Bethesda "pushing" Microsoft to drop XBL Gold fee for Elder Scrolls Online

Publisher says it has spoken with Microsoft about possibility of dropping Xbox Live Gold membership fee for upcoming MMORPG.


Bethesda is "pushing" Microsoft to make a special exception in the case of upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Elder Scrolls Online and drop the Xbox Live Gold fee for gamers interested in playing that title on Xbox One.

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Speaking with OXM, Bethesda vice president of PR and marketing Pete Hines acknowledged that the Xbox Live subscription fee--about $5 per month--pays for services not specific to any particular title. However, he said Bethesda is working with Microsoft on potentially changing the rules.

"Having said that, we have been in talks with Microsoft about that very thing, and seeing whether or not there's any room to change their minds about that," Hines said. "For folks who are only paying [sic] The Elder Scrolls Online and don't want to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, just to pay [sic] the Elder Scrolls Online."

Hines said right now there is no way around the Xbox Live Gold fee, but made clear that the issue is "something that we're aware of and we keep pushing on to see if there's something that can be done."

The Elder Scrolls Online will carry a $15/month subscription fee for PC. For the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions, players will need to pay this fee in addition to Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus membership costs.

World of Tanks developer Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi said in June that he was unhappy with the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free-to-play game World of Tanks, though he said there is nothing he can do about it.

"They cannot drop it for us because they would have to drop it for everyone and it would be a total mess for them. This we have to tolerate, which I am not happy about," he said at the time.

The Elder Scrolls Online is aiming for release on the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in spring 2014, though official release dates have not been announced. For more on the MMO game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Avatar image for TroyTrojanGamer

Waaaa waaaaaaa I have to pay 15 dollars a month! Guys seriously, even if you work at walmart that's what you make in two hours. The broke trolls on this website are plain hilarious praying and hoping for this game to go FTP. I remember when people were claiming World of Warcraft was going to be FTP when it came out. How is that working?

People wrongly compare this game to titles like Guild Wars and other MMO's. The reason games like WoW and ESO have the ability to succeed is that they have a legitimate story to back them up.

Avatar image for InkOnTube

@TroyTrojanGamer SWTOR had "legitimate story" and still does. Age of Conan also has "legitimate story". Personal story in GW2 was also quite good (pity it was the only story in GW2). There are more examples and your logic is flawed. As @diehardtactics wrote, it is the principle regardless the amount. This is pure greed on behalf of Bethesda/Zenimax.

Avatar image for diehardtactics

@TroyTrojanGamer Why would anyone wanna pay on top of the subscription they pay for PSN (Now) and XBL. Its not the money its the principle. There are better games coming out and paying $15 a month for a game you might play "here-and-there." While paying $60 dollars for it in the first place. Yeah, have fun with your money pit.

Avatar image for IndySandbagTrik

Microsoft180 will do it, they've changed everything else lately, why stop there?

Also, I want this game to succeed and go on for years and years.. SO DO IT, DO IT NOW BILL GATES :)

Avatar image for ORB1T4LOne

@IndySandbagTrik WTF does Bill Gates have to do with all this ? He's not ruling the company anymore.

Avatar image for keech

No chance in hell MS will allow that. There have been at least half a dozen MMO's originally announced for the 360 that got canned because of MS's restrictive policies.

Avatar image for IndoorActivist

Wait, you really went to Microsoft and asked them not to charge people.

Hahahaha...........When will they ever learn.

Avatar image for MrStygian

...I sense a wave of new PC gamers approaching.

Avatar image for ghost2046

if you get an x1 most people will get the 12 month subscription for other games anyway .... so whats the point

Avatar image for Dmg051793

Eddie, Playstation owners do NOT need to pay the $15/month on top of the Playstation Plus membership. Playstation Plus is not required for Free to Play games. Please fix this.

Avatar image for tkdb17

@Dmg051793 Last I heard Elder Scrolls Online wasn't F2P yet so yes they will have to pay $15/month for this game on top of the PPlus fee

Avatar image for Dmg051793

@tkdb17 @Dmg051793 Ahh yes, this is true.

Avatar image for El_Zo1212o

Seems to me someone's got something backwards somewhere. Microsoft should be pushing Bethesda to do away with the fee entirely for Xbox users.

