The Elder Scrolls Online's subscription-only business model has had an unlikely ally step up to defend it: Goblinworks CEO Ryan Dancey.
The Pathfinder Online head chief claimed that subscriptions were still responsible for upward of an estimated $100 million a month in revenues in the Western market with a much smaller amount being gained by cash shops. "It's even harder to estimate how much revenue is being generated from microtransactions but it is extremely difficult to imagine that the revenue even approaches 50% of the amount being paid as subscription fees," he wrote.
Dancey also commented that initial box sales will be incredibly important for ZeniMax: "This may be the internal justification ZeniMax is using to benchmark its budget for Elder Scrolls Online. Skyrim, the most recent single-player entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise, is reported to have sold approximately seven million units, which we can impute translates to something like $210 million in revenue. If the MMORPG can carry that kind of weight, its budget becomes suddenly very rational."
Incidentally, Dancey said that Pathfinder Online will launch with a subscription-only model as well, although he predicts that will change over time.