Would You Pay $15 A Month For The Elder Scrolls Online?

Would You Pay $US15 A Month For The Elder Scrolls Online?

This week, ZeniMax Online revealed that their upcoming Elder Scrolls MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online, would cost players $US15 a month to subscribe after purchasing the base game. This has, predictably, set off no small amount of debate.

The most common reaction I've seen is, more or less "nope". Plenty of folks in my own personal Twitter echo chamber think this is a terrible idea, and have no interest in paying a fee to play the game. That said… an MMO set in the Elder Scrolls world is certainly appealing, on paper.

But I'm always curious to know what you guys think of this kind of thing, so I turn it to you. Assuming you're willing to buy the base game, would you pay $US15 a month for The Elder Scrolls Online?


    I'm kind of waiting to see if there's a free-trial period. If I'm invested enough, can find people I like playing with, etc, I'd consider paying. But MMO's are difficult for me to get into.

      The frustrating part is the free trial usually comes after the MMORPG has begun to lose momentum. By the time they're offering any sort of demo period that gives you enough time to really get a feel for it the leveling areas are deserted and the end-game crowd is over it.

      Personally if it plays like Oblivion/Skyrim I'd enjoy it enough that $15 wouldn't be an issue, and I'd prefer a subscription model to micro-transaction fleecing. If it's just another medieval magic and monsters type MMORPG where gear is the only incentive to play end-game I'll pass regardless of cost.

      Should definitely find out if anyone you know is buying it, because the game experience can be totally turned around by a friend ^.^

    I'm still pissed that instead of continuing to develop games in the niche where they were an/the industry leader raking in the cash, they've decided to branch off into the MMO space where most companies lose money.

    Without an Elder Scrolls single player game I'm going to have to get my fix from The Witcher alone, unless there's something else in development I'm unaware of. I'm certainly not going to pay for two subscription MMOs at once.

    Last edited 25/08/13 1:22 am

      "I'm certainly not going to pay for two subscription MMOs at once."

      Quite possibly the reason for the death of the sub model. There's a lotta folks think that, and it basically means that to those folks you can't just be a GOOD MMO. You have to be the best MMO. And by the numbers, there's really only one sub game that holds that title, and that elephant in the room doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

        I wouldn't say that wow subs are down alot.

          What's your definition of a lot, then? They're down from 12 million plus in the last quarter of 2010 to something like 7.7 million at the end of July 2013 and that's after a drop of 700K in the second quarter of this year. Losing almost 5 million subscribers is a hell of a lot, somewhere between (roughly) a 30-40% drop in 3 years. Those are numbers a behemoth like WOW can pretty much shrug off for now, but they're still big numbers nevertheless.

            The other thing to consider in tandem with that is that product life-cycles for MMOs don't exactly follow a curve. They have a stupidly long tail - see: Ultima Online, Anarchy Online, EverQuest 1, etc. It'll be interesting to see exactly how many million WoW sits at when it is basically as dead as it will ever be.

            I have a sneaking suspicion that WoW at its absolute worst ever is still going to be stronger than everyone else's best.

        It's not only the best, its also the first. A lot of people don't switch because they have put so much time into one, they can't up and change to another where that investment means nothing.

      You gotta remember that when they began working on this MMO they weren't the industry leader raking in the cash, Skyrim hadn't been released to overwhelming commercial success and WOW was the hottest ticket on the block. That's why they went after the MMO subscription model.

        This is why I can't stand people who are on kotaku, firstly the team who created all the elder scrolls games did not make this game it's done by another studio within ZeniMax, secondly Bethesda has had massive commercial success with Fallout3 and Oblivion but also not to mention that morrowind did exceptionally well too...

      Don't worry, Bethesda got some MMOshop to make the MMO. They've got little to do with it, AFAIK.

      I think your very confused. Zenimax Online ≠ Bethesda Studios. One is making an MMO, the other is working on a single player game. Presumably.

    if they can deliver the constant value to warrant that cost then sure.

    personally when it comes to pay to play games I expect no charged content besides cosmetics (and only if there are adequate alternatives available in-game), regular content updates that are included in the sub cost, and expansions should only be charged for if they are both substantial and there are other content additions also included in the sub cost.

    in this day and age you need to provide something more then just access to the game to warrant the subscription fees.

