When Bethesda launched The Elder Scrolls Online last year it was greeted by complaints that it just wasn’t that good, and definitely not worth $15 a month to play. While the devs have been listening to the community and improving the game over the last few months, rumors of a change to the game’s business model began to swirl. After Star Wars: The Old Republic went free to play before its first year was over, people have expected the same for The Elder Scrolls Online.
Things really heated up a few weeks ago when they removed the six-month subscription option from the game. Normally this happens right before subscriptions are removed entirely, so people wouldn’t have paid for time that becomes obsolete and the company wouldn’t have to refund those subs. The company stayed quiet about the sub removal, while the game’s community erupted into flame wars over what it meant for the future of the game.
On June 9th a “Tamriel Unlimited” edition of The Elder Scrolls Online will launch for the current gen consoles and it will not require a game subscription to play. The same no-subscription version will also arrive on the PC and Mac in March.
There will still be an option for a subscription, with the FAQ calling that a “Plus” membership:
ESO Plus is an optional premium membership offered to players with the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. ESO Plus memberships will be offered in 30-, 90-, and 180-day durations.
The Plus subscription gives you free “Crowns” for the in-game cash shop, access to all paid DLC, and experience boosts.
From the sounds of things it’s a much less restrictive model than what EA did with Star Wars: The Old Republic, which should make this a viable option for people who wanted to play the game but not put out a lot of money every month to do so.