Bethesda Exec Defends Elder Scrolls Online's Subscription Model

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15$ a month is an absurd asking price, no matter what the level of content is. They're basically asking you to buy the game 3 extra times a year (15x12=180). Plus they have an in game microtransaction shop. Its ludicrous.

I've greatly enjoyed the beta sessions, but not 15 bucks a month enjoyed. Until they redo their subscription model, no sale.

Karadalis:
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It makes it easier to live on the internet if you add "in my opinion" to the beginning of every sentence as you read it.

My opinions are based on observation of multiplayer games for well over a decade and having a basic understanding of costs of game development and maintaining multiplayer games.

But since you bring up examples let's turn the question around.
Can you name an AAA MMO developed and marketed for F2P that has rolling influx of meaningful content and a steady player base?
Can you name an AAA B2P MMO that gets significant content updates and keeps the players after they burn through the first couple hundred hours of release content?

People work for money and that money has to come from somewhere, a microtransaction store is a scale that can't be leveled in a way that can fund proper development for a high quality game.

Whether a game is financially "Successful" means nothing to players. SWTOR was very financially successful due to initial sales, and then a couple months later after 4/5 of the playerbase dropped their subscriptions they had to grasp the F2P rope.
At the rate they're making money with the current, terrible F2P model they'd get their investment back in a decade, and that's without further development costs.

The only F2P MMO of any relevance I can think of from the top of my head is Neverwinter, and damn that one sucked so bad.

Karadalis:

1 month free is industry standard and part of the initial buy price of ESO too.

Did i mention you can buy their premium currency with ingame money? The exchange is expensive as hell but its still possible to access the real money stuff simply by playing the game... if you have the time and patience that is.

It's also worth noting most MMOs offer a 7-14 days trial you can use right away, making the initial play time after buying the game up to 44 days.

Buying premium currency for gold can also be turned the other way, meaning buying gold for real money. So farming gold to buy in game currency is essentially work, only at <10% of minimum wage.

Brian Tams:
15$ a month is an absurd asking price, no matter what the level of content is. They're basically asking you to buy the game 3 extra times a year (15x12=180). Plus they have an in game microtransaction shop. Its ludicrous.

I've greatly enjoyed the beta sessions, but not 15 bucks a month enjoyed. Until they redo their subscription model, no sale.

That's because they're supposed to add 3 times worth of initial content during that year. It's not supposed to be a way to keep game content hostage, but a way keep building the game.
The alternative is what applies to any one time payment MMO:
- "Wow, this game is awesome! Best money spent ever!"
2 months later
- "Wow, this game sucks! There's nothing to do!"

Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

They're asking for my money for this game in every single possible way they can and they expect me to buy into any bullshit about how they think it's worth it? No game is fucking worth that much money. I might play it if it just had the flat fee or the subscription fee. I would still probably play it with both. Having to deal with the collectors addition would be a definite turn off, since that proves that they don't give a fuck that I'm already paying them loads of money, if they can hold something back in order to get me to pay even more they'll fucking do it. Finally, adding in microtransactions is the last straw.

If I pay $60 and an additional $15 a month I expect to be able to get every fucking thing available in the game. Saying "You should pay that much because it'll mean we'll keep adding shit." doesn't make me feel much better when they keep on proving that I'll probably have to pay for that shit again! Mark my words, most of the 'updates' they'll release for this game will be in the form of new stuff you have to buy from the in game store or in the form of paid expansions. Nothing "free" for the people already paying $15 a month to keep playing.

Hawkeye21:
1) You have to pay 60$ to buy it
2) You pay 15$ a month to play it
3) It has a real money shop in game
4) Some content is locked behind a paywall (aka collectors edition)

It's pretty obvious they are milking it for more than its worth. After playing beta for 4 hours, I was so bored, I don't think I would be picking it up after it goes f2p 6 months from now.

5) 30 gig base download
6) more content means more space required
7) more space (may) means more money needed

I played the beta for a couple of hours and afterwards I said to my mate, "So how long you think this'll take to become free to play?". The game looks as good as DC Universe Online, and plays about as well as it.

That Dragonskin power was fucking metal though, kept me entertained for a bit.

While I've played ESO a few beta weekends so far and have absolutely no love for it (go Wildstar!), I don't think I understand the hate for sub fees.

