Leaderboard: The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind ‘chapter vs. DLC’ fee debate

In the comments of a Daily Grind last week, a few commenters tangented into debate about The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind pricing.

See, the original “ESO Plus” deal for ESO subscription holders granted them full access to all future downloadable content (DLC) forever and ever, as long as they were subscribed to the game. Morrowind, however, has been marketed not as DLC but as a “chapter,” meaning it will not be subject to the Plus promises, and so everyone will have to pay for it. Grumbling ensued.

“Suppose I paid BMW a monthly fee to drive [BMW] cars,” commenter Odin wrote. “I could drive whatever I want as long as I paid. They announce a great new car I want to drive. I cant wait, but they tell me, “This isnt a car; it’s an automobile. You have to pay extra.'”

ZeniMax has defended its decision by suggesting that ESO is exceptional, “a game unlike any other,” and in gaming parlance Morrowind should more properly be binned as an expansion rather than DLC (except for the part where PR doesn’t want anyone calling it and future chapters “expansions” because they start at level 1).

People on the fence seem to see through the trick but shrug it off with the reality that game companies gotta make bank.

I’m curious where you stand.

Where do you stand on ESO's Morrowind pricing?

  • I am fine with the distinction between chapter and DLC. (39%, 200 Votes)
  • I am annoyed by the distinction between chapter and DLC but will play anyway. (25%, 130 Votes)
  • I am bothered by the distinction between chapter and DLC to the point that I will not participate. (30%, 155 Votes)
  • I don't care, don't play, or don't understand the issue. (5%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 513

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156 Comments on "Leaderboard: The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind ‘chapter vs. DLC’ fee debate"

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Roger Melly

I play this game and I know a quite a few people who subscribe and I have not heard a single complaint about them having to pay for an expansion . I guess it’s something they always expected they would have to do anyway .

odin valhalla

Interesting replies, some of them. I should restart my business and advert on this site. Some of the customers here are to die for, I am blown away LOL.

Anyway interesting poll results a lot closer than I thought it would be. Thanks for doing it.

Dread Quixadhal

It’s an unfortunate choice of wording on their part. If they’d just called it an expansion, nobody would have batted an eye. Other subscription-optional games have already done that. Most people intuitively get that a DLC module is a fairly small bit of content, whereas an expansion is a huge game-changing chunk.

I have no issue buying an expansion to a game I enjoy and am playing, just like I don’t mind paying a subscription fee that amounts to $0.50/day for as many hours as I want to play. When I stop enjoying the game, I stop paying for it and won’t buy any more expansions unless I think they’ll re spark my interest in it.

Not really sure why people have their panties twisted over this… must be millennial entitlement.

Denice J. Cook

I am fine with this, because I never sub to ESO anyway. I was a beta tester paying $15 a month for a year to mold the flawed PC version into a more palatable version for the console masses. They got all the subscription fees they’re ever going to get out of me. Now I just play the base game and buy the DLCs as they come out, if they interest me.


It’s a Guild Wars style expansion pack. No issues here, and I pay for ESO Plus.

I really don’t mind supporting the game I play.

Sally Bowls

It is getting a little to close to trolling, even for me, but I was going to point out that the reviled SWTOR does not charge subscribers for expansions and gives all current/past content for free.

But it struck me, what I want is a company to decide if it is in the selling or the renting business; supersets are fine but needing a comparison matrix for advantages and disadvantages of renting vs buying really frustrates me. I don’t mind spending money. But choosing between having your DLC still be there if you take a break vs having a big subscriber bag while you are there frustrates me.

I wish the benefits, especially content, that I get in game would be based up how much I spent: If I spent $300, I am at the $300 level, whether that is 20 months of $15/month, two $150 horse armors, a $300 house, … I have little impulse control and find most gaming, at least in the past, to be a great value. If you make it so I have a confusing time to decide the optimal way to have a top tier experience, I will probably find another game.

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Jack Pipsam

I will just keep looking as Chapters as meaning expansion personally.


For me, I will wait and see what amount of content comes in the “Chapter”. Technically, it reads to be an expansion and it has been in the model for a long time that Patch Content comes with a sub and Expansions are extra.

I think the only thing that disappoints me was the recent announcement that they are going to open up to additional character slots for account purchase (at $15 a slot) because of the new class when they should, like is industry standard, give one additional character slot as part of the “Chapter”.

If the amount of content in this is substantially more than they have included in DLC such as Thieve’s Guild, Dark Brotherhood and Orsinium, then I think it will be fine.

Stephen Donohue

Provided we continue to get DLC at a somewhat regular pace, I’m okay with paying for these “Chapters”. If, however, they basically forget about DLC and just do chapters from here on, that’s going to be a problem.


Didn’t even know this was a thing.