The Elder Scrolls Online Drops Subscription Fee, Console Release In June
The Elder Scrolls Online will be undergoing a few changes, including a slight tweak to the name. The game will shift from a subscription title to a single retail purchase with no mandatory fees beginning on March 17.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will become available to all players in just two months. This new iteration includes all the same content, with optional downloadable content, customization, and convenience items handled via additional purchase.
When the changeover happens, anyone who ever had an account can jump back in. Those currently paying a subscription fee will be enrolled in a new program called ESO Plus. This includes in-game items, a monthly stipend of crowns (used for cosmetic and convenience purchases, and all of the DLC.
Console players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be able to venture to Tamriel on June 9. These versions will launch with everything available on the PC and Mac, including the Justice and Champion systems that were added post-launch.
Later today, Zenimax Online will be hosting a livestream event to discuss the changes to the game and the console versions. You can watch that here at 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Eastern and read up on the title in our coverage from its launch in 2014.
This is a sensible move for Bethesda, as subscription MMOs are a dying breed. This new model is similar to how Trion approached Defiance and Activision is handling Destiny (though the Bungie hasn’t added microtransactions for convenience or customization at this time). This is likely to increase interest for console players without the stigma of “free-to-play.”