I've played a sub fee for WoW since pretty much day 1. That's a ton of money I've put into the game. Lookin at the total amount of money I've spent on sub fees is pretty staggerin, plus expansions and whatnot. Think its about 1700 dollars total. Yet I'll never say that was money wasted because I've gotten so much playtime out of that money. Every 15 dollars I spend per month gave me anywhere from 10 hours of enjoyment (really slow times where I only raided) to anywhere up to 5 full days of entertainment (real time, I spend a lot of time on WoW sometimes). I can't think of many games I've played that can match that kind of money to enjoyment ratio as WoW does. Even games I've sunk 100+ hours into don't match that because at the end of the day they have a shelf life where there's just no new content unless I pay for some horribly overpriced dlc.

Now, will ESO's sub fee be justified like WoW's? Probably not if the game is anythin like it was before when I played, but that doesn't mean the sub fee is a bad idea. It just means ESO isn't worth its sub fee in the long term. Especially since the end game is next to nonexistent in that game.

Though that does bring up a point I've been wonderin. Whats the point of a sub fee if there's nothin to do at max level? SWTOR had this same issue where you get to max and you just sorta twiddle your thumbs wonderin what to do. I know ESO isn't meant to have any sort of end game while TOR was supposed to but didnt, but that feels like it makes it worse.

Nytkin:
Come on.

You said, "the $14.99 subscription will be pricier than other MMORPGs,"

All MMORPGs that do have a sub fee, charge that, and they have been for 10+ years.
That's zero inflation in a decade. Try finding that on any other commodity in the marketplace today.

You say a subscription fee is fool-hardy, but I say it is foolhardy to ignore the elephant in the room: Blizzard's MMORPG behemoth - World of Warcraft (WoW)- which has continually boasted (for ten years in November 2014) high PAID subscription levels ($2.3 billion in subscription revenue reported in 2013.)

Seems like Bethesda and Zenimax are market savvy, taking a page from Blizzard's book. And I bet they will do quite well as a result of this smart business move.

The people who qq (cry) about it not being free to play can go satisfy themselves with lesser quality games...

Just saying.

You think taking a page from Blizzards big book of MMOS is a smart move? Do you not know of the army of MMOS that have done exactly that and, one after another, failed horribly? The people who "qq" as you put it, about the monetization scheme will indeed satisfy themselves with "lesser quality games" (those pleabs!). And when they do, and TES:Online has a meager subscription base left after hemorrhaging players to these games, they will do what nearly everyone not named Blizzard has done.

If Bethesda are actually market savvy, what they have done is built in a backbone for transition between the subscription model and the F2P model, and based on the fact that they already have an in game real money shop (or so I hear) I'm willing to bet that's precisely what they have in mind. If history is any lesson to us, they will milk the subscription model as far as they can, and then introduce a dual F2P and sub. monetization scheme, ala TOR.

He can say whatever he wants, but in this day and age- not many people- especially the college to young adult demographic is or has the money to spend $60.00 on a game, only to pay a $15.00 a month subscription fee, to play an MMO that has microtransactions in it. Especially when the parent company Bethesda only charges $60.00 for a game that can provide me with a fuck ton of content and fun for hundreds upon hundreds of hours.

Alandoril:

GAunderrated:

faefrost:
I have no problems paying for a worthwhile subscription game. I actually prefer it over ftp item shop and paywalled games.

This game has FTP item shop and it has a paywall with pre-orders and unlocking all the classes. It's not the fact that this game is a subscription that's a problem but the fact that it abuses all 3 categories at the same time

The only major thing in the collectors edition is the Imperial RACE, not CLASS.

It doesn't matter. If I'm not mistaken you could play that race for free in every other elder scrolls game that existed. There is no reason to put a race behind a paywall. Granted that doesn't matter to me since I like to play as the Khajitt anyway.

Isalan:
Seems like the gist of this is "Give us money, and I'll give you these questionable promises!"

Huh? It's a monthly subscription. It's the epitome if "If we don't keep up our end of the bargain you can stop paying us". Giving large amounts of money up front like requiring a year-long subscription would be an example of what you're saying but this isn't that.

Mister Chippy:
They're asking for my money for this game in every single possible way they can and they expect me to buy into any bullshit about how they think it's worth it? No game is fucking worth that much money.

What has changed between WoW and now?

Neverhoodian:
Getting killed by a Greater Bonewalker or dragon is one thing, but I'd rather not have an Elder Scrolls experience where I'm ganked by someone named "XxxGangtsavenom420xxX."

With the much touted fight-for-the-throne PvP thing, I'm personally waiting for the first time the game informs everyone in giant raid text that Emperor Butts has taken command of the Empire. All hail Emperor Butts.

