After Bethesda Softworks made quite the surprise last week by announcing that its upcoming The Elder Scrolls Online would be using a paid-subscription model ($15/month) instead of the increasingly popular free-to-play (F2P) model that more and more MMO games have been adopting, Bethesda is now looking to make their new MMO more accessible, in particular to those that may be playing on Xbox One.
Bethesda has been reported to be negotiating with Microsoft to exclude The Elder Scrolls Online from its traditional Xbox Live Gold online requirement (all players must pay for an Xbox Live Gold-enabled account to play any online games, or accessing online services like Netflix) and make the game viable to any Xbox One owners, regardless if they are using Xbox Live Gold or not. Currently, one year of Xbox Live Gold service retails for $60, and Bethesda hopes in its talks with Microsoft to have The Elder Scrolls Online be accessible to non-XBL Gold users given that the game already has its own monthly subscription fee.
Paul Sage, the Creative Director for Zenimax Online (parent company of Bethesda Softworks) mentioned in an interview to Official Xbox Magazine UK:
“[We’re] 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 play The Elder Scrolls Online.”
Microsoft it seems won’t budge on the Gold requirement, and with Sony recently announcing that it too would be adopting this same structure by requiring PlayStation Plus service for its online games on PS4, Bethesda will most likely also have to reach out to Sony if it is to try and waive the subscription fees from Microsoft or Sony for The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Elder Scrolls Online releases for PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4 in 2014.