ZeniMax has this morning formally announced what the internet has been suspecting for months: The Elder Scrolls is going buy-to-play and dropping its required monthly subscription on March 17th for PC players, the same deal that will go live on June 9th for console players when it launches on PS4 and Xbox One.
Rebranded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, ESO will still have an optional premium subscription membership called ESO Plus, which will provide "exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs."
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited includes all the great gameplay from the original PC/Mac game, plus all the updates and content additions, including the exciting new Justice and Champion systems. All existing PC/Mac game accounts, open or closed, will be updated to the Tamriel Unlimited edition in March and former players will be invited back to the game at that time to experience all that is new in the world. New players will make a one-time purchase of the game and play, without restrictions, for as long as they like – without game subscription fees. Tamriel Unlimited will be supported with special, optional downloadable content available for purchase and an in-game Crown Store for convenience and customization items. Regular updates and new gameplay will be offered to all players to enjoy free of additional charges.The studio will host a livestream at noon EST today to further explain the announcement, but for now, you'll have to be contented with The Confrontation cinematic trailer -- that, and your smug satisfaction if this announcement validated your own hunch.