Friday, January 23, 2015

Elder Scrolls Online Goes Buy-2-Play

The other recent news was that Elder Scrolls Online announced that they were switching to a buy-2-play model (with an optional subscription).

I've seen some people saying cynically saying that this was the plan all along. That ESO was just trying to milk as much as money out of subscribers as possible before switching. As Azuriel points out, F2P has the unfortunate side-effect of engendering cynicism among the players.

This imputation is probably unfair to the devs behind ESO. If anything, B2P would have been the backup plan. If ESO had stabilized at a high number of subscribers (0.5 million, 1 million, whatever), they would have been more than happy to stick with being a subscriber-only game.

Oh well. It will make life easier on the console, though.

I'm not sure if I will take another look at ESO. My problem was with the combat, and I don't know if that has improved or not. If any readers are still playing ESO, feel free to chime in on the state of the game.


  1. I like to think that developers of games like this don't go into it thinking "Well we'll run for six months then go F2P." I get the impression that they all go into it wanting to be the next WoW and B2P/F2P ends up a side-effect of the rough MMO market.

    That said any major change (especially one that favors bringing in newer players for less) tends to make the old guard wary; the new people are getting what the old had for less after all.

  2. It's unlikely it was the plan "all along". After all, ESO would have started life around when WoW was getting big, so it was built from the start around the idea of a subscription. And when you've sunk that much development time, the ones in charge are going to feel that they are offering a service that is worth paying a monthly fee for.

    And it's not like they're wrong or mistaken in thinking they still can. FF14 is a modern released MMO that manages to not only justify it's subscription, but thrive on it, even in a world where all the games that started development after WoW have transitioned to F2P.

    The problem is just that ESO clearly didn't provide that ~something special~ that convinces people that subscribing is worthwhile.