More fuel to the "free-to-play" rumors circling The Elder Scrolls Online.
Well this is interesting. Less than a week after Bethesda announced it was axing six-month subscription options for The Elder Scrolls Online, major Australian video game retailer EB Games is reportedly pulling all copies of the game, including pre-paid game-time cards, from its shelves.
Kotaku AU has learned that a directive has been sent to all EB stores in the country, instructing staff to pack up any unsold copies of the game and send them back to Bethesda. A source at EB confirmed that all traces of the game would be completely gone from stores by January 13.
Officially, EB claims that the removal order is part of ordinary stock recall procedures, where excess stock of even popular, recently released titles such as Destiny and The Evil Within are recalled and sent back to their respective publishers. However, the EB source Kotaku spoke with claims that while ordinary stock recall only deals with excess stock, this particular recall specifically instructs store managers to remove all stock of The Elder Scrolls Online.
So what does this mean, exactly? Well, as we stated in the six-month subscription removal article, the most likely (and to fans, most pleasing) situation would be that the game is preparing to go free-to-play. Naturally, EB Games realizes that as soon as Bethesda flips the switch and turns the game free-to-play, any unsold boxes will essentially become worthless, which would explain why its trying to get rid of all its stock.
Another, more drastic possibility is that Bethesda is preparing to shut the game down for good.
Of course, there's always the third possibility that we're just reading too much into this and the game will continue business as usual. We've reached out to Bethesda for a comment.
Source: Kotaku AU