In what seems to be a very random decision and without notice, Bethesda, the developer behind Elder Scrolls Online, has removed the six-month subscription option for the game. Gamers can now only subscribe to the game for either 30 or 90 days.
Players on the official site have been trying to figure out why Bethesda would remove the six-month option. For many people it doesn’t seem like a big deal since logically, people can still play the game, but they would just have to resubscribe after 3 months. Others are furious, saying that the six-month option saved them money, and now they will have to pay more for to play the same game. The French official forum states that people generally prefer the shorter subscription, but gamers aren’t buying that excuse.
It’s a trend seen in MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) before. In effort to appease those already subscribed to the game for a long time, developers remove those options so people won’t have to pay for 6-month or 12-month subscriptions, only for the game to go free to play.
Elder Scrolls Online hasn’t seen the success Bethesda expected and it’s no secret. Gamers were incredibly excited for the popular Elder Scrolls series to finally make its MMORPG rebut, only to find that doesn’t have the depth that the single player games have. It’s interesting to see how this will play out for the console versions of the game. Currently, Elder Scrolls Online is only available on PC, with the Xbox One and PS4 versions expected to be released early 2015. No release date is confirmed for the console versions, but they have been delayed at least 6 months for fine-tuning.
I’m incredibly optimistic that making The Elder Scrolls Online free to play would be a huge improvement for the game. It’s not that people don’t want to play the game, it’s just that people don’t want to pay to play an imperfect game. Making the game not require a subscription, and to just pay for the initial download/purchase, would at least have people giving the game a chance. Making the game free to play, fixing it up and getting rid of bots, adding content, and finally bringing it over to Xbox One and PS4 will likely at least make the game relevant and give it the grounding it needs to become a success.
Photo Credit: Marco Verch