With the Xbox One and PS4 now available but still missing a great role-playing game, Bethesda Softworks has taken the opportunity to announce The Elder Scrolls Online release date. Sort of. The publisher announced it will continue its tradition of clever dates in choosing an April 4, 2014, The Elder Scrolls Online release date for PC and Mac. The Xbox One and PS4 versions of The Elder Scrolls Online will come two months later, in June. Unfortunately the company didn’t specify which day in June.
If Bethesda chooses to stick with the fun date tradition on the next-gen consoles, it’ll probably be June 6. That would be the Friday before E3, giving gamers plenty of reason to get in some serious MMO gaming before they turn their attention toward the next wave of Xbox One and PS4 games. It would also follow the clever 4/4/14 convention for the PC and Mac version with a 6/6/14. No, it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it would be consistent.
One thing Bethesda didn’t unveil in announcing The Elder Scrolls Online release date was exactly how much gamers will pay to play it. The Elder Scrolls Online can be played in a solo campaign as all Elder Scrolls games have, but as the name suggests, its big draw is the ability to explore the world with friends — or against them. Like World of Warcraft, Diablo or any other popular massively multiplayer game, a monthly fee will likely be required to do so.
The Elder Scrolls Online monthly fee on PC and Mac will be $14.99, per Bethesda’s announcement this summer. But whether that fee will stay the same, or even be required, on Xbox One and PS4 may still be in discussion. Following the revelation of the ESO fee, Bethesda’s VP and all around great guy Pete Hines said to the UK’s Official Xbox Magazine that Bethesda had inquired with Microsoft about letting Xbox One owners play The Elder Scrolls Online even if they’re not Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
That request, while interesting, flies in the face of every online-multiplayer policy Microsoft has held dear for more than seven years. As a result it’s not likely to be granted, particularly since we haven’t heard anything more on the subject since summer.
More interesting, though, is what it may mean for Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus members. If subscribers to Microsoft’s and Sony’s online networks are already paying for the service, can or will Bethesda persuade either or both companies to roll The Elder Scrolls Online monthly fee into that membership? Could they arrange a cut of the monthly fee for all ESO players in the months they actually played it online? Could Bethesda find a way to charge non-Gold and non-Plus members but not non-paying subscribers?
That would certainly be a complicated arrangement, but the success of one platform doing so could swing the needle definitively in that console’s direction if the other one didn’t. Do you think Bethesda’s announcement that it’ll cost $14.99 per month to play The Elder Scrolls Online on Xbox One and PS4 will hold true, or do you think they’ll work something out for Gold and Plus members? Is that fee too high for a console MMO? Should there be a fee at all? Let us know in the comments section below. Either way, at least we (mostly) know The Elder Scrolls Online release date for Xbox One and PS4, and definitely know the PC and Mac one.