Bethesda intends to offer "huge, ongoing triple-A support" for upcoming subscription based MMO The Elder Scrolls Online.
In a newly published The Elder Scrolls Online interview, Bethesda VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines admitted he was "anxious" about launching a subscription based entry in a series he described as the company's "crown jewel", but said Bethesda plans to provide regular quality content updates designed to provide value for money and satisfy players hungry for new experiences.
"If you feel like you're getting your money's worth for whatever you're paying - whether it be $15 for a month or $2 for a DLC - then you're going to be happy. If you're not, then you won't," he said. "You could do a free-to-play game where somebody wasn't happy, because maybe they don't feel like they're getting value for the money that they played upfront, even if it's not a pay-by-month subscription.
"We felt like the subscription model fit best what we wanted to do, not because we want you to pay per month to play the game, but because we want to provide real and meaningful content support on a regular basis. That's not just a few items or a thing here and there, that's real significant stuff that adds to the game in a whole host of ways, and doing so needs a good sized group of people who are working on and creating new stuff. That's stuff we can start working on now, as well as stuff we can work on when we start to get player feedback.
"There's a couple of Guild quest lines in the game at the moment, but there are certainly noticeable Guilds that aren't in the game - there's no Dark Brotherhood, for example," Hines pointed out. "You can't set aside a bunch of people to work on a cool Dark Brotherhood quest line unless you've figured out a way that you're going to pay those bodies to spend that time. Otherwise you'd just put them onto something else. We feel like this approach is going to give people who want to play the best value, and reason to look forward to the next new thing that's coming out. The Elder Scrolls is our crown jewel and it's the series that made everything we do possible, so it's a big triple-A title that demands huge, ongoing triple-A support."
Game director Matt Firor revealed that Bethesda would be charging a monthly fee to play The Elder Scrolls Online during an interview in August 2013. "Charging a flat monthly fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play," he said at the time. "Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make."
Bethesda has confirmed a The Elder Scrolls Online release date of April 4, 2014 on PC and Mac. Xbox One and PS4 versions will arrive in June 2014.