“I told you so” is an ugly attitude, but it did seem unlikely that even a name as big as The Elder Scrolls could get away with a big-budget monthly subscription MMO in this day and age. Long-established games are still getting away with it, but this is Generation Free and it’s much harder to lure people away from the many and various online entertainments they can have without necessarily reaching deeper into their wallets. So, Bethesda’s 2014 MMO The Elder Scrolls Online is, as of March 2015, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. It’s switching to a Guild Wars-style one-off payment model for the main game, with a steady stream of paid DLC planned after that.
A subscription of sorts will remain for those who prefer to know they’re getting everything, however. ‘ESO Plus’ entails “a single monthly charge for a premium membership service, providing exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs while a member”, and everyone currently subscribing will be automatically moved to that in March. However, they can instead cancel their sub and get ‘unlimited’ access to the updated base game without spending anything else.
Anyone with an inactive account will also get access. Basically, if you bought the box at any point, you’re into Tamriel Unlimited. I don’t yet have prices for what brand new players will have to pay after the switch, I’m afraid.
This all happens on March 17, and a console version follows in June.
Here’s the final part of the CGI mini-series Bethesda have been running to promote TESO too:
More details on this whole switch-up are here.