bloody dull?” It is just things happening, selected at random.

    Nothing but people standing around posing interspersed with quick cut action-by-numbers. Like a Paul W.S. Anderson movie about cosplayers.

    • SouperMattie says:

      I have no particular reason to dislike this game, but that trailer didn’t sell it to me. It wasn’t even very good as a piece of video – the editing/cinematography was pretty awful. Quick cuts around the mayhem with far too much excited shaky-cam. I seems an unfortunate waste of your animation budget when half the video is so shaky you cannot see anything properly.

      Or perhaps that’s just me getting old and grumpy? Either way, I hope the game itself is a better use of funds…

  22. Bugamn says:

    Does the imperial horse come with imperial horse armor?

  23. PopeRatzo says:

    Probably not. I’m not saying there can not be a game that is worth almost $250 to play for a year, but I doubt that this is the one.

    And this level of squeezing every nickel out of your customer base is a little bit nauseating. I would never be comfortable playing the game.

    On the other hand, if the next regular single-player Elder Scrolls game were to be released at a $100 price point, I might take a look, but it better be awesome. But I don’t think we’ll ever see such a game because the developer gods have decided that we can’t have single-player AAA games any more. That’s too bad.

  24. SupahSpankeh says:

    Cash shop too?

    I hope not. They suck.

    • Rosveen says:

      Yup, cash shop is in. They said it’s only cosmetic items, name changes and such, but now that they’ve put a whole new race behind a paywall – which they promised not to do – we can’t be sure of anything.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Unlike SWTOR, where they genuinely did not plan for going ftp, and thus really screwed it up royally when they had to gerrymander it in, ESO has put the cash shop in place already. So they can switch over if things go south.

  25. DarkFarmer says:

    Is it that expensive? Purchase plus $15 a month is pretty standard (sorry you socialists got the shaft on the exchange rate there) for a sub MMO.

    Combine that with the fact that F2P games are actually in the business of extracting far more than that from their most hardcore users and I think you’ll find just straight sub is ultimately cheaper for the users than F2P is. Furthermore, sub avoids some of the moral conscience issues of “pay to win” strategies that emerge within the game.

    That being said, the usual “F2P in 5 minutes” argument depends entirely upon how good this game is. My brother was in the beta and enjoyed it a great deal, so it might have legs after all.

    • Thurgret says:

      I went and looked. World of Warcraft’s up-front purchase price is all of €15 these days, and that gets you a month’s subscription. The expansions cost a wee bit more, unless you just wait for them to be folded into the base game after a year or two (i.e. all of them but Super Panda Expansion so far).

      EVE has no up-front price, and also has frequent free trial schemes, or two months for the price of one for first subscriptions.

      I’m having trouble thinking of other noteworthy subscription-based MMOs that haven’t gone free-to-play.

      • Jenks says:

        Unless it was very recently changed, EVE charges for the game. You can get a key from places like Amazon or Steam, or register on their site and they charge $5 or something like that on top of the first month’s sub. This was as of the last time I played about a year ago.

        Wow is another game that’s 10 years old and still charges for the box(es).

        FFXIV charges for the box.

        I can’t think of a subscription MMO that doesn’t. I’m sure one exists but it isn’t coming to me.

        • Thurgret says:

          I subscribed to EVE for a few months in 2012. I didn’t have to pay any up-front fee that I can recall. 14 day trial and then 60 days for my first subscription. It’s possible that they change it around from time to time.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Same for me. Had a three week trial and just started a subscription on that. No upfront purchase.

            My understanding is that if you buy it on Steam for example what you’re buying is basically just a month of game time.

        • derbefrier says:

          i think the greater challenge to these F2P advocates is to name a F2P MMO you didnt quit in a month. None of the big ones are F2P. GW2 is the closest but still costs 50-60 bucks for the box(mayb e be cheaper now though) Whats left? the 100s of F2P crap that people want to seem to think is the same quality as this big AAA monstrosity? Give me a break. you get what you pay for and if you dont pay anything you get a bunch of crap(see current MMO market)

          • frightlever says:

            Rift and LOTRO are decent, certainly for more than a couple of months – though I guess that depends on how often you play.

    • urielvazquez says:

      World of Warcraft is currently charging me AR$40 (which is approximately 5 US$ right now). At least Blizzard seems to know about how many countries have devaluation and puts the price in local currency and thinking about how people are or are not going to pay for their games. I bought every single game from them because I can. But 15 dollars is like AR$ 120, which, for people having minimum wages of around AR$3000, is pretty expensive considering you have to pay food and your rent. Most services are cheaper than in the rest of the world but only because we cannot pay them and they know it, so they don’t see it as losing money but rather as earning some money they would never have gotten if they didn’t think of this pricing scheme. That’s why Blizzard has A LOT of subscribers for World of Warcraft and StarCraft II in South America, while most other subscription based games don’t simply because they are expensive for the rest. It’s not thinking as a socialist; it’s thinking about market strategies, and that’s pure capitalism.

