The Elder Scrolls Online has cut their 6-month subscription option. This decision came around the time of the new year, and was not followed by any official announcement, it was much more of a stealth removal. The only official word from Zenimax Entertainment, developers of The Elder Scrolls Online, was, “We have noticed that players prefered subscriptions of 30 and 90 days, the Elder Scrolls Online team therefore took the decision to delete the 180 days subscription. The 30 and 90 days subscription are still available.” The Elder Scrolls Online survives mostly because of the subscription method of payment, where users have to pay $15 every month in order to continue playing the massively multiplayer online game.Most MMO’s nowadays, however, use a free to play model and then gain revenue off of in-game transactions, such as the auction house or customization options. This is also how MOBAs such as Dota 2 make a profit, by offering varied skins for the different heroes available.
This situation, the removal of 6-month subscriptions, also happened to Warhammer Online, which was shut down in December of 2013 a few months after the 6-month subscription option was removed. Other MMOs such as Star Wars The Old Republic have gone free to play after launch and have not kept a consistent community. World of Warcraft is still the most popular and consistent MMO currently, with 10 million subscribers as of November 2014. Comparatively Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy XI and Dragon Quest Online cumulatively have 1 million subscribers. The Elder Scrolls Online was released in May 2014 for PC gamers but the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version had a six month delay, placing its release in December. However, December has come and gone with the official word from Zenimax that the game will be released sometime in 2015. In fact, not a whole lot of Elder Scrolls Online news has been coming out of Zenimax, which may mean the MMO is in dire times.