Analyst expects The Elder Scrolls Online to be subscription based

By Brenna Hillier
10 May 2012 04:49 GMT

Despite a growing acceptance of freemium-first business models, the informed money is on a premium subscription model for The Elder Scrolls Online.

Speaking to EDGE, Gamesbrief founder Nicholas Lovell said he expects Zenimax Online to start off with subscriptions and switch at a later date; an increasingly common pattern for big-budget MMORPGs.

“I still believe that subscription games are on the way out. It is conceivable that Bethesda will launch with a subscription service to attract the early adopters, because that is the model they understand,” he said.

“They will switch to free-to-play later, in the same way that many iOS games go from paid to freemium over their lifetime. EA is struggling with The Old Republic, [but] almost everyone else is transitioning to free-to-play.”

As EDGE notes, development on The Elder Scrolls Online kicked off in 2007, when subscription-based models were much more common.

After years of rumours, the MMORPG was finally revealed last week, and has spawned an announcement trailer and major coverage in GameInformer. It’s due on Mac and PC in 2013.

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