Bethesda's "The Elder Scrolls Online" will have a $14.99 monthly fee, even on consoles such as the Xbox One.
Bethesda wants Microsoft to stop charging for Xbox Live Gold. Well, somewhat.
The game publisher wants Microsoft to not charge users of its upcoming massively multiplayer game "The Elder Scrolls Online" on top of the $14.99 monthly fee they'll be paying Bethesda. Because Microsoft requires Xbox Live users to pay for a Gold subscription if they want to play online games, that means "The Elder Scrolls Online" would charge its monthly fee in addition to the Xbox Live Gold subscription, which costs about $5 a month when using the service's standard yearly cost.
Pete Hines, Bethesda's vice president of marketing and public relations, told the Official Xbox Magazine that the publisher believes the massively multiplayer nature of its game should make for a special exception from Microsoft.
"We feel like most people such as yourself currently pay that subscription not to pay a game, but to play all games online," he said, noting that gamers can use Xbox Live Gold for regular online games, but massively multiplayer games require more maintenance. OXM's report didn't state if Hines said Bethesda would seek the same concessions from Sony, which will also charge for online multiplayer on the PlayStation 4.
Hines added that Bethesda has "been in talks with Microsoft about that very thing, and seeing whether or not there's any room to change their minds about that, for folks who are only playing 'The Elder Scrolls Online' and don't want to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, just to pay for 'The Elder Scrolls Online.'"
Publishers have routinely attempted to find ways to monetize Xbox Live to receive a bigger chunk of the profits, with EA famously using an Online Pass requirement – which it canned earlier this year – and Activision focusing on extensive downloadable content releases.
When Microsoft announced its upcoming Xbox One console in May, it touted the fact that the Xbox Live network was overhauled to allow massively multiplayer games. Microsoft has stated developers and publishers can use Xbox Live's cloud services to host persistent online worlds; the company will also host servers for games that don't require persistent worlds, such as the upcoming first-person shooter "Titanfall."