Elder Scrolls Online Going Free to Play?

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#51 Posted by seamuspaxman (56 posts) -

When I look at The Elder Scrolls Online from a subscription point of view, I don't think there's enough "pizzazz" to warrant a fifteen dollar subscription each month, with also paying a full sixty dollars up front.
I think that whole game would work well under a free-to-play business model, even if i'm not a big fan of it in any game, it's surely better than what they're doing right now.

Locking out an entire race that's pretty deeply embedded in The Elders Scrolls games and making it only exclusive to people who pay for a collector's edition is also really stupid. Also, kinda unfair for having that race locked out for people who are already paying for the game and monthly subscription.

Sounds gross, but I like what EA did with their three tier free-to-play model on The Old Republic. Monthly subscriptions open the entire game to subscribed players. Preferred player access allows for preferred players to reach the max level (I'm not sure how that unlocks, I believe it's after buying an item on their cartel market with real money?). Free-to-play is not that offensive in it either, there's more than enough there to give players something for free, and the level restriction is only up to 50, (55 being the max level in the game).

So i don't know. There's no doubt in my mind that ESO will become free-to-play. I'm sure what they're doing is all intentional in Zenimax's "master plan". Easy, fast money with the initial release, wait six months to observe the situation. Then based on how things are going, roll out a free-to-play model.

I'm just mad over this, because right now, the whole product comes off as a desperate cash grab.

#52 Edited by toastface (107 posts) -

I was actually looking forward to getting in at the ground floor on an MMO for once, then I saw the price. Yes, I'm in Australia, and yes, the games are always this much here, but for a game with a subscription fee I don't expect to pay full retail price for a digital download. I'll be waiting for this one to drop in price dramatically or go F2P before I check it out again.

#53 Edited by insane_shadowblade85 (1535 posts) -

I have a feeling that they'll either go free to play or buy to play. I see this subscription thing as a way for them to try and make back the money they spent on this game, and after they do, they'll more than likely go free or buy to play.

I see it like this, they'll drop the sub model in a year if they make all or a large portion of their money back. Under a year if they make it back faster than they expected or if their sub numbers drop well below what they're comfortable with.

#54 Posted by spraynardtatum (3728 posts) -

It should just be $60. I definitely don't want it to go f2p and I'm not very excited to pay a subscription fee.

#55 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1254 posts) -

A MMO based on one of the biggest, if not THE biggest science fiction franchises in the world went Free 2 Play in under a year.

6 months to a year we will see a free ESO.


#56 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@extomar: ESO is fun, SWTOR wasn't. i mean.. i had fun with it, for like 2 weeks, and then i quit, permanantly.. because the gameplay itsself wasnt fun. Making it F2P didnt get me to go back because money wasnt the problem

#57 Edited by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

*sigh* You still don't get it. Tera is pretty fun but that starting with a subscription was a big mistake. I don't doubt you are having a bunch of fun with ESO but that doesn't factor into its "business model".

If you need a direct hint: There are plenty of games that are "fun" but shouldn't try the subscription pricing model. SWTOR shouldn't have tried the subscription model for multiple reasons where "fun" wasn't the factor. "Fun" also doesn't change if a game goes Free To Play either.

#58 Posted by Grimmie92 (151 posts) -

@extomar: some fun certainly can be lost when a game that used to be a sub goes F2P, when people who are willing to purchase exp boosters and coin doublersm while i believe that doing so is breaking the game's intended pace, i stop having fun. when i need to pay for content i also stop having fun, with a sub i can say im supporting the game and am on equal footing with the rest of the population with the game and i dont have to think about my money, when every chapter of a campaign and specific dungeons get put behind a paygate, you start looking at the prices it is asking for, seeing a $ symbol in a videogame turns me off.

as for swtor, i wouldnt have played it if it was F2P, and im not the only one that thinks that way.

#59 Edited by jarowdowsky (208 posts) -

I think we can be pretty certain of two things. They will have mapped out exactly what financial results trigger free to play (the early buzz would seem to suggest it's never going to do the business necessary to avoid that) and they will do everything they can to convince subscribers they will never go free to play.

#60 Edited by jakob187 (21763 posts) -

OP, you are seriously trying to compare World of Warcraft and its numbers to any other subscription-based MMO in the marketplace? Most MMOs tried to do that themselves...and now they sit in the free-to-play market. Why? You can't compete with World of Warcraft. You just can't.

There is nothing WRONG with an MMO going free-to-play. The only reason anyone is mentioning it is because the general chances of any sub-based MMO that isn't called World of Warcraft being able to hold onto the 500k+ subscribers necessary to keep it profitable is very unlikely. With Elder Scrolls, they have the chance to make it last a little longer than others, but it will eventually go free-to-play. That's just a given.

Here's what I think would be interesting: when Elder Scrolls Online DOES go free-to-play, ZeniMax uses it as an opportunity to turn free-to-play gaming on its head and change the model up drastically. I just want to see the F2P model within MMOs change substantially. I think that WildStar has a lot of the right ideas in place for a change, and I think Guild Wars has done great making the "buy-to-play" model fully work.

I don't know. Just don't get upset that ESO will go F2P in the future. It's going to happen.

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