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Funcom's Struggling Secret World MMORPG Now F2P Too

By - Source: Funcom | B 27 comments

Funcom has introduced a free-to-play option for The Secret World that does not impose limits, similar to Guild Wars 2.

Looks like Funcom is taking the free-to-play route once again, as the company has announced that The Secret World now has a "pay once, play forever" option. Potential players merely need to purchase the game to enjoy everything the MMORPG has to offer. There are no complicated rules or restrictions, the company claims, and there are no rules telling what gamers can and cannot access because they're not forking out a monthly subscription.

"With this recent change there is no reason not to join and take part in ‘The Secret World’," says Game Director Joel Bylos. "Most players end up having a ton of fun once they delve into the myths and legends of ‘The Secret World’, and we believe the game has the potential to be even more successful without the subscription entry barrier. It is an ambitious and very exciting move for us!"

But unlike the highly-popular Guild Wars 2, The Secret World isn't completely abandoning the subscription model, borrowing from Age of Conan and Anarchy Online. Those willing to shell out a monthly Membership fee will receive bonus content like the Time Accelerator, $10 worth of Bonus Points, an item-of-the-month gift, and a 10-percent discoint on everything offered in the in-game store.

There's also the Grandmaster pack, a lifetime subscription which includes all the benefits of the basic Membership option plus an additional 10-percent off everything sold in the in-game store, equaling to a 20-percent discount. To get potential customers signed up, Funcom is knocking 30-percent off the first purchase on the 3, 6 and 12 month Membership plans through the month of December.

"It was imperative for this to happen before the world ends on the 21st of December," said game director Joel Bylos in a recent interview. "We really want to let as many people as possible enjoy The Secret World before they all perish and suffer a horrible, horrible death. Am I scaring anyone? Sorry… but the end really is near."

Later on in the interview, Bylos said that Funcom views members and lifetime members as people who want a little extra in terms of benefits, without taking away any of the play experience from those who choose not to be members.

"It’s incredibly important to me to highlight that people who buy the game but choose not to be members are not treated like second class citizens," he added. "You bought the game, and you will have every tool available to enjoy the full game experience to the fullest. Rather than putting restrictions on the entry level players, we will simply be giving incentives to the people who choose to be on a membership plan."

For more information about the change to The Secret World, head here for additional details.

 

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  • -2 Hide
    tomfreak , December 13, 2012 6:02 AM
    Make Anarchy online completely free to play please -.- Use LOTRO business model.
  • 2 Hide
    Pherule , December 13, 2012 7:27 AM
    Or I could just play Path of Exile. Pay 0 times, play forever.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2012 7:44 AM
    TSW is loads more fun than the snorefest GW2.
  • -5 Hide
    killerclick , December 13, 2012 7:52 AM
    Glad to see MMOs dying. Games should be single player, you want to play with others, go play naked twister or something.
  • 4 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , December 13, 2012 8:49 AM
    To be honest MMOs are becoming a bit boring. Either something in the spirit of the thing has changed (I suspect the blatant greed that permeates the industry... cough-cough... Blizzard... cough ) or people are just plain moving on.

    Truly though once you have become disenchanted with the amount of time and effort you have to put into these things then its pretty much the end of your interest in mmo's in general.
  • 2 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , December 13, 2012 8:52 AM
    Wow so many MMO's changing to free 2 play, I can't believe developers still haven't gotten the message. If your games sucks, no one will pay to play it for long!

    This game seems interesting I might check it out.
  • -2 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , December 13, 2012 8:53 AM
    Oh wait what!?

    This isn't free to play. You actually have to pay for the game so it should be labeled pay to play.
  • 3 Hide
    Gundam288 , December 13, 2012 9:39 AM
    PheruleOr I could just play Path of Exile. Pay 0 times, play forever.

    It's a great game. I gave them some money for one of the kiwis/beta supporter packs and got it a week or 2 ago. They typed out a letter and the lead dev printed his name with a pen. You don't see that to much anymore these days, people signing letters to their supporters that is.

    Can't wait for Act 3.
  • 2 Hide
    bender3000 , December 13, 2012 10:42 AM
    A friend gave me a buddy pass to TSW and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't worth $14.99/month. This F2P has potential!
  • 4 Hide
    Yuka , December 13, 2012 11:02 AM
    If you have to buy the game, is not a F2P model. It's not a subscription model either. It's a regular "multiplayer" option of the likes from CoD and BF with no "offline single player" model. It's not a Pay to Win like LoL, either.

    It's called "Buy and play" AFAIK. You buy the game, install it and go online, period.

