The Elder Scrolls Online has already defied the expectation that it would follow the free to play business model, with developer Zenimax Online Studios opting for
a monthly subscription model. Now ESOHub.de
) has revealed the Elder Scrolls Online will include an in-game item shop using real world money.
Matt Firor, the Elder Scrolls Online director, responded to a question about whether the MMO would include any extras like a shop or bonus points with the statement "there won't be anything like bonus points, but we will have a shop to buy kind of fun stuff and services too like name changes and things like that." He explained that these in-game shop offerings weren't "part of the core game, anything included in the core game is included in the subscription price", so those worried content may be locked away in the shop can put down your pitchforks.
It's a brave move by Zenimax Online: the market has been somewhat shaky in the past for subscription models. Adding an in-game shop on top of that for select services or fun stuff could provoke a consumer backlash. Hopefully we'll hear more details on what exactly the "fun stuff" of the shop will hold, but for now you can read over exactly why the developer has opted for a subscription model in the more prominent free-to-play market of the MMO genre over here.