Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a quick post today about something that’s been on my mind the last week or so: Elder Scrolls Online, or more specifically how I WISH I COULD PLAY IT BUT I CAN’T.
Allow me to elaborate. I like a good Elder Scrolls game as much as the next fantasy RPGer, and with all the hype about this one ‘breaking the mould’ and being ‘revolutionary’ and all that PR crap that is spouted every time a major re-hash comes out, I was really looking forward to it. I have many friends and family members who were also looking forward to it, because now we could finally play an ES game as a group. So great – it was going to be awesome. But now it’s out, I’m sad to learn that one thing that is not ‘revolutionary’ about it is the payment model. Oh, so I have to buy the game and then pay a monthly fee? That’s just… I’m just kind of astonished, I can honestly say I didn’t expect this.
Maybe that was silly of me, but I just thought they wouldn’t think I’d stand for that, and so they wouldn’t even try. But apparently they do think I’ll stand for it, and they’re wrong. And the other five people I knew who were planning on getting it won’t stand for it either. And they’re all as sad as I am about it.
We really want to play your game, Bethesda. But how about a variety of payment options, if you simply must charge us after we’ve already bought the game? Which, by the way, is a business practice that St. Thomas Aquinas recognised as dodgy only about eight hundred years ago. He called it “double use” – buying something and then paying to use it – and it was sinful back then, and it’s not nice to expect people to do it now. I accept that’s the way it’s done with these products, but I’m not happy about it. If you’re going to charge a subscription fee then the game itself should be free at least.
Anyway, by “a variety of payment options” I mean that I’m not a single person with regular hours to burn. The main gaming demographic in Australia averages in their 30s! These people have families, jobs, and responsibilities, and paying a monthly fee for something they may or may not have time to use in any given month is not going to seem a good idea to them. So they won’t do it. I won’t do it. If I could instead pay a micro-fee, say $1.99, every time I logged in, I totally would. But I can’t.
OK so I sound like a broken record here: companies are always trying to push us, we have to fight for what we want as consumers, blah blah blah. I’ll stop now.
On a more upbeat note, my brother in law Bones (or at least we would be brothers-in-law if either of us were married to the sisters we’re er… attached to) is in a band, and they’re doing really well. They just played Coachella and are heading to Glastonbury soon, and this morning I watched them play on the Jimmy Fallon show. So yeah. I suddenly realised, out of all the people I know who have ever been in a band (which is a lot), these guys are actually kind of famous. Which makes me feel warm and fuzzy and also like I am cool by association. Anyway good on you brother. Check it out: they’re called Courtney Barnett and the Courtney Barnettes. He’s the Barnette with the bass.
Oh, and in even more news, I just read Bernard Cornwell’s excellent The Last Kingdom, and watched a whole season of Vikings in one day, and now I find myself investigating the miniatures skirmish game Saga. Preserve my wallet O wise Odin!