  26. Thurgret says:

    I was actually looking forwards to giving this a go, even if it might be a bit rubbish.

    Now they’ve set the entry barrier far too high. So, yeah, nope, not happening. I’ll wait a year.

  27. tomeoftom says:

    Just don’t buy it – ‘spretty simple. It’s going to be trash, anyway. Let’s just ignore it and let it wash away into the past.

  28. kael13 says:

    My God that was boring. And soulless. And very grey.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      There’s ZERO drama in that trailer. Just people standing, things falling, all generic, all seen before thousand times.

      The trailer is so bland I had to pour salt into all orifices just in order to finish it.

  29. Flunkus says:

    ’cause crafting a game as massive and tedious as a (voice-acted, visually impressive, AAA) MMORPG and maintaining servers that host hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people simultaneously.. not to mention staff on hand to address related issues.. costs nothing at all.

    It’s $15 a month, that’s less than a single movie ticket which gets you 1-3 hours of entertainment. Christ, gamers need to stop being so damned cheap and whiny.

    • Thurgret says:

      Server costs are negligible.

      • Bury The Hammer says:

        GM team? Server maintenance team? Customer support team? Developers and artists bringing out new patch content (not expansions, content patches) and rebalancing the game? Not that I don’t get your point, but there is certainly an ongoing cost element to a game that’s not exactly negligible.

        I’d probably compare making an MMO to a nuclear power station’s economics – colossal up front expense for making it, but great margins afterwards. But it takes a long time to break even because you’ve spent so damn much trying to make the thing in the first place.

        I’d like to see an MMO that adopts Minecraft style development, though. Start off with a very basic set of features and build it up over time (does this exist? Does minecraft count as an MMO? Does Rust? etc etc etc)

        • Flunkus says:

          I’d say Rust comes pretty close to your idea. My main problem with Rust was that it ran out of content very quickly.

          Although I do enjoy playing through a game in its ‘Early Access’ state, then coming back on retail release and seeing how much has changed.

    • Atrocious says:

      Yes, I also tend to compare prices to movie tickets to let them seem reasonable, but that is mostly because movie tickets are so incredibly expensive these days.

      • Koozer says:

        Personally I use the number of Gregg’s sandwiches comparison. This game would be about three meal deals a month.

        • Don Reba says:

          One could splurge that money on a few junk meals or have healthy food for half a week.

    • The Random One says:

      A pretty compelling argument for not going to the movies.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        People still go to the movies?


      • strangeloup says:

        It gets a bit ridiculous when for the cost of going to see a film, you could just wait and buy the dvd/blu-ray off Amazon or whatever, and then you can watch it as many times as you want, free of people eating/drinking loudly, pissing about with their phones, or having your view obscured by someone with a giant hat.

        Also you can go for a wee without missing an important bit.

    • alw says:

      Yeah, moviegoers are a bunch of cheapskates too! I mean, seeing a movie is what, £12 for an hour and a half, right? Well, that’s nothing compared to throwing wads of £50 notes out of a moving helicopter, which is absolutely not a stupid thing to compare it to in any way!

    • Don Reba says:

      The goal here is not to kill as much time as cheaply as possible. Money is a cost, but so is the time spent. It therefore makes no sense to count the cost of an hour of entertainment. What we want is enjoyment, hopefully, some lasting memories, ideally, new outlook on life. And we want them cheaply and fast.

  30. Atrocious says:

    “This game costs more than the broadband connection and monthly ISP fee you’ll need to play it.”
    Unless you’re in €-land where a broadband connection costs twice of that per month. So fuck you europe, twice.

    • Captain Joyless says:

      Is internet access just magically cheaper in UK than anywhere else, then? I mean in the USA broadband connections are at least as expensive as that. Time Warner charges $15/mo for a pitiful 2 Mbps down/1 Mbps up connection with no television or phone, and almost everyone is paying more than that, if only for a faster connection.

      • SooSiaal says:

        I pay €25 for that, so yeah..

      • Sharlie Shaplin says:

        Broadband seems cheaper here, but the 150% rise in energy prices in the last decade, probably makes up for it. :D

        My next PC is going to have to be really power efficient.

