The Elder Scrolls Online requires a monthly subscription fee because its planned regular content updates are more than just "a new sword or a funny hat," says Bethesda.
Speaking to Gamespot, Bethesda's vice president Pete Hines said the monthly fee will allow for the frequent and consistent release of substantial new content for the massively-multiplayer online RPG in development at Zenimax Online.
"We want to do the version that we think is the best game and the coolest experience," says Hines.
"And that means putting a lot of people and a lot of content creators towards having stuff that comes our regularly; every four weeks, five weeks, six weeks. Big new stuff that you want to do.
"It is a massive, 'Go where you want, do what you want' game that we think offers the kind of experience that's worthy of a subscription.
"We're very confident in our ability to support it with content. And not content of the magnitude of, it's a new month, here's a new sword or here's a funny hat - but content that is real and significant and it feels like regular and consistent DLC releases."
Releasing on April 4 for PC and in June for Xbox One and PS4, The Elder Scroll Online will requires players to pay a US$15 (AU$15) monthly subscription fee in addition to the cost of the base game.