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Funcom drops subscriptions for The Secret World

But there's still an upfront charge for new players

Despite declaring only months ago that it was committed to the subscription model, Funcom has dropped the compulsory monthly charges from its MMO The Secret World.

"Everyone who has purchased (or will purchase) the game can now enjoy the full game without being required to sign-up for a monthly fee. This means that all of the heralded story-line and all of the game content available right now can be played as you please without requiring any additional payment," said a statement from senior community manager Tarib on the game's forum.

The game still has an upfront charge, but no monthly fees, so it's a similar model to Guild Wars 2. Players who feel flush can still choose to handover $15 (€15) a month to get boosters, points to spend on in-game items, and discounts on those items. All missions, abilities and equipment will be available to all players.

At the start of October Funcom communications director Erling Ellingsen said there were no plans for the game to go free-to-play, which suggests the decision to change business models was a sudden one, but when new CEO Ole Schreiner spoke exclusively to GamesIndustry International in September he admitted that Funcom had "the tools to turn The Secret World into a free-to-play game - or even hybrid - should we decide to do that somewhere down the line."

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Latest comments (5)

Its a shame. The Secret World is a really interesting and different game, but this is a sure sign that it failed to find its market
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Kevin Patterson musician 3 years ago
I don't see how this will help long term with new subscribers, unless they really drop the price on the main game. I played a free weekend and I thought it was a decent game, and I would play it if it was free. Unless I see it going to a low purchase price for a compulsive buy, I'm probably not going to get the game. Guild wars 2 has hype and word of mouth about it, not so much for TSW.
The story behind the game is great, maybe a decent expansion would bring gamers in.
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Robert Kist Technical Art Manager, Virtuos3 years ago
good decision, even though they again look like flip floppers making ad-hoc decisions that look anything but planned. I really wish EA had given them some of their marketing and PR people and TSW would be better know than it is now. It's definitely a good game!
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Benjamin Crause Supervisor Central Support, Nintendo of Europe3 years ago
Seriously, everyone saw this coming and knew it already three months after launch (at least I called it back then). :) I believe this will help them in short term but I am still not convinced this will save them in the long run.
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Jason Pullara Podcaster 3 years ago
@Jeff - or it found its market and it was smaller than anticipated.
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