elder scrolls online cost

Game: The Elder Scrolls Online
Content Type: Gaming News
Date: November 4, 2013

elder scrolls online costWe all knew it was coming, but Matt Firor, Game Director for ZeniMax Online Studios has made it official in a recent interview with GameStar: there will be a monthly subscription fee to play the Elder Scrolls Online. The cost? Free for the first 30 days and $14.99 per month thereafter (though Fior hinted there may be some savings if multiple months are purchased upfront).

Whether the Elder Scrolls Online cost should be free or “pay for play” has been a hot topic in the gaming community, and we’ve covered the issue recently in the Skyrim Fansite articles Elder Scrolls Online Should Be Free to Play According to Poll, and Are MMORPGs Dying? And What Does This Mean for The Elder Scrolls Online? The debate is an interesting one…

One one hand, some gamers feel they shouldn’t be expected to shell out money on a monthly basis to adventure in Tamriel — especially after having to purchase the ESO game in the first place. As of today’s date, the game is being sold on pre-order from Amazon for $59.99 (PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One systems). Paying that much money for a game and then paying a monthly fee is too steep for some players. In fact, subscription-based game models have been hammered recently as evidenced by the underwhelming membership and and outright player exodus of Star Wars: The Old Republic and the venerable World of Warcraft.

On the other hand, some gamers feel that the Elder Scrolls Online should charge a monthly subscription. The reasoning is that the monthly fees will go towards supporting the game and ensuring that only serious players take part in the MMORPG adventure. Firor touched upon this somewhat when he discussed the ESO subscription-based model:

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.

ESO is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, as evidenced by its recent Golden Joystick nomination for “Most Wanted” game. Based on everything we know, Firor and the ZeniMax Online crew have created a game worthy of the Elder Scrolls series that gamers can immerse themselves in. “You get what you pay for” is the thinking behind the proponents of the subscription-based model.

So what say you regarding the Elder Scrolls Online cost? Firor has promised fresh game content and hundreds of hours of game play. Is $14.99 a month too steep, or is the price a bargain? Would you prefer that ESO was free-to-play, even if it meant a trade-off some of the game’s features? The discussion is academic at this point though, because the $14.99 per month plan is here to stay — at least for the time being. Share your thoughts with your fellow Elder Scrolls fans in the Speak Your Mind section below, and consider joining the Skyrim Fansite if you haven’t already done so. Thanks!

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Bamzach6
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Bamzach6

This game has been in development for 6 years now? The reason WoW was able to stay afloat and continue to come out with content was due to the subscription fee. mmo’s need a good universe and in TES, ZAS has one. I want this game to do so well and that means a subscription. This was made, originally for pc gamers and they are used to this kinda fee. IDC how steep they think 15 dollars is, its not. 150 bucks a year is not bad especially if its a great game like its expected to be. If anything what ZAS could have done is allow us to use a controller on our pc’s. Sure itll be more expensive on a console, but TESO was not originally made for next gen consoles, even tho those things are like computers. Ill gladly throw my money at this game if it lives up.

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Excellent points, and I agree with what you’re saying. Personally, I too fall under the “pay to play” camp and feel that $14.99 a month is not outrageous considering the amount of entertainment value I expect to receive. With that said, I do understand the concerns of gamers that don’t feel ESO is affordable at $14.99… It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out once the game is released. If not enough gamers signup for ESO will ZeniMax rethink its pricing strategy? Time will tell.

I’m still debating on whether I want to play ESO on a PC or a new console. I’m leaning towards console, if only to justify shelling out the money for a new system 🙂

Sansa
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Sansa

I’d like to think that my money is going towards a good cause by supporting the game. ESO really has the potential to be something special, but without money the developers won’t be able to keep up with the game as they should (customer support, new content, etc.).

