About a week ago Elder Scrolls Online team announced that ESO will be available for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4. Everything was OK until ZeniMax revealed the payment model: the game will be subscription based. For many PC and Mac owners it was not a big surprise. Many of us expected such decision. But console owners were shocked a little. The reason is because Xbox One does not allow to play MMO games without Xbox Live Gold account. The Gold Account costs $5 monthly ($60 for a year) and thus Xbox owner will have to pay $15 for the Elder Scrolls Online itself plus $5 for Gold account monthly.
That is not a real problem for those who already have Gold accounts and play other online games. But what if you want to play Elder Scrolls Online only? The extra $5 charge for one game seems unfair because ESO has its own Subscription fee. The good news is that ZeniMax Team also thinks so. They are talking to Microsoft about getting a waiver for The Elder Scrolls Online.
Zenimax Online Creative Director Paul Sage says that they are trying to change the situation for those who want to play ESO only:
"[We're] seeing whether or not there's any room to change their minds about that, for folks who are only paying The Elder Scrolls Online and don't want to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription"
The answer of Microsoft is: “that’s the way it works” but ZeniMax does not give up and continue negotiations. It is not an easy decision for Microsoft: on the one hand the company has partnership relations with Bethesda for a long time. On the other hand if Microsoft allows such model for one game other game developers will also start asking Microsoft for similar discount.
Anyway the negotiations are in progress. We will be able to see the result soon. As you can see ZeniMax Online wants to provide all players with fair conditions and I respect ESO team for that.
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