If you played Elder Scrolls Online back when it was in Beta but never purchased your very own copy, ZeniMax Media is giving you a second chance. This weekend, ESO will be free for former Beta testers.
Welcome Back Weekend is ZeniMax's attempt to entice former players with ESO's brand new toys. The game has undergone some major revisions since the Beta closed last year, so ZeniMax is adopting a drug dealer-style marketing campaign.
The first one is free...
In an email sent to former beta testers, ZeniMax laid on the charm:
We’re excited to share this experience with you, and we look forward to your feedback after you have played. There have been many advances to the game since launch, improved leveling, intro areas, combat, quests, crafting, crime systems, and much more. Don’t miss this opportunity to check out everything new.
If you're on the fence about reactivating your account, maybe this trailer will push you over the edge. It'll give you the rundown on all the changes that ZeniMax has made to the game over the last 12 months.
Check it out:
The biggest change that returning players will notice is probably the name. Last month, Elder Scrolls Online relaunched as ESO: Tamriel Unlimited. The twice-delayed expansion included a potpourri of upgrades, but also signified the new pricing structure. The monthly subscription plan has been dropped in favor of a Guild Wars-style approach. Now, players simply need pay a one-time fee to enter the Elder Scrolls universe.
Though, premium subscription options are still available for the hardcore ESO players.
Unfortunately for ZeniMax (and Bethesda), Elder Scrolls Online hasn't drawn a Skyrim-sized audience yet. The developer was forced to layoff a number of staffers back in September, and the subscription fee was dropped last month.
The lackluster response is partially due to the repeated delays and lack of campaign content, but the game's console editions haven't even hit the market yet. So, once June 9th rolls around, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners will finally be able to fill that Skyrim-shaped hole in their lives.
ZeniMax will kick off this weekend's festivities at 10:00 AM EDT on Thursday, April 16th. And unless you plan on ditching ESO again, you'll need to purchase a copy of the game by Monday, April 20th at 10:00 AM EDT.