Derisat
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Derisat

A subscription will undoubtedly keep the game content flowing and support active. As well as deter the younger, casual, and immature gamers/spammers. Though I plan to play on PC, if I play at all. The game has already cut content and mechanics that were preached about in 2012 interviews to make room for Console Gamers. Console Gamers already will have to pay a fee to use online, on top of the 14.99/mnth I don’t see many console gamers playing the game in comparison to PC gamers.
So why even bother making it for consoles in the first place? The shared platform release is already a stigmata for many PC gamers, my self included. Why should I even buy the game if they are following a gamer model that has had limited if any success in the past? FFXII was not a huge success, neither was Defiance. Both Console Computer release MMO’s.
No one expects TSO to revolutionize gaming MMO’s, so why take a chance on an already proven rocky and unsuccessful release.
I was burned with pre-ordering SWTOR only to have it die quickly, the F2P in SWTOR is perhaps he worst model of F2P. Then there was the new Duke Nukem, GuildWars 2, MassEffect 3, etc… Companies have been tanking over hyped games so hard all over, I don’ feel confident in any developer to make a game any longer.

Ajax Winterfell
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Ajax Winterfell

I think the massive success of Skyrim compelled them to make TESO for console gamers. The crazy thing is that the subscription fee will most likely turn off these gamers. TESO ain’t Elder Scrolls VI…

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Last month we ran a Skyrim Fansite poll asking how many other ES titles gamers played besides Skyrim. The poll wasn’t scientific be any means, but I was surprised by the number of people who never played an ES title besides Skyrim (something like 33%). By making ESO available to console gamers, ZeniMax may be trying to capture this market — ride the wave of Skyrim popularity and capture gamers who normally wouldn’t be interested in MMORPGs. Thus a market-based decision to port the game to consoles.

Sansa
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Sansa

I’m such an ES fangirl that I’ll pay the subscription fee, but I’m hoping to save money by paying for 6 months up front. I’ll also most likely drop my Netflix account and channel the savings towards ESO. I figure I won’t be watching as much TV when the game comes out anyway.

I know that some Skyrim fans say they won’t pay to play ESO. Maybe they’ll change their minds after signing up for the free 30 day trial?

Brandon
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Brandon

I’ll try the 30 day trail period when it comes out but if it doesn’t deliver then I’ll give this game a miss. Was really looking forward to it but a monthly subscription??? Surely they could find a way to make money instead of charging that. :/

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Hi Brandon, you’re not alone in your thinking. The subscription fee really is a turn-off for a lot of gamers and Elder Scrolls fans. If not enough players sign on, will ZeniMax Online change their stance and either lower the subscription fee or do away with it altogether? It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out this year.

Brandon
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Brandon

I definitely think they will rethink this, because seriously I saw the voting poles and lets say it does not look very well for ESO if they do what the majority of their potential customers don’t want. SO….I’m holding thumbs that they just drop away the monthly subscription.

Derisat
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Derisat

Well after this last beta in November of 2013, I can say i will not be getting ESO. It falls short in every area where an MMO should be strong in. I can not go into details because of the NDA, but my friends who BETA’d as well feel the same. ESO has a lot, and I mean A LOT to do if they want to be successful, in fact starting from scratch wouldn’t be too far off. Since they won’t do that this late, it’s certain the game will have low user reviews post release despite IGN’s payed off high review score that we’ll obviously get. It should have been a single player Elder Scrolls Release.

DU Ly
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DU Ly

let me sign up at all so they make it Free to Play. $60 for the game? No thanks! And on top of that $15 per month? I would have to think about this careful now. Paying a monthly fee meaning that you have to be pro active otherwise you’re throwing money away. And the game said, “Play in anyway you want”… sound very contradicting. I want to play it whenever I want to. But I won’t be able to do that since i’m paying a monthly fee. I’ll have to be pro active and serious, and i’m not! I can’t be! Don’t have time for that. I won’t be able to play this game at all regardless how good it is. Just not an option for me.

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Hi DU Ly — thanks for your comment. You bring up good points, and the ongoing cost for ESO is definitely a deal breaker for a lot of gamers. At $14.99 a month, you’re really making a commitment with your money and time. With the subscription fee, ESO can’t be played casually. It’ll be interesting to see if the “pay-to-play” model stands over time.

Cameron McNeff
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Cameron McNeff

So I don’t mind a monthly fee, as long as it isn’t as expensive as it is right now. I am a huge elder scroll fan but for $15 a month, I don’t have that money. If they lowered it to maybe about $4.99 I might buy it but for that much no.

