According to the latest numbers by SuperData The Elder Scrolls Online has reached over 750,000 subscribers as of June 2014. The game has been on the market for over three months, launching in early April. With the Steam release coming out yesterday and PS4 and Xbox One versions on the way later this year it looks like The Elder Scrolls Online is actually doing fairly well in the highly competitive MMORPG market.
The Elder Scrolls Online has reached over 750,000 subscribers as of June 2014
The specific total number of subscribers reported by SuperData is 772,374. With a monthly subscription fee of $15, assuming all of those players stay on after their initial 30 day free period, Bethesda and Zenimax stand to generate over $11 million every month from subscription fees.
This doesn’t even factor in the starting cost of the game, which fluctuates between $30 for the Standard Edition at the moment, and $100 for the physical Imperial Edition at launch. The Elder Scrolls Online also has various items, such as in-game assets, and expansions, that require additional cash to purchase.
Many in the gaming community felt that Bethesda was crazy when they decided to launch The Elder Scrolls Online as a subscription based service. While the benefit to the consumer is still debatable it does seem like they have done well enough to justify the decision business-wise.
SuperData summarized the situation by saying “When Bethesda Softworks released Elder Scrolls Online, the industry took notice as the publisher fearlessly announced a subscription model, rather than going free-to-play like its direct competitor Guild Wars 2 (NCsoft). So far, a subscriber base of 772,374 (June) indicates that its strategy is working.”
They also theorize that other MMO developers might use this as an indication that the subscription model is still preferred over free-to-play. NCsoft recently launched Wildstar with a subscription and has seen great success so far. However, other games have only become successful after dropping their subscription and going free-to-play.
Star Wars: The Old Republic was the biggest example of this. The Old Republic was struggling to gain players shortly after launch, so they went free-to-play late in 2012. Now, according to SuperData, Star Wars: The Old Republic is the fourth highest revenue generating MMO on the market, making $165 million in 2013.
Whether The Elder Scrolls Online will follow in its footsteps is the question on everyone’s mind. With over 3/4 of a million subscribers they are doing well enough, but perhaps more people would be willing to pay for the game if they didn’t have the monthly fee hanging over their heads.