Bethesda’s Head of Marketing Pete Hines The Elder Scrolls Online was a mutual decision by both Bethesda and developers Zenimax.that the decision to go with a monthly fee for their upcoming MMO
“It would be fair to say it was a mutual decision,” said Hines. “It wasn’t like they decided it, and we didn’t mandate it. There was a lot of conversation around it.”
“I worry about it, but I worry about everything. That’s my job, to worry. But I think it’s the right decision for the right reasons.”
Hines remains convinced that if the quality is there, the fee will be justified. “What’s going to determine whether or not it succeeds or fails is not really tied to what anyone else has done, it’s tied to ‘do we make a strong enough argument for the value that you get for your fifteen dollars?’. If we’re providing the kind of content people want to see where they’re like ‘This is awesome, I’m having a blast, this new stuff is totally worth it and I’m having fun’, then the subscription totally works. If we’re putting out stuff that doesn’t make a case for it then we have a problem on our hands and we have failed to meet that value proposition.”
When interviewer Tim Colwill asked Hines if the base price was too much to pay just to see if you'd like to pay more with a subscription fee, the Bethesda representative responded, “If you don’t like the game, of course you’re not subscribing to it. You get the game, you get your first month without having to pay for a subscription to see ‘is this thing a thing I like’? If your approach that you want to take is that, for example, you love Skyrim, you played it for 125 hours, but after three or four weeks you were done, then you can do the exact same thing in Elder Scrolls Online.”
We'll soon see whether the gaming public goes for what The Elder Scrolls Online is offering, as the game nears its April 4 release date. Hines closed the interview by stating that team at Zenimax are “pretty agile” if things need to be changed. We may yet see a no subscription model.