Avatar image for Unfallen_Satan

Unless those who play TESO on the XB1 can also play on the PC, I don't see why Bethesda is asking MS to drop its XBLG fee instead of just reducing the subscription for TESO on XB1 $10 instead of 15. They can figure out between themselves who gets what percentage of that $15/mo and how the money flows as long as players don't get ripped off for $60 a year.

Avatar image for Mecci100

I can't see how this deal would be a massive benefit. I reckon that 95% of people who are/were interested in this game would probably already be a Gold/PSN member already. Do Bethesda seriously think that there is a majority of people wanting to play this that wouldn't be playing other online games?

The best deal they should trying to work out, is a lower subscription for Xbox Gold members, and maybe 15 Dollars for Silver subscriptions.

Any1 want to start taking some bets on how long it takes to get botched into a Free-to-play model? :)

Avatar image for Biotasticmeat

I have an idea! DONT MAKE YOUR GAME 15 DOLLARS A MONTH!!! Fucking hate Bethesda for doing this shit. Pay to play needs to die. A game should either be Free to Play or 60 dollars. I'm sick of these MMO's thinking they get special privileges to charge people monthly for their games. There's no argument for it, its just a money grab.

Avatar image for XCyberForceX

Yeah right. Good luck with that Bethesda.

Avatar image for chibi-acer

Either the game is partly being hosted on MS/Sony's infrastructure, in which case Bethesda shouldn't be charging a full $15/month for it (compared to say WoW, where Blizzard pays for 100% of the server costs), or it's not hosted on XBL/PSN at all, in which case they have no justification to require it.

Avatar image for Leivve

Your giving them money for something they don't have to pay for. Microsoft doesn't host the servers so why do we still need Xbox gold in-order to play?

Avatar image for Captcrappypants

hey console fannys...looks like they are trying to screw you guys too. I guess we all have something in common now.

It wont be a PC or console buy from what I;ve been reading :) Pity because this looks like an amazing game. Sadly priced too high for me

Avatar image for deth420

these lousy consoles just need to go away!

Avatar image for aka_gruntkiller

@OOLuigiOo @deth420 Lets say you bought a PS3 when it first came out (699.99) and a extra controller of course (39.99) you also paid for PSN since then (49.99 a year). You have spent 1098.24 on a non-upgradable system which "ultra" settings by todays isn't "ultra". For that 699.99 you could of built a solid computer. By now you have 398.25+399.99+39.99=838.23 to upgrade that computer and munchies. And "Ultra" on PS3 or Xbox <> "Ultra" PC.

Avatar image for blackothh

@OOLuigiOo @deth420 you get what you pay for.

Avatar image for blackothh

@deth420 i liked the consoles of old, when you actually went to someones house to do multiplayer.

Avatar image for LastMatic

@blackothh @deth420 move with the times grandpa!!!

Avatar image for blackothh

@LastMatic @blackothh @deth420 i refuse

Avatar image for arod628

"They cannot drop it for us because they would have to drop it for everyone and it would be a total mess for them."

I remember MS saying they can not change their DRM policies and be hold they did a complete 180. So yes if they really wanted to MS can remove the GOLD for specific games they just don't want to.

Avatar image for blueinheaven

People who don't want or need Xbox Gold shouldn't have to give MS a single fucking cent for the privilege of playing a game that's nothing to do with them.

MS: insanely greedy fucktards I can never understand how they get away with this shit. Oh wait, people are incredibly stupid, yep I remember now.

Avatar image for playstationer89

@blueinheaven Well isnt it with the ps4 aswell.Sadly psn on ps4 will require a paid subscription.And i think we also have to pay the 15 $ plus the psn subscription.Correct me if i am wrong because i am not following alder scrolls online because it is going to be next gen and i will buy my ps4 after 3 years.

Avatar image for Pupchu

In other words: This will be a PC buy...

Avatar image for wowgrandpa

MS won't drop the fee because MS isn't stupid.

they know that after 6 months the ESO is going to go free to play.

and that would make MS look like dicks if they drop the fee now only to have to reintroduce it when it goes f2p.

common fucking sense.

