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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: How Zenimax’ Gambit Could Pay Off

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88 posts found


Joined: 6/15/08
Posts: 2191

Posts deleted: 12589457

2/12/14 4:40:55 PM#61

Zenimax would be crazy if they believe that this game will ride on the subscription model forever. I don't think they are.

My bet is that it's made with F2P in mind, but they also know that no matter how bad a game is, there are always people who sub to it at least 6 month after release.

From a business perspective nothing wrong with trying to regain your 200mio as quick as possible and once you have, you can still see where you take your game from there.



Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2157

Nothing is til it is and even then you never know until its been.

2/12/14 4:46:56 PM#62
Seems simple to me. You can always go FTP later, it's very hard to go PTP later.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/13/11
Posts: 1119

2/12/14 4:57:05 PM#63
Originally posted by Ganksinatra
So let me get this straight........console players are thought to not be that into this because, and I quote, "They already pay for their network access" mean like almost 100% of us who aren't pirating the next door neighbor's wifi signal? Poor excuse to whine for F2P IMO.

No he was talking about PSN / Xbox Live.

No one is "Whining" for a F2P model.  We're just pointing out the P2P has been proven to be a volatile monitization method for scores of reasons.

Even if us core MMORPG players don't mind spending $15 or $30 or $45 a month on subscription MMORPGs, history has proven that many gamers do.  P2P in this day and age is a recipe for disaster.  That's all we're saying.  It's just a damn fact of life.

Legends of Kesmai, UO, EQ, AO, DAoC, AC, SB, RO, SWG, EVE, EQ2, CoH, GW, VG:SOH, WAR, Aion, DF, CO, MO, DN, Tera, SWTOR, RO2, DP, GW2, PS2, BnS, NW, FF:XIV, ESO, EQ:NL


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Joined: 1/13/12
Posts: 1172

Always remember. Your focus determines your reality...

2/12/14 5:06:55 PM#64
Originally posted by discord235
The sub makes perfect sense, from Zenimax's perspective. It will get players to pay an extra $15 a month for a few months before they cancel, thus generating millions of more dollars than just offering the game for $60. And then it will of course go FTP within a year to build the player base back up, a la SWTOR, RIFT, TERA,'s textbook marketing at this point. I just think of it as paying a "premium" to get to play the game the first 6 months or so after it is released. If you are not a big MMO/ESO/sub fan, just wait til it inevitably goes FTP. Personally, gaming is what I spend the majority of my free time doing, so paying $15/mo for a sub is no big deal for something that I spend hours on every single day. 


"Change is the only constant."


Novice Member

Joined: 10/27/09
Posts: 309

2/12/14 5:10:08 PM#65
Originally posted by aspekx

a 'gambit' typically implies that one is sacrificing something small in order to gain something larger. like a pawn in a chess strategy.

so i'm not sure what you think Zenimax is sacrificing. which confuses the article a bit for me.

Bethesda's reputation and a 200 million dollar investment are what's on the line. They are betting that against the promise of even greater returns.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/04
Posts: 42

2/12/14 5:33:01 PM#66

I wish they would just offer both models on separate servers to please everyone. The biggest complaint I hear from pro-subscription players is that it weeds out not so serious players, well if the B2P players were on a separate servers that would solve the problem. Subscription players who stop subbing would be forced to move onto a free server and players who start subbing would have the choice of moving onto a subscription server.

I do wonder if the resurgence to subscription is due to the limited mmo market on consoles. What has put me off the subscription model and I imagine many other PC players is that you can't sub to all your games or it gets too costly. Subscription locks you into a single game. This is not a problem if you are limited for choice as it was in the early mmo days on PC and as is now on the console, but later it will be a problem again imho.

Also I think the console market will be very small at first. I have FFIX on both PC and PS3 and the PC experience is far better in full HD. This means only PS4 and XBox One are viable consoles for mmos I think, and that represents a small percentage of the console market.

What I'm not confident about though is that ESO will go free to play anytime soon if ever. I think changing from subscription to free to play is unlikely to happen on the console and this will limit their ability to do it on the PC. Also B2P is only viable by selling many copies at full price like GW2 have done. You need to do it from the start. Once your games are selling for $20 to entice new players to the subscription model it becomes less viable to make it free to play without an obtrusive cash shop to unlock content,etc. More likely they will rely on the growing console market to make up for the dwindling PC market. 

