Sadly, it won’t be permanently free when it launches for all platforms.
In a rather interesting twist, Bethesda Softworks have announced a beta for Survival mode in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition. If you own the game on Steam, then it’s possible to opt into the beta and try it for yourself.
Much like Fallout 4’s Survival mode, players in Skyrim will have to manage Hunger and Fatigue as they travel the world. Thanks to the effects of climate, you’ll have to be careful when it gets too cold (and in Skyrim, it gets plenty cold pretty often). Fast travel also isn’t available so you’ll need to horse to get anywhere on the map.
Here’s the real kicker though – Survival mode will be available free for one week on PC, PS4 and Xbox One when it releases. After this, you have to purchase it as an add-on from the Creation Club.
Considering Fallout 4’s Survival mode was free, this is kind of a downer. Then again, in terms of significant features, it certainly beats armour sets and paint jobs.