The $15 question: Bethesda will "continually work to prove" Elder Scrolls Online sub is worth it | PCGamesN

The $15 question: Bethesda will "continually work to prove" Elder Scrolls Online sub is worth it

That subscription: the gargantuan semi-aquatic swamp monster in the room.

The Elder Scrolls Online is out now; here's our Elder Scrolls Online review.

Short of a frenzied in-app purchase adventure, you’re not going to spend more money on a game this year than you might on The Elder Scrolls Online. Its full-price box comes with the industry-standard 30 free days, but beyond that you’re travelling Tamriel on your own dollar - 15 per month, to be exact.

Bethesda’s Pete Hines expects players to “warm to” ESO’s cost once they’ve taken the game’s continent from its highest peaks - but is keen to reassure that Zenimax Online will earn that asking price over and over through “continuous” and “meaningful” updates.

“That is something we're going to continually work to prove, that you're getting value for that $15 per month,” Hines told 3news

That value’s going to come from two places: continual, granular improvements, and major content updates.

“They won't be little things,” said Hines. “They'll be regular, consistent, meaningful updates for the game that are the kind of things that players want to see. 

“Whether that's a new zone to play or a new feature that players want to see - maybe someone wants there to be a Dark Brotherhood guild they can go to with their Argonian, that's something we can add. That content can come in all different shapes and sizes.”

Hines pointed out that story content doesn’t end when characters reach level 50. ESO’s races are divided between three broad regions, and each player unlocks the other two regions once they’ve reached the end of their own alliance’s story.

“You can’t go to level 51 but you can still level the character up by continuing to improve what that character is good at,” he said. “You can take that character all the way through an alliance, start to finish, then take them and start a different alliance as a level 50, fighting not level 1 stuff but enemies that are appropriate for your level, unlocking cool new stuff you can only get to by doing that. 

“There's three alliances to play through, each of them hundreds of hours of gameplay, plus you have PvP, plus there's the new content that we're adding.”

ESO’s steep price of entry, then, represents a “value proposition” that players will only begin to recognise once they’ve spent a good deal of time crouch-jumping about Daggerfall and its environs.

“We want it to feel like a AAA game and we want to have AAA support, and a subscription will allow us to do that in a way simply wouldn't be able to with a pay-once proposition,” concluded Hines.

Bethesda are asking players to lay down upwards of $60 in the expectation that their faith will be rewarded. It’s a tough sell, and an unusual one in this age: more or less the opposite approach to MMOs like Lord of the Rings Online, which lock off later content behind paygates.

Do you think it’ll work for them? Will it work for you?

GOTW
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Belimawr avatarDog Pants avatarSax avatarVixremento avatarShriven avatarUntoldAv3nGer avatar+2
Belimawr Avatar
1277
4 Years ago

to be fair I can see this going free to play, in the beta it just gave me no reason to even want to keep playing never mind pay for it.

2
Shriven Avatar
3503
4 Years ago

Failed before it started :

And lets not expect another Elder Scrolls title until this game is canned.

2
Dog Pants Avatar
1389
4 Years ago

I think it's going to bomb terribly, and that's a shame really. The audience who will tolerate this kind of pay model has been dwindling for years, and those who remain are more than likely playing (and paying for) World of Warcraft. Personally nothing short of a majority of my friends buying it and declaring it to be the most refreshing MMO ever released would prompt me to buy the game. So it may well have lots of lovely content month on month to justify the subscription, but I'll never see it to know.

1
Belimawr Avatar
1277
4 Years ago

I do think there is space for other pay MMO's, EVE is a demonstration of that, the main thing developers and players need to realise is that you don't need WoW numbers to be viable.

but then I think the hybrid subscription model is quite good in EVE where people can sell/buy game time for ingame credits, I would put money on how it well it works in EVE being part of the reason wildstar is going a similar way.

2
Sax Avatar
156
4 Years ago

Eve is a completely different game, though. TESO seems to be just another WOW clone.

1
Azzras Avatar
1
4 Years ago

I wouldn't call ESO a WoW clone at all. WildStar major WoW clone, ESO...not so much.

1
Dog Pants Avatar
1389
4 Years ago

Indeed, and Eve doesn't charge for the client.

0
Belimawr Avatar
1277
Belimawr replied to Dog Pants
4 Years ago

it still shows a MMO can exist with a subscription, it's not the only one, it was just the first one that came to mind, but it brings up another point while most games are trying just to copy WoW it is no wonder they fail at the same payment structure but when a game can differentiate itself from WoW it can use a similar model.

it's not a problem that the people playing are stuck on WoW, the problem is the people who would be willing to pay are looking for a different game and not something that tries to emulate WoW.

2
UntoldAv3nGer Avatar
399
SolarSamurai Avatar
1
4 Years ago

Basically they saw how many hours people have poured into the Elder Scrolls series, and someone had the bright idea of charging for it. The big wigs agreed and TES Online was born.

1
Vixremento Avatar
91
4 Years ago

Don't know to be honest - however I'm not going to fall for another subscription based game again (especially at launch) unless it promises something that I really want (and sadly TESO isn't that from what I've read up until now). Instead I'm happy waiting it out for a year or so to see how it pans our (in the end though I would really have just preferred a new $60 single-player game).

0