Bethesda announced on Friday the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online for PC and Mac at retailers nationwide, and on the official online store. The Digital Imperial Edition costs $79.99 via Bethesda and Amazon, and $59.96 for the vanilla version on Amazon.
By purchasing the Imperial Edition, gamers will get to play as an Imperial and serve on any alliance. Gamers receive the Imperial White Horse to mount and journey through Tamriel with increased speed. Imperial Edition customers will also get the Mudcrab Vanity Pet, which will scuttle along by your side, and the Rings of Mara. Players can even craft Imperial gear, and transform any gear the player owns into Imperial gear.
"The Imperial White Horse is purchasable for 1 gold from any stable in the game, as soon as the player starts the game," reads the launch FAQ. "The Mudcrab Vanity Pet will be in the player's in-game mailbox starting from launch on 4.4.14. The Ritual of Mara will be in the player's in-game mail as soon as they start the game--they should simply perform the ritual with their desired partner to get the Rings of Mara."
Players who participated in the beta will receive a monkey vanity pet to call their own. This pet should be available via the in-game mail system on 4.4.14. The Q&A also reveals that beta players can use the beta client; they simply need to patch the client using the ESO launcher.
"We are grateful for the overwhelming response to The Elder Scrolls Online," said Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. "With 5 million people registered for beta, it's clear that a large number of fans are eager to jump online and experience everything the game has to offer. We couldn't be more excited to get it into everyone's hands."
Unfortunately, there is no free-to-play mode. Gamers wanting in on the action will be required to pay $14.99 per month. Other price plans include a 90 day plan which equals to $13.99 for 30 days, and a 180 day plan that equals to $12.99 per 30 days.
What will be interesting to see is Blizzard's World of Warcraft subscription numbers in a month or two to see how much damage The Elder Scrolls Online has done to the MMORPG's subscription numbers. As Matt Firor pointed out, the beta reeled in 5 million beta players, meaning World of Warcraft could see a big drop in numbers as curious gamers take The Elder Scrolls Online for a spin.