After a lot of speculation since its launch, The Elder Scrolls Online finally announced last month that the game would no longer require a subscription to play. Not really a full free to play experience, since gamers will still have to purchase the game, the new model requires no monthly payment to continue your adventures in Tamriel. However, with any shift in business model like this, the lost revenue has to get recouped from somewhere. This is where the newly announced “crowns” will come in.
The most important thing to remember about Tamriel Unlimited’s virtual currency system is that we’re not adjusting the base game
Crowns are a sort of virtual currency that players will be able to use to purchase items in the Crown Store. These items will include things like “potions, soul gems, mounts, vanity pets, costumes, and more.” Players can buy these items using crowns, which can be purchased with real world money, essentially adding in microtransactions to The Elder Scrolls Online. The Crown Store is said to be limited to “customization and convenience items” only, so while microtransactions might have a bad reputation, their inclusion here is not intended to shift the balance of the game.
The Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor explained the philosophy behind these customization and convenience items by saying “Simply put, this means that an item in the Crown Store serves one of two purposes: it either provides a visual upgrade or distinction for your character, or it provides a way to save time at the expense of spending crowns. When it comes to this second category of items, we generally will make in-game variants of similar items available either as drops or as player-craftable items, as well.”
The test environment for the game already has a fully functional Crown Store, which is currently stocked with health potions and other items that don’t impact the game too much. However, changes are on the way with Firor saying that ” I can tell you that we’ll almost certainly have experience boost potions in the store at some point.” He explains that the shortcut offered by experience boosting potions is considered a convenience, thus fitting the idea behind the Crown Store.
The Elder Scrolls Online is available now on PC. The PS4 and Xbox One versions, title The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, will be available on June 9th.