Kayla
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Kayla

What really sucks for us Xbox One gamers is that we already pay for online features so charging to play an online game on console seems a bit much. I can understand charging on PC but on console too? I pay monthly for internet service and yearly for Xbox live…it gets pricey. I mean as a huge Elder Scrolls fan I shoveled out the money to get an Xbox one for this game because our computer barely even runs Facebook games and I’ll be somewhat disappointed if my husband tells me I can’t play TESO because of another fee.

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Hi Kayla, thank you for your comment, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. ZeniMax wrangled a deal with Sony to overlook the PlayStation Network fees for PS4 gamers, and they were trying to get something similar in place with Microsoft for Xbox Live. As far as I know, they haven’t been successful yet, but there’s still time before the June 2014 game release. I have to believe that a deal will be worked out for the sake of both companies and their fans. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Ladd
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Ladd

I was really upset when I heard that they were going to charge 14.99 a month to play the game. I told my husband that he had to go back to gamestop and get a refund for the game. Paying 99 dollars for the game and the 14.99 a month is a little outrageous. Especially since us xbox one players already pay a yearly xbox live membership. I hope they get this figured out before the game comes out. I have a strange feeling that it is going to disappoint a ton of people.

bigbearchaseme
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bigbearchaseme

Im pretty stoked abot ESO, but as a console gamer on xbox one , im going to have to pay for xbox live, as well the monthly fee for ESO. and that’s a little ridiculous. on top of the 60 bucks for the game.

Shane Scarbrough
Guest
Shane Scarbrough

I’m still hoping a deal can be worked out with Microsoft to waive the Xbox Live fees. A deal was worked out with Sony…

Kevin
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Kevin

Hi Shane,im curious to know what deal was worked out exactly for the ps4 players?

Kevin
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Kevin

Thank you (in advance) 🙂

Shane Scarbrough
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Shane Scarbrough

Hi Kevin, ZeniMax Online Studios worked a deal with Sony so that PS4 players won’t have to pay for PlayStation Plus in order to play Elder Scrolls Online (PS4 players still have to buy the game and pay a monthly subscription to ZeniMax, but no extra fees for PlayStation Plus). As it stands today, PS4 has a big advantage over Xbox One as far as playing ESO on a next-gen console ins concerned. An Xbox One gamer has to buy the game, pay the monthly subscription, and pay a monthly fee for Xbox Live as well. Hopefully things will change before the game is released in June. Keeping my fingers crossed!

If you’re interested, you can read more about the Sony/PS4 deal here: http://skyrimfansite.com/playstation-plus-is-not-needed-for-elder-scrolls-online/

Anarchy
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Anarchy

i think that there should be certain places and a lvl cap that u HAVE to pay to get to but there should be areas that are just free-to-play other than that ESO looks freaking awesome and i can’t wait to get it and start playing. Judging by the videos I’ve seen 5 stars definitely.

blackwood13
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blackwood13

I adore TES, and have Beta-tested the last round in late February/early March 2014, and let em tell you, I am VERY disappointed about the $15/month fee, and do not plan on playing until the fees go down or are eliminated. The game still had SERIOUS issues for both me and my nephew (who is not going to be playing unless its free or improves MAJORLY), as he is the one who was a beta-tester first and invited me. The biggest issues we had was that since we chose different alliances, we apparently couldn’t meet up in the world. I had issues w/ graphics (my machine meets the minimum requirements, and even over that, but not the recommended), specifically with interactive items and people being blue! Plus the tons of other players running around me, getting to items/situations before I did and my having to wait to slip in to get anything done…well, I’m chalking THAT up to the Beta experience.

I play the LotRO game, and I do indeed pay money for Turbine points, but *I* choose what months to pay, how much and then what those points are spent on. I’m not sure if, like LotRO, you get any ‘perks’ when you subscribe or if you just get access to play, and I’d like to know. The ESO website is horrible when it comes to giving ANY information like this…I had to come here to see what the price was for monthly access! (Because the Beta-testing experience turned me off so much that I hadn’t even THOUGHT about the game until just now; went to the ESO website and like I said, I couldn’t get any info on prices there.)

Has anyone been playing there? How is it IYO?

Kim

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