The Elder Scrolls Online will be a subscription-based MMO, ZeniMax Online has revealed. The basic monthly charge will be $14.99/€12.99/£8.99, with players able to expect some discounts if they purchase multiple months in one go, game director Matt Firor told Gamestar.
Firor said the studio had opted to buck the increasingly popular free-to-play trend in favour of the classic MMO business model in order to make the game it set out to make and the one it thinks Elder Scrolls fans will want to play. “Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make.
"We're building a game with the freedom to play - alone or with your friends - as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content - one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support."
Firor suggested that "putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom". He continued: "The Elder Scrolls games are all about allowing the player to go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want. Just having one small monthly fee for 100% 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."
The Elder Scrolls Online offers unlimited play for the first 30 days with the purchase of the game. "We'll talk about further discounts, etc. later,” Firor added, “but for now, we are very happy to finally announce our model. It's very simple - you pay once per month after the first 30 days and the entire game is available to you."
The MMO was originally scheduled for release on PC and Mac this year, but at E3 in June, ZeniMax announced that it had been pushed back to 2014, when the game will also launch on PS4 and Xbox One.