It has finally happened, the business model for The Elder Scrolls Online has been revised. The game will be re-launched on the PC and Mac on the 17th of March as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, requiring a one-time game purchase and then no subscription fee after.
Those who already own The Elder Scrolls Online will not have to buy the game again and will be able to play without a monthly fee from March onward. The game will also finally be hitting the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on the 9th of June following a series of delays.
While you don't need to pay a subscription fee to keep playing anymore that doesn't mean you can't. There will be a new subscription made available called ESO Plus, giving paying players monthly in-game benefits including an allotment of ‘crowns' which can be exchanged for customization items in the store, much like how Cartel Coins work in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Zenimax and Bethesda appear to be fusing the business strategies of Guild Wars and The Old Republic by removing the subscription requirement for those that purchase the game but also keeping a subscription option around for players that want extra benefits.
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KitGuru Says: It is still two months away but those who own ESO can continue to play without a subscription. It isn't entirely free to play as you still need to purchase the initial game but it is an improvement over the launch business model.