Bethesda's Elder Scrolls Online will be free to play

The Elder Scrolls Online is making the jump to next-generation consoles -- and it's going to be free to play as well.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

The Elder Scrolls Online, developer Bethesda's massively multiplayer online game set in its much-loved game world of Tamirel, is making the jump from PC to next generation consoles.

Launched back in April 2014, The Elder Scrolls Online gave gamers a chance to experience an open-world, non-linear, multiplayer version of the lovingly-crafted environments that they'd seen in the five previous Elder Scrolls single-player RPG games.

As the game makes the move to console, it's being retitled The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The new name comes with another important change: Bethesda is dropping the monthly subscription fee, making the game fully free to play. Next generation consoles owners can simply buy the game when it launches on June 9 and never need to pay a cent again. Bethesda does note, however, that "as with any standard multiplayer game on these platforms, an internet connection and an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership will be required to play".

The console version will ship with all the updates and additional content packs that have been already released for PC.

From March 17, all existing PC or Mac accounts -- even those closed or inactive -- will also be updated to Tamriel Unlimited, with former players receiving an invite explaining the changes.

Bethesda will also offer ESO Plus membership. This allows gamers to pay for 30-, 90- or 180-day memberships in return for a number of in-game bonuses. These include an allotment of crowns (the in-game currency) at the start of each month, along with bonuses to experience gain and access to optional downloadable content packs. Pricing on the ESO Plus membership has not been named.

Sadly, for anyone hoping that ESO:TU might feature cross-platform play, Bethesda has confirmed that while Mac and PC gamers will share the same world, PS4 and Xbox One will feature distinct servers.

Pricing for the console and PC versions of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited has yet to be announced by Bethesda.