Avatar image for DJWicky_wicky_

They should also push Sony to drop the PS+ fee's for the PS4 as well since you have to pay to play online, unless that has already been resolved.

Avatar image for chibi-acer

@DJWicky_wicky_ They are, it says as much in the article. Currently you also have to have PS+ to play this game, on top of the monthly game fee.

Avatar image for AzureBonds76

2 words Bethesda: GOOD LUCK

seriously tho...I was looking foward to play TES Online untill I heard about the sub fee. It's not that I mind paying per se but to think that the only thing I am paying for is customer service and I am somehow helping to fund the development of the game in progress is kinda hard to swallow. I mean the last MMO I payed for was EQ back 13 years ago and then I really didn't think about the fee I was paying; this fee to play the game when I allready purchased it retail and had to pay for the expansion packs on top of retail fee and monthly. I mean to be honest that 15 dollars a month that I pay extra what am I getting for it ? Mind you I'm not a whiner in the least I truely love TES but Beth needs to explain to the console users what we are getting in that 15 bucks a month.

Avatar image for tmthywtsn

So be it, moving right along, next!

Avatar image for Georg_Maximus

Ehh - what!?! You have to pay an additonal fee to play ESO??? Okay - that's it, count me out.

Avatar image for IndySandbagTrik

@Georg_Maximus Living under a rock much?

Avatar image for DarkReign2552

I don't see why they couldn't. Final Fantasy XI didn't require players to be an XBL gold member because it was on Square's own personal servers. Anything running off of personal servers rather than MS's have the option to bypass XBLG. Honestly though, I don't see the point in this. Even if they drop the gold requirement, is anybody actually going to go out and pay $500 for a console and a Kinect JUST to play TES:O? Anybody playing it on Xbox likely bought it for a multitude of other games that will likely require XBLG anyway. Catering to a VERY small percentage of the fanbase here. I'd rather they just found a way to make the monthly fee cheaper. Good way to offset what gamers are already paying to play PS4/XB1.

Avatar image for zyxahn

They can't drop it. It would be a disaster. Everyone would demand it then. It's not that much money anyway. Who in the hell doesn't have a gold subscription by now. If no one wants to pay then as I always say, how about if you went into work today and your boss said you know what I don't feel like paying you for today. Also I think a fee of some sort weeds out some of the players that act like children. That's why I hated playing FFXI on a console.

Avatar image for arod628

@zyxahn The reason alot of people don't want to pay for a STUPID LIVE ACCOUNT is they don't want to pay for things they already paid for. Example NETFLIX. People already pay NETFLIX a monthly fee now they have to pay a GOLD fee just to watch something they are already paying for. If that makes sense to you then this world is going in the wrong direction.

Avatar image for amaneuvering

How about just removing the $60 purchase fee and dropping the subscription fee to around $4.99 instead.

Avatar image for CrimsonAngel

@amaneuvering I don't completely agree with removing the $60 purchase fee but it's ridiculous when you pay more to play 1 game than you do for online video streaming services or something like gamefly.

Avatar image for MajinSquall

well they let people play FFXI online without XBLGold so i don't see why they can't do it with The Elder Scrolls Online

either that or Bethesda could charge less for the XBOX versions to the same amount as XBL cost's per month

there is a way around it but both company's are just being greedy and trying to get just a little bit more from us

Avatar image for fable_rulez

@MajinSquall I don't think it's a matter of Greed. Sony has agreed that a subscription is required too run a good online infrastructure :
It was never a matter of Microsoft being greedy but Sony being generous in allowing free online.
Now ZeniMax charging.............. well that's up to them, they have the right, by the looks of it so far, they've put a lot into the game. I personally don't mind paying $15 a month, I'd prefer that as long as it stops what happened to Guild Wars 2, happening too The Elder Scrolls Online, but that's just me. But I agree with you if they can do it with one game why can't they do it with another.

Avatar image for playstationer89

@fable_rulez @MajinSquall i agree with every thing u said.

Avatar image for tsyder

...or they could just do the right thing and charge $10 lowering their fee for consoles and keeping the $15 fee for pc since they dont have to pay a gold/psn fee.

Avatar image for playstationer89

@tsyder can u tell me whose that guy in your pic and from which game is he from .I have found a lot people online with this and am curious.