    Nope, there will be plenty of other games out there to experience that ill be putting my 15 bucks towards each month. That being said I'm sure there's a market, what about all those people that used to play Warcraft? What are they doing now? Dota and lol I'd guess so unless its unbelieveabley awesome people will continue playing free to play.

    No. 5 a month sure. But 15? No way, no how. 15 a month is goddamn extortion.

      Not.. really. I mean I spend $15 on lunch most days.

      I do believe if they are going the subscription route, then the actual game should be available free. $70AU as a start up isn't really going to work if you plan on asking for more money each month.

        Exactly! $15 is nothing when you look at it. But the game should only be 50-60 to buy.. cdkey sales would be around that price if its higher anyway. Hopefully they've nailed it with this game

        That's fantastic for you if you have that sort of disposable income to spend nearly 150 - 200 a fortnight on lunch. Most of us alas, don't.

        Not all of us have spare cash like that to throw around on a subscription based game and 15 is a little exy. Especially when you're venturing into a very competitive market as 'the newcomer'. You're right though, the game *should* be free if they're going to charge a monthly fee. I understand costs to keep servers running etc, but costs for the game upfront should be severely minimal if anything at all if they intend to charge that much.

          Yeah geez $15 a day on food. Do these people have mortgages, live out of home, pay for a car, have kids or all of the above?
          What I don't get is these games don't have that much more content than say Skyrim AND the servers to run on other games ie Battlefield must be cost effective for once off purchase too as most games don't charge for online.
          So my point is, like yours. Why $15 a month? It does not work out for me compared to other games. $5 sounds reasonable or even something like $40 a year but that much a month PFFT.

            $15/day on food times, say, 250ish working days per year = $3,750 per year on lunch.

            Average full time earnings in Australia = $77k per annum: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Products/6302.0~May+2013~Main+Features~Key+Figures?OpenDocument.

            So I'd say a fair few people can pay $15/day for lunch without it being a crazy drain on their finances.

              Average pay $77k but most people are not on that. Most people are on less with 10% earning millions to bump the average up.
              Most people are on $50k or less. Also the other expenses use most so my point is still valid.

        So you're saying you would give up lunch for an MMO subscription? I don't think you understand economics if you think having the money to pay for one thing means that money is also available to buy something else as well.

    Giving that they haven't shown much of the combat (making me believe that it's going to be exactly like WoW's, as with every other MMO that has been reluctant to show combat before release), also giving that they are having micro-transactions as well, AND the fact that it's competing with Everquest Next, there is no way in hell I'm getting ESO.

    I was so pumped for it, but from what they've shown us with the addition of this and micro-transactions, they've killed my hype. As much as I love Tamriel, this is going to flop.

    Everquest Next though, oh baby.

    Last edited 25/08/13 1:38 am

      Giving that they haven't shown much of the combat (making me believe that it's going to be exactly like WoW's, as with every other MMO that has been reluctant to show combat before release)

      Yeah, I'm remaining cautious here. They showed some stuff that looked promising, but I get the impression they made a Warcraft-style combat system and then attempted to put a more Guild Wars 2-like interface on it when people reacted badly to the first screen shots looking like yet another generic MMORPG.

        actually they showed a 20min long demo at quakecon that went through a 5man dungeon and so you got to see what the combat was like, its actually like skyrims ( for better or worse depending on your own preference)

        TESO now has full first person combat, left clicking does a normal attack, holding down left click does a power attack and right click for block. then there are skills which are on 1-5 on the keyboard

          I still walk away from that feeling like that's just a remap of the keys, the camera moved to first person and some tweaks in the system. I had a system setup for Warcraft, SWToR, Rift, Guild Wars 2, etc where I'd map it all to a gamepad and I can't shake the feeling that's essentially what TESO has done.
          I'm hoping that's not the case. I'll be really happy if I'm wrong but like I said I'm remaining cautious about it. They started work on this back when WoW-clones were the only MMORPGs on the market and seemed legitimately suprised when people made it clear they wanted massively multiplayer Skyrim and not a 'traditional' MMORPG set in the Elder Scrolls world.

