The Secret World creative director Ragnar Tornquist has explained why the subscription model is key to the game's development.
"Of course [having Conan go free-to-play] has taught us a lot. Five years from now, ten years from now, will Secret World be free-to-play? I'm sure of it," he told RockPaperShotgun.
"But that's a long time. For the time being, we're committed to this business model, and as long as people are willing to pay us in order to provide them with expanded content and ongoing content, we'll keep that business model."
He also pointed out that so far no triple-A MMOs have launched with a free-to-play model, and argued that the subscription model supports a big team that can continue to work on content long past launch.
"Whether or not that's the business model that's going to be around in five years, I can't say," he admitted.
"But it wasn't right for us to come out and be a free-to-play game, because then we would have to find other ways to support the ongoing content. Whether it would be DLC and charging people for that, or an item store and charging people for that, [I can't say]. At any rate, people are going to have to pay more in order to support the ongoing development. I think that at least for me and at least for traditional MMO players, a subscription fee is something they understand."
The Secret World launched on July 3.