Elder Scrolls Online Is Subscription Based, Why The Hate?

January 17, 2014 1:38 PM

The current community’s view on ESO is unsurprisingly very negative. This is down to disappointing released footage at QuakeCon and that the game will be subscription based, the latter of which I will be talking about.

The Epic Trailer For Elder Scrolls Online

ESO subscription

Elder Scrolls has six different titles, I joined in at the third instalment, Morrowind, which is one of the most enjoyable games I have played. With the release of Oblivion in 2005 the popularity of Elder Scrolls jumped and then in 2010 with the release of Skyrim the popularity grew wings and soared whilst breathing fire and ice on all other RPGs, it was and still is the king of RPGs. With more than 14million Skyrim copies sold, it is a fair assumption to say they have a large following. However, these fans have only ever known to buy the disk and play, nothing more. I am sure that everyone knows this but I feel the need to emphasize that this game which is going to be released is not a RPG, it is a MMORPG, do not treat this game like the others. Yes it may have the same label ‘Elder Scrolls’ but they are not the same. The most successful MMO’s are WoW and Eve and they are subscription based. They may have been amongst the first but they have an extremely high quality which they can keep due to the revenue which they generate through their model.

Why is Bethesda going through with the subscription model? The subscription games that have been released after WoW & Eve have failed through attempting to replicate the WoW and Eve model rather than providing something different. Commonly these replicas also haven’t provided a high enough quality, why pay to play this replica when you could play the real thing which has vastly more content and significantly greater quality? Interestingly, I do not feel that ESO is doing something different (like EverQuest with destructible environments) but they have a large following and with this I guess they feel they can get away with it, so long as they come through and provide the high quality content.

Wildstar and ESONow you may say that games which have come out with subscription fees have since reverted to free to play models (f2p), why risk going subscription in the first base? Star Wars Old Republic has so far been the largest subscription flop and this game had everything going for it: backing from Bethseda and EA games with huge amounts of money but still they had to revert to f2p. From my experience whilst I enjoyed playing the game, when I reach the ‘end game’ there was very little to do especially when I compare it to WoW. However, even though you can play Star Wars for free it should be understood that it certainly is not absolutely free to play – if you want to: sprint at level 1, expand your storage, expand your crew, have more space missions, and much more (see here) you have to pay more and I haven’t even started on the oldest trick in the book, the speed of levelling. F2P games (like Star Wars, LoL and many more) slow down the time it takes to level in hopes that you will pay to increase the rate at which you level with XP boosters. Overall f2p games are just a pain. I personally do not wish to play a game and be constantly thinking, “did they intentionally design this game to make it a terrible grind to incentivize me to spend money”? As Thadeous would say: “f*** that”. I would prefer to pay and play a game where everyone has equal footing. Personally I don’t like to deal with cash option models, although, some people certainly don’t mind it, which brings me on to my last point. It all comes down to what you personally are looking for out of a game.

 Spend your life grinding? As Thadeous would say, “Fuck that!”

If you are looking for top quality content as well as regular updates, expect to have to pay more, just like real life – a greater service for a higher price. This the elder scrolls onlinepayment puts everyone on the same page with no hidden cost and you receive one hundred percent of all content and features. Plus, it allows the designers to keep on rolling out exciting new content and updates. Matt Firor has promised new content every 4 to 6 weeks and they are already working on the first new content to be added after the release. In fact ZeniMax has guaranteed that there will be further developments should ESO use a subscription based model, this will ensure high quality updates and content due to more (stable) long term revenue generated by the business.

In conclusion it is too easy to forget that game companies are a business and they are there to generate income first and foremost. The people who play Elder Scrolls have never had to pay to play on previous instalments but this is not just another RPG, it’s a freeking MMORPG. However, I really hope that Bethesda do not disappoint when they release the game. The footage at QuakeCon was just disappointing and I look forward to watching the next footage they show… No point in paying to play a shoddy game!