When Zenimax Online revealed that The Elder Scrolls Online will not be going to the route of free-to-play but instead stick to the subscription model, a number of fans were enraged since they were hoping it will be free-to-play or at least follow what NCSoft did with Guild Wars 2. Well, there’s a reason why Zenimax decided to go to the subscription model plan and it’s due to the content they plan to release.
One of the things subscribers look for in a MMO is the amount of content they will receive. Like World of Warcraft, subscribers are entitled to game updates every two to three months to keep the content fresh and make their subscribers play the game continuously. In most free-to-play MMO games, the amount of content they release varies; some will do it vary rarely while others have a set amount of months like Star Wars: The Old Republic, although they are more of a hybrid free-to-play and subscription model.
In the Elder Scrolls Online, Matt Firor, General Manager of Zenimax Online, stated that future subscribers of the MMO can expect premium content with lot of things to do. They promise to support the game with content every four to six weeks; end-game content, PvP, and more. In a big world of Tamriel, there should is a lot of content and story to be told, so we’ll just have to wait and see as to what kind of content Zenimax will release.
Here’s a statement from Matt Firor when GameStar interviewed him in regards to the frequency of updates fans can expect:
We are already working on content that will roll out to players after ESO’s launch. New quest lines, skills, zones, dungeons -are already in the pipeline. These things, in addition to our end-game content, PvP, and extraordinary customer service, are all part of making sure we’re delivering on that premium service – and that the player feels like they are getting their money’s worth. We won’t know the exact schedule until after ESO launches, but our target right now is to have new content available every four to six weeks.
As someone like myself who loves playing MMO, Zenimax sticking to the subscription model made me happy. In my experience of playing free-to-play games (SWTOR and Rift), I must say that I am not happy to the amount of content they release. Sure they are hybrid models of free-to-play and subscription model but not once I’ve felt that both developers valued their customers. With games like The Elder Scrolls Online, WildStar, and Final Fantasy XIV sticking to the subscription model, I wish them best of luck and hopefully they will really value their subscribers and community.
The Elder Scrolls Online will be available next Spring 2014 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC/Mac.