Last week’s GamesCom was a chance for developers to showcase their upcoming titles and show their progress. The Elder Scrolls Online was there in full force, and a lot of information came out during the week. Let’s dig in to a quick recap like a Nord biting into an eidar pressed sandwich and a glass of milk.
First of all, ESO took home some impressive hardware, including the Official GamesCom 2013 Awards for Best Roleplaying Game and Best Social/Casual/Online game. It also won Best PC Game from PC Games and Best RPG from PlayStation Universe. ESO has been hauling in awards left and right at every convention it attends, adding to the excitement and interest that surrounds this game.
We also learned from GamesCom that ESO will use a subscription-based model for the game, meaning that the purchase of the game comes with 30 days free, and after that it will cost $14.99 per month to continue to play. There will also be an in-game store selling certain items, though the exact specifications of what will be available are still a little vague at the moment.
These two moves were met with a lot of fan reaction, both positive and negative. Critics are concerned that an Elder Scrolls game shouldn’t hide behind a monthly subscription, while proponents argue that the only way to support a game of this scale that promises to do so much is by charging a subscription. The free-to-play model (that many people were hoping for or expecting), was downplayed by Zenimax Online Studios’ Matt Firor, saying that they didn’t want people to run into “paywalls”. This essentially means they didn’t want certain content to be restricted to players unless they forked over money for that particular zone. Zenimax very much wants players to be able to explore the whole world at their own pace, in their own time, and in their own way.
There are many more interviews available on the Elder Scrolls Online website, in English, French, and German, detailing gameplay experiences from GamesCom.