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.