It was bound to have happened at some point. Elder Scrolls Online, a game that was supposed to have been as viable to play as the Elder Scrolls series is, had gone free-to-play, unsurprisingly. It had one of the most divisive free-to-play models that any game had?you had to buy the software first, then you had to pay a subscription fee even if you had bought the software already. Not only that, but they charged you extra if you wanted to play an Imperia?to do that, you had to buy the Imperial version of the game.
Not to say that the writing was on the wall from the start.
In this news from Forbes, we take a look at how long that flawed model of the game?s subscription lasted before Bethesda Softworks thought that enough is enough. Also, we take a look at another game which is the model for all subscription-based games?World of WarCraft. As per Load the Game, with Elder Scrolls Online opting to go free-to-play, will this last bastion of subscription-based gameplay succumb to the pressure and go free-to-play?
Elder Scrolls Online ?Surprisingly? goes Free-to-Play
Elder Scrolls Online went free-to-play last January 21, as per Forbes.
It could have been a long time in coming, but it?s finally happened. The fact that Elder Scrolls Online went free-to-play?in some capacity?is only a testament to the game?s effort to adhere itself to players and gain new ones in the process. It?s free-to-play in some capacity?as per Forbes?because you still have to buy the software to play it, and there are some other purchases left in terms of in-game and online purchases. However, the subscription has been removed.
It might be enough to win back players who have stopped playing or others who are currently in World of WarCraft. It?s still yet to make some waves, but the fact that Elder Scrolls Online has gone free-to-play could very well be a game-changer for the Elder Scrolls? online RPG title.
World of WarCraft Following Suit?
World of WarCraft, on the other hand, is a subscription-based model that has seen very little trouble with how it is run.
World of WarCraft was the example?as per Load the Game?that Elder Scrolls Online has tried to emulate. Now that Elder Scrolls Online is finally free-to-play, rumor has it that World of WarCraft?the last bastion of a successful pay-to-play model?is soon to follow. That may have some grounds for it happening, as evidenced in the log for Patch 6.1, as per Load the Game. In this Patch, Veteran Edition accounts are mentioned, where the restrictions are similar to technically free-to-play Starter Accounts.
However, with the success that Blizzard is enjoying in regard to player response to Warlords of Draenor and the game in general, it would be unwise for them to move in any direction moving toward free-to-play. Perhaps it would take a pretty long time before World of WarCraft decides to drop the pay-to-play model.
Elder Scrolls Online changes
That World of WarCraft seems to persist even with its pay-to-play model tells something about Elder Scrolls Online. The decision to go free-to-play might be an effort to win back what they?ve lost to other games besides World of WarCraft. However, could it have been a little too late in doing so? That remains to be seen.
Photo Credit: Elder Scrolls Online