  31. seamoss says:

    This arrived in my inbox while I was watching the trailer from GMG:

    The Elder Scrolls Online is coming. To prepare you for its arrival, we’ve created a fantastic unique 25% off Reward Voucher just for you! The amazing offer doesn’t stop there, if you purchase a copy of The Elder Scrolls Online you’ll receive another 25% off voucher for you to buy another copy for one of your friends – so you’re not left to brave Tamriel alone.


    This will be the best discount that’s available on this title and the voucher expires at 1600UTC Monday 3rd February, so don’t miss out!

    And the offers keep rolling in:

    [Uplay Shop] The Elder Scrolls Online NOW AVAILABLE for pre-purchase through Uplay Shop : buy Imperial Edition and get Assassin Creed 4 for free ****BEST OFFER**** / Worldwide

    I’m sure there’ll be more, so it looks like the initial purchase won’t be as painful as it would seem.

  32. The Random One says:

    “I used to be an MMO with a chance of being successful, but then I got an idiot in the finances department.”

  33. Maxheadroom says:

    I got into the beta and found it quite dull and generic, at least what I played (which admitadly wasnt much)

    Couldnt even finish the questionnaire because I’d quit before experiancing half the stuff they were asking about (crafting, lfg tool etc).
    Then today they sent me another mail saying “we noticed you didnt play beyond lv3, please tell us what made you quit” So that was nice. Would indicate they’re genuinely interested in improving it

    Course all that is moot if they want £50 + subs. Think that’ll be the deal breaker for the majority

  34. Sinderlin says:

    “Charging infinity more than most MMOs, and nearly double a standard PC game, before people can even start playing is going to be the mistake we all look back on.”

    Well that and the unimaginative art direction, ugly textures, freakish animations, the “press E to flip the lever” quests, floaty melee combat, spammy ranged combat, random changes in voice over equalizer settings and a host of other problems the game’s been burdened with.

    Gentlemen, microwave your popcorn! It’s going to be a gigantic crash.

  35. deadfolk says:



  36. deadfolk says:

    €54.99 on GMG.

    Definitely no.

  37. AngusPrune says:

    Well, that was an interesting video. I have a few questions though:

    a) Why, when a giant black hole opens in the sky and shoots inexplicably tensioned cables at you, would you stand there and watch instead of running away screaming and wetting yourself like a sensible person?
    b) Why, when a giant flesh beast covered in snotlings comes out of the hole would you engage it in combat, rather than take the aforementioned running the hell away option?

    and perhaps most importantly:

    c) What the hell did any of that have to do with anything you might actually do in the game?

    • araczynski says:

      it’s all for the endgame, to imply you’ll need to group sooner or later if you want to actually play for longer than a month or two. also to show off how its not a carebear game like some have claimed.

      all in all, i love elder scrolls games, but not going to bother with this. no interest in monthly fees or the ‘have to be logged in all the time or i’m wasting money’ feeling that monthly fee games give me.

      i’d have been much happier with a F2P model, which i have a feeling this will become later on, once everyone gets tired of the game, and moves on to everquest, back to wow.

    • socrate says:

      Trailer disclaimer: “This video is not representative of actual gameplay.”

      sorry i just had to.

    • SouperMattie says:

      d) why have a complicated chain contraption be part of your evil master plan if it’s going to fly to pieces after a single link is busted?

      My takeaway from the trailer was, “You are the weakest link, Goodbye!”

  38. BobbyDylan says:


  39. Megakoresh says:

    A pointless waste of money and talent. Instead of making a good ES game and improving on Skyrim, they waste all the money people have been giving them by purchasing a RIDICULOUS amount of Skyrim copies, on this stupid MMO. I am not an ES fan, Skyrim is the only game of Bethesda that i like, but take note those that bought several copies of skyrim, or just those who like Skyrim: this is where your money went. Are you happy?

    • Felixader says:

      I have to diagree with you here. While agree with everything you said about the ESMMO i disagree that i need to be angry about Skyrim-Moneys potentially going to thi.

      I paid that money for the Game Skyrim and i am still, over two years later having a ton of fun with it.
      They can do with that money whatever they like.

    • Grygus says:

      That seems a very strange position to me. I don’t buy games to dictate what future games will look like; I buy them for the game I’m getting for my money. I am quite happy with my Skyrim purchase, and if they spent it all on hookers and blow, that would be fine with me; they deserve to have a good time for the good time they gave me.

      Also: this isn’t a Bethesda game. It has no bearing on the Elder Scrolls series itself. Not the same team, not even the same company.

      • Megakoresh says:

        Well yeah, I guess you two are right, i paid for the game, not the future of the company. Still if I was making a particular type of games and fans loved it and supported it dearly with mods, money and various media, I would not go so against their wishes simply out of respect.

