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Elder Scrolls Online will be subscription-based before going free-to-play, analyst says

MMO likely designed with subscriptions in mind, but the model is "on the way out"

The Elder Scrolls Online will launch with a subscription-based model before transitioning to a free-to-play one at a later date.

That's according to Nicholas Lovell, founder of videogame business consultancy Gamesbrief, who told Edge that he believes "subscription games are on the way out".

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Announced last week and set for release on PC and Mac in 2013, the MMO has been in development at Zenimax Online Studios since 2007, when the subscription model was the order of the day. Since then, free-to-play games powered by microtransactions and virtual items have come to the fore.

Lovell said: "It is conceivable that Bethesda will launch with a subscription service to attract the early adopters, because that is the model they understand.

"They will switch to free-to-play later, in the same way that many iOS games go from paid to freemium over their lifetime," he added. "EA is struggling with The Old Republic, [but] almost everyone else is transitioning to free-to-play."

Earlier this week EA said The Old Republic has lost 400,000 subscribers since February.

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