This morning, Bethesda and Zenimax Online have announced not only the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console June 9, 2015 launch date for The Elder Scrolls Online, but also its transition to buy-to-play this spring. Appropriately titled The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, the monthly subscription fee will no longer be required to play the MMO as of March 17, 2015 on PC/Mac (June for console players).
When B2P hits your favorite platform, only the one-time purchase of the game will be required to jump into ESO for new players. Existing and returning players will have their accounts automatically converted into this edition. Tamriel Unlimited will be supported by the Crown Store, which will offer "convenience and customization items," and DLC pack sales. Regular updates and new gameplay will continue to be offered to all players for free.
While no restrictions are being placed on the game without a subscription, an optional membership, called ESO Plus, will be offered. This option nets those still interested in a premium plan exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns (ESO's new virtual currency) to use in the Crown Store and access to all DLC for the duration of the membership. Existing subscribers will have their subscription automatically transition into ESO Plus membership, with recurring billing remaining active by default.
“Our fans are our biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” said Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play. Players can explore Tamriel with friends, battle creatures, craft, fish, steal, or siege. The choice is theirs. The game offers hundreds of hours of gameplay with unlimited adventures with one single game purchase. We can’t wait for everyone, whether they’ve played before or will be experiencing it for the first time, to begin adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.”