  40. Convolvulus says:

    This is like a remake of the Warcraft III teaser where the races are fighting each other but are interrupted by an unnatural gathering of storm clouds and the Burning Legion falling out of the sky. I’m not sure what to think of the corrupted Arthas guy with his skeletal horse and undead army. Maybe I’m reaching, I don’t know. You’d think a larger budget would mean more creative freedom, but all it really means is more powerful investors insisting that you copy Blizzard.

    • Felixader says:

      It is the standart for this kind of game when you want to introduce three waring factions for PVP AMD have to think of those that don’t want to PVP AND wnat to play the race of X AND the race of XX…. basically when you want to cover as much asses as possibble and have no creativity whatsoever calling the shots.
      Probably didn’t help that they put so much money into that so that it became too big to be allowed to fail. But, as we learned with other MMOs it is not big enough to not fail, althougth we have to wait and see what will happen.

      Don’t even k ow why i am so angry about this game since i never planned to play it in the first place.
      It is probably the risk to miss so much potential with this.X-P

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Oh, they were three different factions. I couldn’t tell, I thought they were just sparring, or something. Do the baddies have a motivation of some sort? Or do they just travel the universe in their stargate and beat up randoms?

    • Moraven says:

      Kinda how the Pandaria intro was. Shipwrecked Human and Orc fighting, then Chen lays the smack down to intro the pandas and the land.

      Best part of that trailer was you actually could go to that location in the game.

  41. Turkey says:

    Man, I’m so tired of the “big threat from the outside” storyline they roll out for every Elder Scrolls game now. It’s a lazy way to prevent the player from having any sort of meaningful impact on the world.

  42. Vinraith says:

    I adore TES, have bought each new release at full price and never regretted it (though it usually took mods to make them great games), but I’m not even slightly tempted by this. The last thing I want in my Elder Scrolls game is other people.

    • sPOONz says:

      Yeah, for that trailer to be more accurate the characters should have been tea bagging each other, screaming “LOLZ” at the monsters and disappearing from harms way by disconnecting.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        All the bad guys should be dead by the time the heroes get there and they have to stand around and wait for them to respawn.

  43. Shooop says:

    The stars have aligned for a failure unlike any we have ever seen before.

  44. Seafort says:

    Guild Wars 2 was £50 at launch but it had no subscription and a reasonable cash shop.

    I said I’d never pay for another P2P MMO again and the £50 asking price for TESO just sealed that.

    Good luck Zenimax you’re gonna need it :)

  45. lord0o says:

    Jean Claude Van Damme as an archer ahah

  46. geldonyetich says:

    It’s a pretty standard fee for a AAA MMORPG. Rift, Secret World, and The Old Republic are all games that did this at release before eventually scaling back to a F2P model. The only question is whether or not this is a good idea, considering the later two games suffered a lot of backlash for it. Rift was close enough to being “a better WoW” to get away with it.

    So, is this game better than WoW? Mum’s the word; beta exists to forbids disclosure before this judgement is fair. However, if it’s not, they’re just shooting themselves in the foot here.

  47. murerg says:

    now that s quite funny

    Collector Edition 99 USD & 69 GBP -> that’s an exchange rate of 1.43 (ish)

    Monthly cost 15 USD & 9 GBP -> that’s an exchange rate of 1.67 (ish)

    Collector edition should be 60GBP (ish)… or the monthly sub should be 10.5 GBP (no no no!). either or but something isn’t quite right here….

    (And the standard game is available for 38GBP at ;).. for anyone interested!)

  48. Tokyo Joe and the Bombardiers says:

    And here I thought that The Old Republic would serve as a learning experience on how not to make MMOs.

    Silly me.

  49. Greg M says:

    Corporate greed as usual…

    Dont get me wrong, the game in itself probably did cost a lot of cash but so did SWTOR… It didnt help in any way. If players dont get on board, no matter how expansive the game was to make you will end up with a flop (maybe a bit of a strong word!).

    Other than the setting, this game hasnt yet shown anything much different than any other MMORPG out there so it is hard to justify the money for it.

    The sub really bugs me to be fair. WoW and EVE are really the only 2 sub games that can justify the cost (WoW with the amazing content – EVE with the player created interaction / possibility to fund your sub by just playing). I ll definitely pass on that one, even so I wanted to give it a shot and am a massive fan of TES.

    some similarities with games like COD, or GTA;

    Game starts fairly small but with amazing promises, develops into a great game. follow ups end up being superbs until the game gets too big and become a money maker to the detriment of players. I guess it is the story of success for a development company.

  50. Bull0 says:

    Hahahaha, no.