With regards to the subscription model...eh. I'm going to re-state some of what I've said before. I don't think ZeniMax Online quite knows what they're doing here. About all I'm sure of is that it'll be a game. It might even be one whose collective fanbase will support an MMO despite it's flaws.

I don't think they're greedy though. Just blind and overconfident.

Lightknight:

Mister Chippy:
They're asking for my money for this game in every single possible way they can and they expect me to buy into any bullshit about how they think it's worth it? No game is fucking worth that much money.

What has changed between WoW and now?

Absolutely fucking nothing. I don't play WoW either.

Only difference is that WoW has actually managed to prove that to many people (again, not me) they are in fact worth the crazy ass amount of money they charge. TESO hasn't done that yet.

This game is a cynical cash grab. Take a middling mmo already in development, put elder scrolls on the box, implement every payment model possible, and then rake in the profit from all the rubes with more money than brains who care more about the trademark than the quality of the product.

Czann:
Final Fantasy XIV also has a subscription model even after the disastrous initial launching. They are making money.

The difference is that FFXIV is good.

I played through several betas of ESO. It just...Doesn't interest me. The design is muddy (brown = real), the crafting is silly, the items all look the same, and the skill system - While interesting - doesn't feel like an elder scrolls game at all.

Also, the FOV for first person seems locked to some teeny tiny migraine inducing level. The third person camera is pretty yuckers, so you sort of have to make a choice.

Karadalis:
(wich you wont need if youre not a compulsive twink maniac that needs over 6 characters) Boost items to level faster, costumes, shiny mounts and vanity pets and some other stuff you dont really NEED to enjoy the game to its fullest.

To be fair though one of the biggest things about the Elder Scrolls series is that a lot of people roleplay their OC's with them. Along with having their own background story and what not. It's all really fun. Which is why you often have people vying for 6+ slots for their characters in MMOs.

Lightknight:
Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

The issue isn't so much the subscription itself, but the heavily additional costs as well.

Someone like me would not be willing or really able to throw in that kind of cash into an MMO that hasn't really proved itself.

It's not very bright to see that you pay $60.00 upfront for the actual game, with a $15.00 a month subscription charge a month, and on top of that they add in game transactions and block additional content like race behind a paywall.(according to previous users) No thank you. I'll just wait for Bethesda's next big hit (please be in Elsewyr)

After playing the beta extensively I actually agree with him.

BUT I also know a lot of people don't.

I know 5 people have played the beta at some point (Including me).

But out of those 5 people only I'm gonna stick around and pay a sub, with one person saying they may buy the game and occasionally buy time cards.

That's a 20 or sort of 40% retention rate in players approximately. That's not a good outlook.

Dragonbums:

Lightknight:
Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

The issue isn't so much the subscription itself, but the heavily additional costs as well.

Someone like me would not be willing or really able to throw in that kind of cash into an MMO that hasn't really proved itself.

It's not very bright to see that you pay $60.00 upfront for the actual game, with a $15.00 a month subscription charge a month, and on top of that they add in game transactions and block additional content like race behind a paywall.(according to previous users) No thank you. I'll just wait for Bethesda's next big hit (please be in Elsewyr)

You don't really need to pay that 15 dollars a month though. Buy the game at 60, play it the first month, then decide if you want to keep payin the sub fee since the first month is free.

Even if you only play it for an hour a day, thats still 28+ hours of game time out of a 60 dollar purchase. I've done that with a lot of MMO's over time and its never really been a huge hassle. Most of them I never stuck with past the first month either, but I got more than enough play time out of it to justify the 60 dollars up front.

shintakie10:

Dragonbums:

Lightknight:
Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

The issue isn't so much the subscription itself, but the heavily additional costs as well.

Someone like me would not be willing or really able to throw in that kind of cash into an MMO that hasn't really proved itself.

It's not very bright to see that you pay $60.00 upfront for the actual game, with a $15.00 a month subscription charge a month, and on top of that they add in game transactions and block additional content like race behind a paywall.(according to previous users) No thank you. I'll just wait for Bethesda's next big hit (please be in Elsewyr)

You don't really need to pay that 15 dollars a month though. Buy the game at 60, play it the first month, then decide if you want to keep payin the sub fee since the first month is free.

Even if you only play it for an hour a day, thats still 28+ hours of game time out of a 60 dollar purchase. I've done that with a lot of MMO's over time and its never really been a huge hassle. Most of them I never stuck with past the first month either, but I got more than enough play time out of it to justify the 60 dollars up front.