Until there is an abundance of mmos on console with players having invested countless hours in many of them I think they are unlikely to go free to play and catch the casual gaming market.

I hope I'm wrong because I don't want to go back to the sub days and having to chose between mmos on a monthly basis rather than when I feel like it. I like to play something different every week sometimes.

Getting back to my first suggestion, I think this would be an awesome compromise to make to be able to grab PC gamers like me as well as the emerging console market.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 1132

INTJ, fun is fun except when it's not

2/12/14 5:41:43 PM#67

I've never played Skyrim or any other game in the series.

My interest in this was of course nearly non-existent.  But as more information comes out I will admit that my interest is piqued a bit.  That it is rated M and has a subscription fee are both +'s imho.  That one of my friends seems like he may get it makes me ponder if I will too.  At least for me the entire lore and world will be completely new experiences.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 847

2/12/14 8:03:29 PM#68
Always makes me shake my head in disbelief when people complain about a sub model.  If you go out for a few drinks on a Friday or Saturday night, how long does it take you to blow through $15 or £8.99 which is the UK price?  About ten minutes I'm guessing.  Yet with ESO and other sub based games you get a full month of entertainment for that price.  I can understand those gamers that have no access to a credit card etc. complaining but these people wouldn't be buying anything from a cash shop either so what gives?

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/08
Posts: 10

Whatever look you were going missed.

2/12/14 9:41:24 PM#69

Like some others, I haven't played previous ES titles, so, I didn't go in with any expectations either.

Beta seemed promising, I have no problem with the sub model.

Name me another form of entertainment for $15/month that provides countless hours of entertainment...on your schedule.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/06/07
Posts: 278

2/12/14 11:00:23 PM#70
Originally posted by c0796

Like some others, I haven't played previous ES titles, so, I didn't go in with any expectations either.

Beta seemed promising, I have no problem with the sub model.

Name me another form of entertainment for $15/month that provides countless hours of entertainment...on your schedule.

About the maintenance cost of my scuba-diving equipment. Most likely no entertainment at all per month, perhaps every 3 months. Add in the "initial boxed price" which was around $$1k. Ohhh, wait.

Videogames have spoiled people, have you people ever had hobbies? Those are costly, 80 dollars and 15 dollars a month is absolutely NOTHING in comparison.



Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 35

2/13/14 12:56:06 AM#71
The MAIN thing you didn't talk about in this article is the PRODUCT itself.  The product will largely determine if people are willing to pay for it.  I have yet to hear ONE person be really enthusiastic about it from the list of people I know that have played beta.  Not ONE.   No NDA breaking, just their obvious desire to play it again versus other games.  From what I have read it seems it falls short of games like GW2, and if that is the case, then a subscription model will be as lethal as it was for TOR.  Time will tell, but I plan on being incredibly cautious with my money where this game is concerned...

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/29/12
Posts: 3

2/13/14 2:36:43 AM#72

For Zenimax to pull this off they really need to take serious efforts. I just think they are going Online just because everyone else is doing it. Their Niche was basically offline and they have proven this on their other ES titles and especially with Skyrim. This online model is uncharted area for Zenimax and generally ES. 



Novice Member

Joined: 1/25/04
Posts: 172

2/13/14 5:28:50 AM#73

After playing ESO, I know it's not the game for me.  It did not feel all that awesome or fun like they are attempting to make it.  I didn't like all the quests in town, felt too saturated with the amount of quests they threw at you.  I don't need them, just let me out there in the world doing long winded adventuring style quests not go fetch a bucket for me because I'm way to lazy.

Maybe if they allowed you to cause some actual havoc, like destroying a town or killing an npc it would feel more ES, but right now it's just another mmo with nothing new that I haven't experienced in another game.




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Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 356

Not sure how I got K.A.E.S last PvP was CoD and UO lol

2/13/14 7:37:36 AM#74

Don't have enough time to justify the £8.99 / $15 so they want f2p as they feel that's better for them. Tough shit, if you want to play a genre where you know it takes time to do things don't moan.

i have CoD but I can't shoot for shit, I am probably the WORST shot in the game but I don't cry for others to be slowed down so I have a chance of hitting them with at least 1 bullet maybe, or an auto lock feature.

i just have a laugh and enjoy it if I do kill someone, I figure it's more depressing for them to die than me .. Being hit by such a bad shot ;-)

  User Deleted
2/13/14 10:04:55 AM#75

ESO has potential, the issues that came up for me is, not  that i want it to go F2p it's the lack of communication from Zenimax itself, they already seem they're off to a shady start with some of the stuff they have done.