    Cheers!
  • 1 Hide
    catchercradle , December 13, 2012 11:40 AM
    Is there a linux version?
  • 3 Hide
    Marcus52 , December 13, 2012 11:45 AM
    lpedraja2002Wow so many MMO's changing to free 2 play, I can't believe developers still haven't gotten the message. If your games sucks, no one will pay to play it for long! This game seems interesting I might check it out.



    What you don't understand is that most of these games were quite profitable without F2P, - but it has been demonstrated that the average person the uses a "free to play" account actually spends more month than a subscription player. And, adding the F2P brings in players that wouldn't otherwise play the game. These kinds of players tend not to stick around, but they spend more money when they are playing, on average. Adding F2P to a failing game might save it, but that's not why most publishers are doing it, they are doing it so that a game that is already profitable makes more.

    So, the plan today is - release your MMOG with subscription-only terms, get the game paid for quickly through initial sales and steady payments, and then go F2P in order to rake in more cash for a game the subscription players paid for.

    My recommendation is that any player looking to play a new MMOG simply wait 6 months; no point in buying the game if you don't have to, and some of the bugs will be worked out by then, too.
  • 0 Hide
    godfather666 , December 13, 2012 12:13 PM
    Nice, I might actually pick it up.

    Can we not call it free-to-play though? We are paying up front, so it's really the opposite of F2P if you think about it.

    "Pay once, play forever" is much more accurate.
  • 0 Hide
    bllue , December 13, 2012 12:27 PM
    lpedraja2002Wow so many MMO's changing to free 2 play, I can't believe developers still haven't gotten the message. If your games sucks, no one will pay to play it for long! This game seems interesting I might check it out.

    I've come to find that the issue seems to be more about $14.99 a month. Few people can justify paying that, especially those who wouldn't play much every week. 6 years when I played WoW the reactions in the internet towards subscription weren't as severe as they are today where new MMOs that require subscription end up failing because a good portion of people avoid them like the plague. Just look at SWTOR, it's a decent games to mmorpg standards but I'd say that one could hardly justify a subscription in its early months. I don't think I could even justify paying that for WoW nowadays.

    In the early days of WoW and in the older MMOs it would take a guild months to clear content. Nowadays in all MMOs that can be done in like a week. When you have a subscription model and you aren't putting out new content too often, you're bound to fail and people will start to let their subscription lapse. If a dev won't be putting out new content every month or so, they might as well make the game B2P or F2P from the start.
  • 1 Hide
    yeesh , December 13, 2012 12:46 PM
    YukaIf you have to buy the game, is not a F2P model. It's not a subscription model either. It's a regular "multiplayer" option of the likes from CoD and BF with no "offline single player" model. It's not a Pay to Win like LoL, either.It's called "Buy and play" AFAIK. You buy the game, install it and go online, period.Cheers!

    I know, right? I don't understand why F2P seems to confuse journalists so much. For example, by the logic of the article the entire Diablo series has been F2P since the beginning. And so has Torchlight, Borderlands, etc...
  • 0 Hide
    maestintaolius , December 13, 2012 3:41 PM
    I initially wrote the game off when it first came out as I thought it was exclusively pvp and after being so disappointed with AoC. I decided to give it a try after seeing a few LP episodes on youtube. I've actually come to really enjoy the game and its the closest thing I could find out there to my beloved CoH that NC axed a few weeks ago.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , December 13, 2012 4:30 PM
    catchercradleIs there a linux version?

    Only Windows. Wine support is bad but it hasn't been tested recently:
    http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=14186
  • 0 Hide
    Bean007 , December 13, 2012 4:44 PM
    Problem with there game was that it just wasn't fun. Even though WoW is old it can still attract players back to the game and keep a good constant subscriber base. I was in the beta and even though after the beta they make changes the game just wasn't all that great. Heck even Rift and EvE Online are still gooding good.
  • -1 Hide
    robochump , December 13, 2012 6:13 PM
    Another MMO that suffered because the studio doesnt have a clue regarding PvP. Any MMO that does PvP even partially well will succeed. Glad I waited and will give TSW a chance since I had a blast with AOC; even though FC has a history of not being able to push out their own games reliably.
  • 0 Hide
    brettms71 , December 13, 2012 7:36 PM
    Glad this has happened. I play on a lifetime subscription, and don't lose out because it's gone free to play. But it also means i can grab it for my 3 kids, and they can now game with me. But they (or me more likely) don't have to pay $45 for monthly subsriptions for my kids to join me online. Couldn't be happier.
    I wish more games would cater for familes. If i want to game wth my kids i have to buy 4 copies. At least The Secret World is reasonably priced to do that.
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