The Elder Scrolls Online: Subscription Model

Matt Firor reveals initial details on the revenue model for ESO


The cat is out of the bag, or the Daedra is out of the well—something along those lines.

Matt Firor, speaking to, confirmed that The Elder Scrolls Online's business model will be based on a monthly subscription fee.

It seems that the classic sub model is making a revival, with ESO joining WildStar—though WildStar also offering the C.R.E.D.D. option—in utilizing a monthly payment plan to make the game accessible to players in its entirety.


Firor, ESO's game director, explained why the sub model was seen as the best option by the ZeniMax team:

"Charging a flat monthly (or subscription) fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play. Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make."

Further more, he addressed why a la carte options that some MMOs offer with different business models didn't suit ESO:

"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."

The standard $14.99 per month will be charged—€12.99 and £8.99 for Euro and UK currency users—for access to ESO with discounts being offered if players commit to longer durations.

With the revenue model outlined, Firor added that the content cadence that the team is aiming at post-launch is "every four to six weeks," which should give Elder Scrolls devotees plenty of content at a good pace if the ZeniMax team can meet such a demanding schedule.

What's your response to this news, is this the model you were hoping for? Or are you surprised that ESO will not be buy-to-play or free-to-play? Let us know in the comments below.

Scott "Jarimor" Hawkes, Editor in Chief

Follow me on Twitter @Jarimor


Tags: News


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In the end you still must pay.
# Aug 21 2013 at 2:40 PM Rating: Decent
F2P has been a great move for game companies to get their content exposed to the market, especially in the shadow of big titles such as WoW. But in the end if you wish to enjoy all a game has to offer one must become a VIP or purchase content. I have played MMO's for numerous years and with the monthly/quarterly, bi-yearly prices remaining affordable even with inflation, I will never play a game that I wish to seriously commit to unless I pay a subscription. It supports the company and their teams that have put in thousands of man hours into making these awesome forms of entertainment. Good call Bethesda and Zenimax!

And as a side note if Bethesda/Zenimax reads these, might take note that the console players not only have to pay for their internet access but also the Xbox live subscriptions. Bringing the subscription fees down for those could help boost an increase in your overall subscriptions. Just a thought if it hasn't crossed your business teams minds :)
MMO"S went down hill when.
# Aug 21 2013 at 2:13 PM Rating: Decent
36 posts
They went from $9.99 a mouth to $14,99
MMO"S went down hill when.
# Aug 21 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
17 posts
Do you even know when that was?

Because Everquest abandoned it's $9.89 model VERY early. By your logic, MMOs went downhill before they even made it up the hill.

If my memory serves me correct, I began Everquest in 2001, and it was only shortly after that (a year maybe?) that the price was raised monthly.

Good try at pinning where they made their "big mistake" though!
Good for them!
# Aug 21 2013 at 10:18 AM Rating: Decent
17 posts
Good for them for keeping a triple A title with subscription model. I'm glad that with FFXIV, Wildstar, and ESO we might see a return to subscription models being the norm, and GOOD content being pushed out. People who thought an Elder Scrolls title was going to be F2P were borderline delusional. The game is going have polish, and going to be immersive (it's Elder Scrolls!) and deserves a subscription model.

Edited, Aug 21st 2013 7:25pm by Caligulove
Thinking they making a huge mistake.
# Aug 21 2013 at 6:08 AM Rating: Decent
8 posts
So far from what I have seen so far that this isn't a social MMO. Making it not much of service till late/end game. Paying for this single player mentality pure month that may cause bad MMO feel to veteran MMO players. To cause bail out or lonely experiences. Let's face it when MMO's start to feel shed off's it like a drippy faucet that drip slowly till it bust open to start flooding. (like WoW currently experiencing shedding 600k- 1m average subs per quarter.) I think they need establish a way to force and give a need to cause social interaction to be worth subbing. Otherwise players won't stick around to see the end content.
Drsatan FFXI Leviathan, Tombstonex WoW Gnomeregan, Dr Satan FFXIV Leviathan
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