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.