          I think this is probably one of my biggest hurdles with subscription based MMORPGs. You can't get a good feel for how the game actually plays until you put down $50 on the retail key. You see pre-rendered footage and a bunch of YouTube videos showing character creation but nothing that really gives you that hand on perspective of 'this is how it drives'.
          Again, totally hoping for the best, just cautious about getting my hopes up.

        Combat is also what I'm waiting to see more of too. I'm skeptical but for an entirely different reason. I have always played TES games as Kelptomania Simulator 20XX, with combat essentially consisting solely of one-shotting creatures from the shadows with bow or dagger.

        I can't see them allowing that in a MMO, where there seems to be some universal unwritten rule that ALL combat must take thirty seconds or more, and consist of several hotbar button presses. One-shot sniping your way from stealth, Skyrim style?

        I don't think the rules of MMO will allow that kind of play, and that kind of play IS The Elder Scrolls to me. I'll be giving this a very wide berth until I can see that kind of gameplay on a let's play or something.

          Heh, it does seem like it'll lose something when you can't play it free form with yourself as the extremely selfish and over powered center of the universe. I don't imagine end-game is going to include the ability to steal the pants off every NPC in the game, and if you can someone is definitely going to beat you to it. =P

          There's so much in there that's totally self centered. Take stealth. MMORPG rules mean that a 'stealth' character is a character that periodically turns invisible for a second to get a stat buff in order to bring more DPS to the group. It's all about team work. In Elder Scrolls it's a tactical decision that brings nothing to a group. It's all got to work together and balance out when really half the appeal of The Elder Scrolls is being able to be ridiculously unbalanced.

          It's pretty funny how on some levels TES is actually closer to GTA or Saints Row, maybe Red Faction with it's persistent damage, than Warcraft or Guild Wars.

    As it stands, only EQNext looks revolutionary enough to justify a 15/month sub, but that would still be going against market forces (the demand for subscription MMO is dwarfed by that of new models). I've seen nothing in ESO that suggests it's got anything innovative going for it other than the fact that it's Elder Scrolls and we get to explore the entirety of Tamriel. I hated Skyrim's combat and unfortunately ESO's doesn't look much better. Short story; unless I'm shown something truly mindblowing like EQNext or exciting combat like WildStar, nope.

    Last edited 25/08/13 2:06 am

    I'll wait until open beta to give any comments. They don't seem to have a single fully functional game every time they show ESO. I'll just continue my ff14:arr for now.

    "Would You Pay $15 A Month For The Elder Scrolls Online?" Yes, yes i would.

    I'll wait for the game to go free to play.

    Yes, most definitely.

    After playing most of the F2P MMOs out there, in my opinion most of them missed the mark by a mile. The quality isn't there, content is either gated via tries or nickle and dime to the last cosmetic bullshit they can squeeze it. Most of the content release seems to focus at least half the dev's time on micro-transaction items. The community is filled with player who cares nothing of consequences since, hey if they get banned, they just make another account.

    $15 per month is a bargain compared to all the triple A titles that charges $80-100 for 12-30+ hours of game play.

      ESO is going to have micro-transactions as well.

      I see no reason why a one time payment of say, about $90 (that's how much GW2 was on release), is out of the question. The subscription model just isn't going to cut it these days.

      So, you're going ahead assuming that it's going to be amazing because of some vague, blanket reasoning that's just designed to promote a bunch of general, blanket criticisms over dozens of games that you couldn't have possibly had all the time to play properly?

      The "quality" of a number of f2p games have been described by many professional critics as being extremely high. At times I wonder how such delusion is possible.

    I think I speak for most people when I say I don't want an Elder Scrolls MMO, I want a co-op Elder Scrolls game. Skyrim with 2 to 4 players, something like that please.

      U would probably like White Knight Chronicles 1/2 on PS3 then its up to 4 player quest runs are amazingly fun. But it's exclusive to ps3 in case you only have PC/xbox.

