Bethesda is sticking to their guns when it comes to The Elder Scrolls Online‘s subscription model and in-game microtransaction store, but the publisher has apparently decided to take a stand when it comes to Xbox Live Gold.
Speaking to OXM, Bethesda Softworks marketing boss Peter Hines revealed that the publisher is “pushing” Microsoft to allow non-Gold subscribers to be able to play the MMO on the Xbox One.
“We feel like most people… currently pay that subscription [Xbox Live Gold] not to play a game, but to play all games online.”
“So in that sense, when I’m playing Call of Duty online I don’t feel like I’m paying my monthly Xbox Live sub for Call of Duty – I’m just paying it because that’s a thing that I do, and whatever game I’m playing at the time is the one that benefits.”
“Having said that, we have been in talks with Microsoft about that very thing, and seeing whether or not there’s any room to change their minds about that, for folks who are only [playing] The Elder Scrolls Online and don’t want to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, just to pay the Elder Scrolls Online.”
“The answer right now is that’s the way it works, but it’s something that we’re aware of and we keep pushing on, to see if there’s something that can be done. We’ll let you know if there’s movement there.”
While I suppose it is good that Bethesda is looking to free The Elder Scrolls Online from an additional subscription fee, this seems like a very odd place to try and save their customers a buck. As detailed by Microsoft, the Xbox One is extremely limited without a Gold subscription. So much so, that it is hard to imagine anyone actually spending $500 and then not paying the extra fee to unlock the vast majority of its features.
The better money saving option — and this would certainly help The Elder Scrolls Online compete in the MMO market — would be for Bethesda and ZeniMax to get rid of their subscription model. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be a possibility at the moment.
The Elder Scrolls Online is currently scheduled for release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac sometime in early 2014. We will keep an eye out for any additional information on the MMO and let you know as soon as anything is announced.