Bethesda drops The Elder Scrolls Online subscription fees

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TESO

Try your very best to conceal the shock and surprise that you don’t have – but Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls MMO is dropping its subscription fees. It took a little longer than we’d expected (we gave it six months), it’s finally happened – you’ll no longer have to pay a monthly fee to kill things and carry out fetch quests in Tamriel.

Rumours have of course been floating about for a while that the game would be dropping its subscription fees, but Bethesda’s finally confirmed it. As of March, the game’s getting rebranded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited – which includes all the extra game content released to date.

It won’t be wholly free-to-play – you’ll still have to buy the base game obviously. The same will be true of the console versions of the MMO, which will be out on PS4 and Xbox One in June this year. You will, however, still need active PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live subscriptions to be able to play.

Those who like throwing money at Bethesda can opt in to pay for something called ESO Plus,which offers members exclusive in-game bonuses, a reoccurring allotment of in-game crowns and access to all downloadable content (DLC) game packs for the duration of membership. Those who’re sporting paid-up subscriptions will have their remaining time converted to ESO plus.

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What are these crowns?

“Crowns are a new “virtual currency” being introduced with the release of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. They can be used to purchase in-game items, services and content via the Crown Store interface in the game. Crowns are available for purchase separately and are included as part of an ESO Plus membership.”

Here’s how ESO Plus subscriptions will work:

30-day Membership:

  • 1500 crowns at the start of each 30-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition

90-day Membership:

  • 4500  crowns at the start of each 90-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition

180-day Membership:

  • 9000 crowns at the start of each 180-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition
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As I said, it’s not at all surprising. From the onset, most thought the MMO was doomed if Bethesda kept insisting on a subscription-based model. So few MMOs are able to exist on the model, with just the exceptional ones – like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV reborn able to convince players to shell out a monthly fee.

It doesn’t help that for the most part, The Elder Scrolls Online is rather generic high fantasy stuff – making that $15 subscription seem like a slap in the face.

What do you think? Are you more likely to play TESO now that they’ve nixed the subscription?

Last Updated: January 22, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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