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The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online studio director reveals how the MMO doubled its player count overnight

The game has made almost $2 billion since it launched.

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Ten years since the release of The Elder Scrolls Online, it's clear that Zenimax and Bethesda created a lasting MMO. At the start, though, things didn't look great. Despite promising trailers, fans were overtly disappointed with what they played at launch.

There was also the fact that the game required a subscription to play. However, at a GDC talk (thanks, PCGamer), Zenimax Online Studios director Matt Firor revealed how the studio managed to turn the ship around.

Unsurprisingly, this was largely to do with the fact that the subscription model was removed, giving players the option to subscribe if they wanted to, but it wasn't required. "Overnight on PC our login population doubled just because players could come back without subscribing, they could just play," said Firor. "The night after that it doubled again. So we knew we were on the right track."

There was also the Tamriel Unlimited update two years later, which allowed players of different factions to play together and allowed players to choose any story they wanted with a revamped level scaling system.

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