Lets hope for the best here though, would love to see them stay a primarily sub based game, F2P is for nothing but pure greed and it has so far proven to be true. Even Rift which is a pretty good F2P game has everything tied to that damned cash shop.

My own opinion but lets hope for the best here.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 907

2/13/14 1:21:54 PM#76

Games are made to make money.  You know what is in its last days?  Free game play.  The latest technology development, Tracking free gamers, gamers who don’t use the cash shop or don’t spend a monthly quota.  Once they are identified, next phase is blocking them from the game server.

The free game play is there for you the gamer to decide if the game play is worth paying for.  If it is not worth paying for, then the free game play is over.

Developers love the phrase “Cross Platform”, but to them it means “All Consoles.”  Today if a programmer goes to an interview and says they want to make PC games, they are looked at the same as terrorists.

The console makers told developers that there would be an end to lost sales due to the used game sales and used game sharing markets.  But as we saw this fell through.  I don’t know if, when, or how but I expect this controversial console DMR to make a comeback.

Pardon any spelling errors
Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
As if it could exist, without being payed for.
F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/17/13
Posts: 195

2/13/14 2:47:36 PM#77
Zenimax will recover the investment. If it goes F2P in the future, it doesn't matter. If SWTOR is making a profit, TESO will do much better.

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 67

2/14/14 8:50:30 AM#78
Originally posted by Nightfyre

After playing ESO, I know it's not the game for me.  It did not feel all that awesome or fun like they are attempting to make it.  I didn't like all the quests in town, felt too saturated with the amount of quests they threw at you.  I don't need them, just let me out there in the world doing long winded adventuring style quests not go fetch a bucket for me because I'm way to lazy.

Maybe if they allowed you to cause some actual havoc, like destroying a town or killing an npc it would feel more ES, but right now it's just another mmo with nothing new that I haven't experienced in another game.



there are VERY few "fetch it' quests. have no clue where you got that from.  how far did you get in beta? level 5 or less? if you actually took the time to get off the starter island (say lvl 8-12)  you would have found exactly what you were looking for. i wanted to see if this game was on quest rails and if it was possible to go off the beaten path and just explore, and you CAN do that. i found more things to do just exploring than if i just stuck to the quests. I even found a hidden cave with crafting tables were you can make specialized gear. sounds like you made the same mistake some of the media outlets did when they reviewed this game. they only played a few hours and didnt hardly do anything in the beta.  you cant play just 1/1000 of the game and make an informed opinion on the ENTIRE game. to me its an awesome MMO..but , this is just my opinion..if you dont like it, well thats your right, so best of luck to ya


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 67

2/14/14 8:53:59 AM#79
Originally posted by EugeneKDudley

ESO has potential, the issues that came up for me is, not  that i want it to go F2p it's the lack of communication from Zenimax itself, they already seem they're off to a shady start with some of the stuff they have done.

Lets hope for the best here though, would love to see them stay a primarily sub based game, F2P is for nothing but pure greed and it has so far proven to be true. Even Rift which is a pretty good F2P game has everything tied to that damned cash shop.

My own opinion but lets hope for the best here.


i had the opposite happen, they responded to every thing i wrote them, every problem i had. so, for me anyway, the communication was fine. and i feel the same as you when it comes to is a blight on the MMO genre and should be eradicated from existence, but thats just my opinion as well


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Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 1000

2/15/14 1:52:30 AM#80

The subscription isn't bad its the fact that the game is (Class Locked) meaning you have to play multiple classes to get full experience from the game when it should be developed around sand-box class system like (Skyrim) but it is not the game honestly based on the videos looks like another Rift Online game just more polished graphics and world.

My problem with ESO is the way the class system works I have begged them to change it before release if they don't I am not putting money into the game I want to be able to play all classes on a single character, all crafts on a single character, and swap all my skills on a single character in a sand-box theme not be limited to just changing weapon skills based on weapon as the video shows on their site.

Unless this is changed on release and when NDA is lifted I am waiting for the game to go F2P before playing.

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