      But as for on topic when FF14 available at the same price and when I'd rather not even play pay to play mmorpgs anyways it will be a big fat no. - especially when theres free to play mmo's are equal quality thesedays

    No, wouldn´t pay. Especially now that we have a lot of f2p games on the market. And pay once models like Guild Wars 2.

    $15 a month is a lot of money, like (finding calculator) .........$180 a year, so no.

    Then again, I've never played an MMO for a whole month, the closest I came was with champions online and that was only because I busted my knee and had played everything else. Anyway...I'm a bit of a game jumper, I like to finish games and go right on to another, the AAA industry love people like me but the MMO people just can't get me hooked.

    Anyway, from what I have seen elders online always looked a little generic.

    Let's also take into consideration that ESO is not cross platform (choose your system wisely) AND has a cash shop (for "fun stuff").

    My money is going towards a different MMO, anyway.

    As if Australians are going to be only charged only $15 AUS a month if that is what they plan to charge people in the US. We will probably get hit with a full retail price of $89 for the installation disc also. If the installation disc is only $15 AUS then $15 AUS per month after that then it would be a lot easier to swallow. I had high hopes for this, but it looks like it isn't for me.

    Hell yes! How's it any different to any other MMO? $15 is chump change. It all comes down to how good the game ends up being, anyways.

      I'm not interested personally. But I agree about $15 being chump change. $15 a month is a pretty small price to pay for something you get a lot of enjoyment from.

        I'm sure Bethesda will have an annual fee that works out a lot cheaper too.

        exactly what i was trying to say, wow its like i can see the future or something... people writing small storybooks about their $15.... cynical drones, just because guild wars 2 was B2P now every sub based MMO will get firestormed with bad media. yuck.

          You're right. I accuse people of sharing their thoughts on the topic.

    Welcome to the world of mmo ppl.

    who really thought that this was going to be anything else but a subscription model ?

    yes it is $180.00 per year but included in this is 24 hours support in game. Probably about 30 patches to the game for no extra charge. And significant content being made available expanding the game.

    it may cost a lot a year but its relative to 2 games per year for a shit ton more content and support.

      I paid $60 for GW2 last year and havejt paid a cent since. Have had tonnes of patches and are bow getting new content every 2 weeks

        If only there was end game. I loved GW2, despite a few annoyances like the limited skills, but no end game killed it for me. Max level? Uh... go to some areas that you might not have completed!

        Absolutely. The MMO genre is changing and its not a bad thing at all.

        There currently is two main types of MMO ftp and sub models both have there advantages :)

        But what im trying to communicate is that ppl shouldn't be surprised that this game is going with this model. After all it had 50% chance that it would ;)

        Depends what the developers are going for too. Not meant to be a dig but GW2 from ppl i have spoken to has a limited endgame component. But this may just be a case of the squeaky wheel makes the loudest noise.

    Does anyone know how much the retail key is going to cost? That's the real one that keeps me out of subscription MMOs. I'd throw down $15 to play for a single month if a game looks interesting, but with subscription MMOs it's usually full retail price with a 'free' 30 days.

    Yes, completely fine with sub mmos, they provide continuous updates, service and maintainence. If I enjoy the game I'll gladly shell out monthly.

    I won't however pay a sub fee AND for an in game shop. That's blatant cash grabbing. The whole point of free to play with a cash shop is that the optional purchases replace the need for a subscription to keep the game going strong. If I'm already paying each month I expect a full and complete game that is only gated by what playtime I can put into the software.
    I'm fine with subs.
    I'm fine with F2P.
    I'm not fine with both simultaneously.
    Personally, as with so much they did I think Guild Wars 2 did it as well as you can in a F2P world. Once off purchase of the game, with an in game shop that... at least tries to sell things that don't affect gameplay balance.

    Yet millions and millions of people still throw $15 a month at WoW, despite it being dated and just broken these days. But when something new comes along and wants a full price subscription, people just cross their arms and say no. Then they complain when new free-to-play games have microtransactions or just aren't that good.

    Make your fucking mind up.

    Last edited 25/08/13 10:31 am

      You are assuming the people complaining about the sub ALSO pay for WoW. That is a big assumption friend.

    If the horrible clunky combat of the previous games is there then no, if it isn't, then no.

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