The Elder Scrolls Online Won’t Be F2P, Requires Monthly Subscription

ZeniMax Online general director, Matt Firor, has confirmed that a monthly rate will need to be paid in order to play The Elder Scrolls Online. It had previously been speculated that the studio’s upcoming MMO would be F2P.

Subs will run $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 a month (the MMO average), each copy of the game bundled with 30 days of play-time.

When asked about adopting the traditional business model, Firor, replied with the following:

The Elder Scrolls games are all about allowing the player to go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want. We feel that putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom, and 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 was designed and developed to be a premium experience: hundreds of hours of gameplay, tons of depth and features, professional customer support – and a commitment to have ongoing content at regular intervals after launch. This type of experience is best paired with a one-time fee per month, as opposed to many smaller payments that would probably add up to more than $14.99/month any way.

And it’s important to state that our decision to go with subscriptions is not a referendum on online game revenue models. F2P, B2P, etc. are valid, proven business models – but subscription is the one that fits ESO the best, given our commitment to freedom of gameplay, quality and long-term content delivery. Plus, players will appreciate not having to worry about being “monetized” in the middle of playing the game, which is definitely a problem that is cropping up more and more in online gaming these days. 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.

With most MMORPGs opting for free-to-play models, it’s a bold move by Zenimax. The last big-name MMO to chase premium subs was Star Wars: The Old Republic. However -like Funcom’s The Secret World- player numbers began to decline within months, forcing EA to switch to F2P before the game had even celebrated its first anniversary.

Source: Gamestar


  1. I don’t think they’ll face the same problems that SWTOR did; while Star Wars is big itself, The Elder Scrolls is absolutely massive as a game series.

  2. Unfortunately being a poor student, this means that won’t be able to pick this up any more, as there’s no way I can afford a monthly subscription for a game.

  3. I only have room for one monthly subscription and that will be for FF XIV when it comes out on PS4.

  4. I think he’s right. The Elder Scrolls game always feel like a massive expansive world where you can do anything you want. If you kept being told you had to pay for this and that it would spoil that feeling. I generally hate IAP anyway for this reason. £8.99 is about what I’d have expected and I’m sure there’ll be some free access available (like WoW) to get people to try it.

  5. That’s disappointing, I assumed it would be a full price release with regular dlc add ons.

  6. I’m slightly disappointed. While I agree that the subscription model is better than the ‘pay for features’ option as SWTOR currently is, since it went F2P, I’m still not a big fan of a sub either.

    I’ve never played a game that requires a sub and thought i’m getting value for money. I suppose it’s because i’m so used to buying a game with a single payment and having full access to it.

    • Value for money is all over MMO’s… I pay 3.99 a month (Per account, i have many accounts) for an MMO i play, and in a month i clock more hours in that then i do in any console game ive ever bought. thats some amazing value. on Elder Scrolls online is a bit of a more premium game, so for the same hours gameplay(maybe) its just £9.

      When you look at value as £1 per hour (Most games dont even make that at launch) then MMO’s are full of value

      • I’m just a tight bugger with money in general so subscriptions ain’t my thing :)

        But add this sub on top of the price of the game AND a PS Plus subscription. Starts to add up.

  7. This is a shame, won’t be playing it now… I’m never going to pay a monthly fee for a game. You already pay for the game itself and the DLC, why pay monthly?

    • …and PS+ or Xbox Live. agreed it becomes too expensive when all these little costs mount up.

  8. This will stop me playing too as I don’t have the time I once had and a monthly fee on something I would be dipping in and out of is a no go. Did it with Eve but can’t anymore.

  9. There it is! I was waiting for this announcement. I’m Out!

  10. count me oot too. Thats > £100 a year isn’t it? If they charged a couple a quid a month then maybe…..

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