In a recent interview with Gamespot Bethesda’s Vice President of PR, Pete Hines, has attempted to defend the companies choice to use a monthly paid subscription model for the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online.
“We feel pretty strongly about the support we’re going to have for the game and what you’re going to get for those dollars…content that is real and significant and it feels like regular and consistent DLC releases“, states Hines. He goes on to say “By and large, when you’re talking about regular content, adding new features and new parts of the world, either you’re all in or you’re not”
It seems that the $15 dollars a month from every player will go towards additional content that will be added to the game, with Hines seeing it as “significant” additions. It is unknown if this content however will be as substantial as a $30 paid expansion.
“There’s no shooter elements. There’s no aliens. It is a massive, ‘Go where you want, do what you want’ game that we think offers the kind of experience that’s worthy of a subscription”. This seems Hines is saying something along the lines of “buy this game because it isn’t something else”, which isn’t really a good reason to begin with.
On the subject of free-to-play Hines also says “That just seems like a lesser game, and we’re not going to make a lesser game that might be more palatable…We want to do the version that we think is the best game and the coolest experience. And that means putting a lot of people and a lot of content creators towards having stuff that comes our regularly”.
Putting the money towards continued development isn’t a bad reason, but claiming that free-to-play games are lesser because of it seems a little inaccurate. There are plenty of good free-to-play games, or games that only require one purchase, with regular significant updates.
While Pete Hines did an admirable job of defending Elder Scrolls Online, the message seems a bit muddled, blaming everything from the funds going towards making the MMO better, to because it is something that doesn’t involve guns and aliens. If they want to clear this up a little better, a more concise message may be in order. This is especially true with the level of skepticism being leveled at the use of the monthly paid subscriptions.