Not for me. I can buy a regular non MMO $60.00 game and get weeks, months, and years out of it. There is no benefit to spend $60.00 on an MMO game with the hope that I may be invested in it for more than 3 days. That to me is complete bullshit and a complete waste of time on me who took the effort to go to GS and buy it, the retailers who have me the game after purchase, etc. etc. I'm not gonna waste my time and money for that.

So from what I've seen of ESO; I'm interested, mostly because of the PvP. Or I would be if it wasn't a full priced retail + subscription. Why would I pay that, when my two most played games of 2014 are Crusader Kings II and Bloodbowl (which I bought a year ago) and neither of them cost me more than £20? If it was free-to-play or at the least cheaper retail & cheaper subscription, then I would probably snap this up. But with the pricing model as it is? absolutely no way am I getting this, I can do my gaming and still enjoy it for far cheaper thank you very much.

Yeah... No.

As much as I like subscription based MMO's, the more stable game, reliable updates, bug fixes, content patches etc., are all really nice.

It's just that after playing the beta, I just don't see a game worth subscription. Sure I had fun playing it and if it was a one-time purchase with a cash shop for some cosmetic trinkets and small non-power effecting boosts then I'd be all for it, I'd buy it straight away and could see myself playing it for several months at least.

Justify it all you want by saying "We'll use the sub fee to release constant big updates!" the fact remains that I just don't think the gameplay is worth a sub fee, especially if it wants to compete with other sub based MMO's I'm currently playing (Like WoW, which while it will be incredibly stale for the next few months before WoD the gameplay and socializing I can do justifies the cost)

VaporWare:

Neverhoodian:
Getting killed by a Greater Bonewalker or dragon is one thing, but I'd rather not have an Elder Scrolls experience where I'm ganked by someone named "XxxGangtsavenom420xxX."

With the much touted fight-for-the-throne PvP thing, I'm personally waiting for the first time the game informs everyone in giant raid text that Emperor Butts has taken command of the Empire. All hail Emperor Butts.

With regards to the subscription model...eh. I'm going to re-state some of what I've said before. I don't think ZeniMax Online quite knows what they're doing here. About all I'm sure of is that it'll be a game. It might even be one whose collective fanbase will support an MMO despite it's flaws.

I don't think they're greedy though. Just blind and overconfident.

I'll repeat what I said. Even if they know that they'll have to go free to play, they still stand to get more money at launch if they start with this subscription base.

First few months, lots of subscriptions. Once they taper off they switch to free to play just like everyone else. They could get lucky and be the next WoW with sustainable subscriptions. I will say that I do prefer their universe to WoW's.

Dragonbums:

Lightknight:
Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

The issue isn't so much the subscription itself, but the heavily additional costs as well.

Someone like me would not be willing or really able to throw in that kind of cash into an MMO that hasn't really proved itself.

It's not very bright to see that you pay $60.00 upfront for the actual game, with a $15.00 a month subscription charge a month, and on top of that they add in game transactions and block additional content like race behind a paywall.(according to previous users) No thank you. I'll just wait for Bethesda's next big hit (please be in Elsewyr)

You just buy the game at $60 assuming the reception is good (don't buy early in that case) and then play it for a month. If the game hasn't earned your business then no additional cost would be incured since the first month is free.

Then how would it be any different from a game you purchased that you got tired of? If you really like it then you continue paying for it and are no worse off.

There are precious few games that I've played more than a month. Several of those few games have been elder scrolls games.

It's 120$ after 4 months.
You can't possibly create content amazing enough to justify this in this day and age, mr "horse armor".

This is hogwash. Sure, you can "defend" the subscription fee, but why do you need to? Its been evident that the 15$ a month fee is to fund further development, EQ did it, WoW did it, every MMO thats even been released had this model at one time or another. Sure there are a few that come out F2P instantly, or B2P, but they fund themselves via sales of the product and the in-game store stuff.

Here's whats wrong with ESO:

60$ for the Box, or more of you get the Imperial Edition. Includes a free month.
15$ per month to continue playing after the first month, usually you have to register a payment method initially anyway and then opt out of actually paying further, otherwise they usually automatically bill you even if you stopped after that month.
In-game store. No, this is a bad idea. For one its not necessary, you cannot offer convinience, like leveling faster when you already pay a monthly sub to begin with. You also cannot sell luxury stuff like store-exclusive vanity clothing when by default everything IS paid for by the subscription unless said subscription automatically includes points or whatever you can spend in the store on top, see LOTRO for an example.
Pre-order bonus. This is dumb. First why would the option to play any race in any faction be a pre-order incentive if the whole point was that the races dont get along and therefore fight? Either dont have it or make it standard by default. Further Imperials being exclusive to the Imperial Edition..this is dumb again because this could actually be a simply pre-order bonus rather than being tied to the deluxe version.

