With older fears of massive fees stacked upon fees for upcoming next-generation massively multiplayer role playing game The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda decided to clarify some details regarding pricing on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE versions of the game. PS+ is not required for Elder Scrolls Online on PlayStation 4, but XBL Gold is required to play ESO on Xbox ONE. This probably comes as a small consequence to many players who were planning on having PS+ / XBL Gold anyways for their own various benefits, but definitely adds a benefit to the PS4 for being open to this pro-consumer practice. Of course most people on PS4 will want PS+, but this gives a window of time where if it came down to your ESO subscription or PS+, players could re-new their PS+ subscription at a later time and continue playing The Elder Scrolls Online without interruption. To continue playing ESO on Xbox ONE players will be expected to pay both the ESO monthly fee and the Xbox Live GOLD fees as well.
I think Elder Scrolls Online will pretty much prove or disprove this business model on consoles (to most high level investors), would you say that’s fair? Skyrim and Oblivion should have paved the way for enough interest to get console gamers to pony up the fee. FFXI could be one of those fluke situations because FF is such a megaton RPG series, but if Elder Scrolls can do it – a fairly younger series coming from the West, that might just prove the business model. Outside of ESO and FFXIV I don’t really see a chance for any other MMO to hope to collect money upfront and still be successful. DCUO seems like the obvious example investors would look towards to reject the idea and opt for a Free To Play model with DLC and Micro DLC instead.
The Elder Scrolls Online is developed by Zenimax Online and published by Bethesda and will utilize the a custom engine. The MMO title is expected to debut for Windows PC, Mac OS X in April 2014 and will release on next-gen consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE some time in June 2014. The monthly fee for the PC and Mac version is $14.99 with cross-play enabled for those players. On Xbox ONE players can only play with other Xbox ONE owners and must pay the monthly fee of $14.99 plus Xbox Live GOLD in order to log in. PlayStation 4 players can play the game just by paying the monthly fee of $14.99 and will not require PS+.
At RGN we hope it all works out with the best possible results. Bethesda have stated previously that they are negotiating with Microsoft to drop the GOLD requirement on Xbox ONE and some PC gamers feel the title would be better appreciated on computers exclusively, but in any event we do hope the game is a success as we’d like to see more games like this developed.