When I reviewed The Elder Scrolls Online back at launch I thought it had potential, but not enough to keep people paying for subscription time. Plenty of MMOs have enjoyed a subscription-based model, and games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV give you enough content to sustain said model. But that doesn't seem to be the case for ESO, as ZeniMax has announced that it will be dropping its subscription fee.
The plan is to flip a switch and go free on March 17 on the PC for existing owners, re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. To be clear, new owners will need to purchase the base game (which basically means it is using the Guild Wars 2 model of "buy-to-play"), but then they can play without a fee. After that, PS4 and Xbox One players finally have a date on their version, set for June 9. There will be an optional subscription package (as is standard) called "ESO Plus," which gives you extra in-game bonuses and more crown currency to spend, as well as DLC access -- in other words, microtransactions are still in.
It's going to be an interesting year for MMOs, especially if ZeniMax can turn things around. You can watch an official livestream from the developer today at 12pm EST for more information.... read more