And the biggest failure, your lore. Dominion makes somewhat sense. You can even argue the Covenant to a degree. Ebonheart does not make sense in any way. Nords HATE Dunmer, the only reason they ever worked together, which by the way was just a CEASE FIRE, was because of the akaviri invading. They would not work together, likewise the Dunmer have repeatedly waged war against the Argonians AND have enslaved a sizeable part of their population, they would under no circumstances work together.

It would be much easier if factions were instead split into 5. Altmer+Bosmer, Argonians+Khajit, Nords+Imperials, Redguard+Bretons and Dunmer+Orsimer. Or change the setup to Covenant being Nord, Redguard and Breton. Dominion being Altmer, Khajit and Argonians and Ebonheart being Dunmer, Orsimer and Bosmer. At least these races would have incentives and reasons to work together happily against the others, the only reason your factions are setup the way they are is because you were too lazy to actually stick to the lore and went with "their lands have to touch". Further Tamriel is tiny, if you want to make ALL of Tamriel playable, make each zone as big as a singleplayer experience, if you can play Skyrim for 80 Hours, then i should be able to spend 80 hours having fun in Skyrim in TESO. You can expand the game and its zones after you release the game, LOTRO being the example there, Rohan wasnt in from the start, neither was Moria, or Lothlorien or Mirkwood, these were added later on, with increased levelcaps and new content, you can equally limit the initial areas to ONE zone, such as High Rock or Hammerfell, Skyrim or Morrowind and Summerset or Valenwood depending on faction, then add the rest of the zones later, full of new content to keep players playing.

As it stands, this game is already a trainwreck and it hasnt even left the station yet. And if you think your IP is going to save you, Star Wars was a bigger IP, it didnt save SWTOR either.

While the subscription is too high and I don't agree with cash shops the sub model is the only way forward in games like these, I don't understand while people moan, you actually have something you can hurt them with if they don't fix/make content. The F2P model is killing gaming it focuses everything on what they can sell you and the fact is the F2P model is actually more profitable for them.

Years ago we happy playing games like Everquest, World of Warcraft and Dark Ages of Camelot for example paying a subscription fee but I feel people have been breastfed this entitlement to free games and access, if you don't want to pay don't pay.

The F2P model is also a total con if you really like a game you want to experience it all which means you have to pay and people normally end up paying a lot more than $14.99 a month to do so if they admit or not. People can shout from their ivory towers about never spending a cent on a F2P and well done you didn't fall into the exploitative trap that F2P is but people do, a lot more people who ever admit to it and that's why it's a multi billion dollar industry on mobile platforms and I don't want it's cancer near mainstream gaming.

Hawkeye21:
1) You have to pay 60$ to buy it
2) You pay 15$ a month to play it
3) It has a real money shop in game
4) Some content is locked behind a paywall (aka collectors edition)

Yup this right here is the reason why I am boycotting it as well. Truly cynical triple dipping.

This is a price gouging cash grab if ever there was one, and I will not be a part of perpetuating that, so I vote with my wallet.

Now if the game ONLY had a sub fee attached, no cash shop, no buying the box, just download, pay a sub fee and play, I might have considered it, assuming the game was any good. I'd rather pay sub fee than microtransactions. But this "all the monetization models all at once" approach just no, never going to happen.

The problem I have with subscription based MMOs is everything in them is designed to take an excessive amount of time to accomplish (with WoW's do-this-every-day-for-a-month dailies leading the charge).

Since my friends aren't interested I think I'll be sitting this one out.

Phourc:
The problem I have with subscription based MMOs is everything in them is designed to take an excessive amount of time to accomplish (with WoW's do-this-every-day-for-a-month dailies leading the charge).

I think that goes with pretty much all MMO models. Heck F2P with cash shop are often the worst offender here, as they often make the game grindier so you have to buy boosts just to get it back to regular MMO grind curve.

I guess the pay-once model are the only ones that aren't incentivized to do this, and then only if they don't have a cash shop.

KaZuYa:
While the subscription is too high and I don't agree with cash shops the sub model is the only way forward in games like these, I don't understand while people moan, you actually have something you can hurt them with if they don't fix/make content. The F2P model is killing gaming it focuses everything on what they can sell you and the fact is the F2P model is actually more profitable for them.

