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The Secret World drops subscription model

The Secret World drops subscription model

Launching in July, lower sales figures than anticipated forced Funcom to lay off staff and restructure the company.

Funcom's alternate-modern-day MMO The Secret World has dropped its subscription model in favour of a free-to-play model similar to that pioneered by the Guild Wars series.

Players will only be required to play an upfront amount for the client and will then have access to all of the game's content after that for free. A premium membership option will still be available granting players bonuses if they continue to pay $15/€15 a month.

Being a paid up member will give players a Time Accelerator item that grants them faster experience gain for one hour every day, a 10% discount from the in-game store and €10/$10 of credit to spend in said store each month. A higher Grand Master Lifetime tier to the membership is also available and grants a further 20% discount at the store.

Launching in July, The Secret World has already received four major content updates with further updates planned. As well as the free updates available for all players, they will also work to deliver paid content packages as well.

At launch, despite performing moderately well critically and collecting a lot of positive feedback from its player base during the beta phase, the title only clocked up 200,000 sales resulting in Funcom having to restructure. The Secret World also ended up competing with the launches of Guild Wars 2 and Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion which can't have helped sales figures.

Back in October, Funcom told Eurogamer that there were no plans to make the title free-to-play, but also acknowledged that the game would work without a subscription model.

8 Comments

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azrael- 13th December 2012, 08:37 Quote
That didn't take long. Aligns pretty well with my take on subscription/non-subscription-based games. Either you pay for the game at retail and then playing is free or you pay a monthly fee but get the game for free.

Also, caught a typo: "Players will only be required to play an upfront amount..". I'm sure that should read "pay".
rollo 13th December 2012, 11:28 Quote
WOW still has 10mil subs.

Till that number drops to somewhere closer to 5mil, No Paid MMO will ever succeed in the numbers they require to make it successful. if your gonna pay £8 a month then you may as well pay it to blizzard is the general oppinion many have.

Rift is the next biggest mmo with 1million players.( its the only other paid mmo to have maintained a paid player base)

I also personally feel the time of MMOs is passing, The day when they were for the hardcore elite players is long since gone and that will not return.
sear 13th December 2012, 14:14 Quote
I'm surprised they are offering only a 10% boosts/discounts for subscribers. That really doesn't seem worth the money and I wonder if this plan will work out well for them in the long run.
fdbh96 13th December 2012, 16:16 Quote
I think developers should give up on the traditional mmo for a while. Let WoW shed its subscribers and try again in a couple of years with some fresh ideas, not just copying Blizzards.
dolphie 14th December 2012, 00:21 Quote
This game has lots of fresh ideas though. It's set on Earth (albeit a freaky spooky version of it), it has no levels, it has assault rifles and shotguns and whatnot - as well as magic, there are no fixed classes - you just buy skill points in whatever spells or abilities you want as you go, and they really took questing to a whole new level with the investigation quests and some of the other more interesting ones.

It's pretty far from perfect though, but I really liked it and I think most people gave it a harder time than it really deserved, or just didn't even try it at all. I think it's a shame. Although now I get to play it for free! So I'm happy.
chemo 14th December 2012, 01:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
WOW still has 10mil subs.

Till that number drops to somewhere closer to 5mil, No Paid MMO will ever succeed in the numbers they require to make it successful. if your gonna pay £8 a month then you may as well pay it to blizzard is the general oppinion many have.

Rift is the next biggest mmo with 1million players.( its the only other paid mmo to have maintained a paid player base)

I also personally feel the time of MMOs is passing, The day when they were for the hardcore elite players is long since gone and that will not return.

wasnt this game about £13 a month though? takes the whatsits!
it pains me to pay out £9 a month for the other mmo's ive played, this one was far too high
rollo 14th December 2012, 11:34 Quote
Rift and wow are at about £8 im not sure what this is or was. 15 euro i read not sure what that transfers too.
dolphie 14th December 2012, 20:35 Quote
Yeah it was more expensive than the others. But now there is no subscription at all, you just buy the box and then play free forever. There are even some really good deals on the box itself too.
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