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(Pocket-lint) - When Elder Scrolls Online was released for the PC in April last year there were plenty of complaints over its pricing structure. Not only did Bethesda charge a hefty initial fee to buy the game but subscription options were steep.

Now it seems that the software company has listened as it will be shifting the game to a free-to-play model in March. The game will still cost an initial purchase, if you want the disc version at least, but there will be no subscription fee.

Some items and premium downloadable content for Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (the new name) will be charged for, but players don't have to pay an extra penny if they don't want to. It will go subscription-free for PC and Mac owners from 17 March.

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The announcement ties in with the release date details for the long-awaited, much delayed versions of the game for the new generation of consoles. The PS4 and Xbox One versions of ESO: Tameriel Unlimited will hit the streets on 9 June.

There is still an indication that Bethesda will transfer characters too, if you've started playing on the PC and want to switch to either console.

The console versions are "not just ports of the PC game" as they are designed to work better with controllers. The user interface has been redesigned, there will be voice chat and the company has added PlayStation Network and Xbox Live support. Players will need to subscribe to either of the respective services to play as they are required for a vast majority of multiplayer online games on the consoles.

Writing by Rik Henderson.