Years ago we happy playing games like Everquest, World of Warcraft and Dark Ages of Camelot for example paying a subscription fee but I feel people have been breastfed this entitlement to free games and access, if you don't want to pay don't pay.

The F2P model is also a total con if you really like a game you want to experience it all which means you have to pay and people normally end up paying a lot more than $14.99 a month to do so if they admit or not. People can shout from their ivory towers about never spending a cent on a F2P and well done you didn't fall into the exploitative trap that F2P is but people do, a lot more people who ever admit to it and that's why it's a multi billion dollar industry on mobile platforms and I don't want it's cancer near mainstream gaming.

For me I don't dislike the pay to play model, the problem I have is with how they are doing it with having a subscription and a marketplace. If they decided to remove the marketplace (The Imperials and probably other things) would be available to everyone I wouldn't have a problem, but when they lock a feature like The Imperials behind a storefront and then want me to pay $15 a month as well its when I get annoyed. I have the same problem with World of Warcraft and their mounts and pet from a store as well.

The other problem I have that isn't exclusive to Elder Scrolls Online is I didn't like the game so even if they were to go free-to-play I probably wouldn't want to spend the bandwidth again.

i always liked the idea of optional subscriptions that add certain benefits and have always been againsted subscription models themselves, for me its Either the way Guild wars 2 did, or Free to play, with Either optional Subscription or just a shop

The exec should take quick peek at what Guild Wars 2 has been doing. Granted about 50% of the living world before january was kinda boring, the more recent patches have been awesome and all that WITHOUT a sub fee. Not to mention GW2 is a ton more fun. I really tried to get into the game when I played the beta. I really did (because of my blind maniacal love for the elder scrolls franchise starting with morrowind) but I got so damn bored.

Played the beta. It's a very competent, pretty, and enjoyable game. However, I cannot justify paying monthly. Too much factors in here.

Firstly, there are other draws on entertainment, including other games, movies, books, etc. At a monthly fee, ESO will be competing against all things at all times. This is opposed to a "buy once" model, for standard non-MMO's or MMO's like Guild Wars. Here, you only have to convince me of purchase ONCE, not every freaking month.

Secondly, I already have 2 MMO's that don't require monthly fees, and they are adequate for whenever I don't feel like my consoles.

Thirdly, I am cheap, and do not have the time to make such an investment worth my time. At that point, ESO would be cutting into time allotted for school or work.

Fourthly, part of the fun of the Elder Scrolls, for me, had been mod content and customization. I probably spent more time sifting through mods than actually playing the damn game! Necessarily, that experience will be lost in an MMO setting.

On the other hand, I would be willing to pay...say...$100 a year, much like I once paid $50 for XBOX Live (don't play MP anymore). I know $180/year isn't much worse, but it's still more than I am willing to pay, especially for a game I cannot keep and add to my library on the shelf.

Lightknight:

Dragonbums:

Lightknight:
Eh, even if they fully planned to go free to play, it still makes sense to start off with a subscription. Not starting off that way would be throwing away money.

However, if it actually gets popular enough for subscriptions to sustain it then they'll stay that way and happily so. Having played the Beta I can say that this is actually possible. I loved the beta and have purchased the game already. But we'll see if I continue to subscribe.

The issue isn't so much the subscription itself, but the heavily additional costs as well.

Someone like me would not be willing or really able to throw in that kind of cash into an MMO that hasn't really proved itself.

It's not very bright to see that you pay $60.00 upfront for the actual game, with a $15.00 a month subscription charge a month, and on top of that they add in game transactions and block additional content like race behind a paywall.(according to previous users) No thank you. I'll just wait for Bethesda's next big hit (please be in Elsewyr)

You just buy the game at $60 assuming the reception is good (don't buy early in that case) and then play it for a month. If the game hasn't earned your business then no additional cost would be incured since the first month is free.

Then how would it be any different from a game you purchased that you got tired of? If you really like it then you continue paying for it and are no worse off.

There are precious few games that I've played more than a month. Several of those few games have been elder scrolls games.

I still don't want to expend that kind of effort. When it comes to buying games sans for a couple of franchises that have proven time and again that they are worth the first buy I always wait a week or so for what other people have said about the game.

On that note yes it is very different. The latter is me wasting my time and money buying a $60.00 game I didn't give two shits about after day 1. The other is me spending fuck ton of time playing the game and ultimately feeling like I got my $60.00 and more on the purchase.

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