The lights are on
Both Microsoft and Sony will be charging for multiplayer access when the next generation hardware launches this fall. Sony is allowing free-to-play titles to sit in front of the paywall, and one publisher is pushing to to have that same exemption apply to its upcoming game.
In an interview with OXM, Bethesda states that they are lobbying for The Elder Scrolls Online to be exempt from the multiplayer paywall. Vice president of public relations and marketing Pete Hines specifically called out Microsoft regarding talks about freeing The Elder Scrolls Online from an additional subscription fee (the publisher just announced the business model for the upcoming MMO).
The situation is the same with Sony, though. Right now, regardless of which console platform players choose, they'll have to pay two fees. Bethesda hasn't been successful yet with Microsoft, but Hines indicates that the publisher will "keep pushing on to see if there's something that can be done."
Our TakeWhile Bethesda is likely only concerned with its own titles, it is fighting a battle that could have long-term effects for both next-gen platforms. If they are successful, it could pave the way for more subscription-based games to make the jump.
NCSoft just announced the business model for Wildstar (also subscription-based). Final Fantasy XIV could be a worthwhile candidate.
It's unlikely that Microsoft will budge because of the amount of money at stake. Still, this is going to be an interesting conversation to follow.
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i disagree with the idea of paying an extra 15$ a month, but i do understand that it would make playing the game a better experience. why does it have to be 15$ or nothing? Cant they just lower the additional cost to 5 or even 10$ A month? Atleast that would be better than 15, if they just had to charge something.
Good, but I still don't think it will get me to play it.
get rid of the sub fee jackass!!
Didn't Sony say that they would let the developers decide if they needed PS+ for online features?
I too want you to do that Bethesda.
How about no fee at all, just the $60 for the game itself?
Not trying to sound like a jerk, because I love Bethesda and Elder Scrolls, but if this is how they feel then they either shouldn't be bringing the game to consoles or they shouldn't be using a subscription (especially one that large; I know it's basically the industry average but it still adds up over the lifetime of the game). If Defiance can do a console MMO with no subscription and an unproven developer/IP, why can't Bethesda manage with Elder Scrolls? Those two words could be slapped on a copy of E.T. for Atari and I'd buy it.
If you're concerned gamers won't want to pay the subscription for PS+/XBLive, you're probably right. The course of action should be clear: charge full price for the game up front and then charge for substantial expansion content. Hey, they can even throw micro-transactions for cosmetic items in there while they're at it. Just leave the subscription back in 2003 where it belongs. Games like League of Legends have proven that the Free-To-Play model can make a ton of money for developers, so I honestly don't buy the argument that they need the subscription money to maintain the game.
Bottom Line: If the game is good enough to make people come back for more, they'll donate their money in the form of DLC and micro-transaction purchases.
I don't really think Bethesda's efforts will work. Other publishers have tried this time and time again, and Microsoft has never budged.
I highly doubt that Microsoft will budge on this issue and I honestly don't think it's going to matter much anyway. Anyone willing to pay $15/month for a single game is most likely also willing to pay $5/month to play the rest of their console games online, meaning that they're already gonna be subscribed to XBL/PSN in the first place. If and when this game goes free to play, as most people think it will, then this discussion becomes a little more meaningful.