A number of important changes regarding the MMO installment of Bethesda's popular Elder Scrolls game series have been announced via press release at the Bethesda Softworks site – chief among them the fact that The Elder Scrolls Online will no longer require a monthly subscription to play.
The Elder Scrolls Online has been rebranded as Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited – but it's more than a name change. Since its release in April 2014, the Elder Scrolls Online MMO had relied on a monthly-subscription payment model, requiring all players to pay each month to get access to the game's content; however, almost year on, things are set to change drastically.
As of March 17th 2015, the game will shift from a monthly-subscription model, to a simple one-time game license purchase, similar to Guild Wars 2. This version of the game will still include all current content in the game, as well as new content and updates, with no additional charges.
In addition to this, “ESO Plus” will be taking the place of the game's subscriptions. ESO Plus allows subscribers access to exclusive content and bonuses, as well as monthly instalments of Crowns – the in game currency for the Store – and more. Players with active subscriptions that would have extended past March 17th will have access to ESO Plus automatically, for the length of time remaining on their subscription.
Bethesda have also announced that Tamriel Unlimited will be coming to next-gen consoles, allowing Playstation 4 and Xbox One players the chance at diving into the world of Tamriel in the online installment on June 9 2015.
“Our fans are our biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” said Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play. Players can explore Tamriel with friends, battle creatures, craft, fish, steal, or siege. The choice is theirs. The game offers hundreds of hours of gameplay with unlimited adventures with one single game purchase. We can’t wait for everyone, whether they’ve played before or will be experiencing it for the first time, to begin adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.”