The Elder Scrolls Online: Subscription or Free-2-Play?
Industry analyst Nicholas Lovell has told EDGE that he believes that The Elder Scrolls Online will adopt a subscription based model, at least at first do that early adopters will feel more at home. Increasingly we have seen the trend for MMORPGs to shift from the traditional subscription based to the free-2.play madel, so this prediction has come as a bit of a surprise.
Lovell believes that Zenimax will want to pull players away from other MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft, and will therefore stick to the payment model that players are likely to be used to. The advantage of the subscription model is that players can immediately see what they are paying for. However, the free-2-play model is becoming increasingly popular, where players have to buy virtual upgrades and pay for specific content. They are not forced to do this to play the game, but if they want to have a competitive edge they will have to purchase upgrades. Lovell is convinced that the subscription based model is perfect for the new MMO at least at first. The Elder Scrolls Online has been in development since 2007, a time when the subscription based model was at the height of its popularity, Lovell believes that once Zenimak have coaxed the long time MMORPG players away from the competitors, it may switch to a free-2-play model to entice in new players.
As yet there has been no official word from Zenimax about how players will pay for content. The game is expected to launch next year, though I expect we will be hearing about this issue a lot sooner than that. What’s your money on?