Yeah, this is probably the least surprising piece of gaming news in a while. And that’s saying something with all the remaster announcements we have seen. Bethesda has opted to remove the subscription fee from The Elder Scrolls Online as it gets ready to bring the MMO to Xbox One and PS4 this summer.

The news isn’t all that surprising. Outside of World of Warcraft and a handful of other MMOs (EVE Online and the re-released Final Fantasy XIV come to mind), charging a monthly fee isn’t a good business decision.

Bethesda also released another great looking cinematic trailer today. Check it out below.

Now, The Elder Scrolls Online is going the Guild Wars 2 route. On March 17, Bethesda will re-release the game as Tamriel Unlimited (no subscription fee version) on PC. Xbox One and PS4 owners will have to wait until June 9.

But, Bethesda isn’t willing to completely ditch the monthly fee. I’ll let their press release explain:

In addition, Bethesda will offer ESO Plus™ to players who wish to pay a single monthly charge for a premium membership service, providing exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs while a member. PC/Mac players with active subscriptions on March 17 will be automatically enrolled into ESO Plus and begin enjoying its membership privileges.

The Playstation Blog goes into a bit more detail about ESO Plus.

Tamriel Unlimited also debuts ESO’s new optional membership package, ESO Plus. With this premium membership service, players will be granted free access to all of the game’s DLC game packs; bonuses to XP, gold, and crafting; and a monthly allotment of Crowns to purchase items from the Crown Store. What’s the Crown Store, you ask? This is an all-new merchant store to ESO full of optional cosmetic and convenience items you can purchase for Crowns, a new currency allowing you to buy content directly from PlayStation Store. You’ll be able to fully enjoy ESO without being a member, but we think you’ll really enjoy the benefits if you have fun playing the game.

It’s clear The Elder Scrolls Online didn’t live up to Bethesda’s expectations. They are hoping this re-branding and ditching the subscription fee will help. I think it definitely could. Especially on the console version.

Putting the game out in June is probably the best decision Bethesda made today. Publishers are notorious for ignoring summer months for some reason. I have no idea why. Last year, Ubisoft killed it with Watch Dogs. Can Bethesda do the same? Well, releasing in June can’t hurt.

Tell me what you think of today’s news. Interested in the console version of The Elder Scrolls Online?


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