The Elder Scrolls Nixes Long-term Subscriptions

The Elder Scrolls is a popular, award-winning Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) videogame originally developed by Bethesda Game Studios but produced online by Zenimax Entertainment.

As opposed to traditional videogames where players complete one level at a time, MMO games consist of large digital worlds where many players can simultaneously interact and in which following the actual game’s storyline is optional.

In the past few weeks, Zenimax decided to cancel its six-month subscription offering, leaving many in the online gaming space wondering what their next move may be as the only subscriptions available now are for 30 or 60 days. Subscribers to the game pay $15 a week.

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In a statement, Zenimax said: “We have noticed that players preferred subscriptions of 30 and 90 days, the Elder Scrolls Online team therefore took the decision to delete the 180 days subscription.”

This development could possibly indicate a future move to a free-to-play or even a freemium model as other MMO games have nixed long-term subscriptions in favor of free access.

However, some observers scratching their heads as is that free-to-play and freemium games have had a more difficult time building a core audience than subscription games have, due to their captive subscribing audience.

For online game subscribers, it will be interesting to see if they forgo their core audience and go free to play a la World of Warcraft, another wildly popular MMO, in the near future.