Home > The Secret World > The Secret World has launched

The Secret World has launched

July 3, 2012

Today is the official launch day for The Secret World, although in practice the flood gates opened already yesterday. The Early Access has been going on for a few days now and it has been quite smooth for the most part – some glitches and issues, but nothing that I have encountered has caused any major concerns.

Funcom has also released a launch trailer on YouTube:

To me the game seems to be the kind of game that I think Ragnar and the others at Funcom envisioned when they created Anarchy Online originally. Back then they had the adventure game experience, but lacked experience with developing MMORPGs and online games (as many others). Developing and running Age of Conan helped them with building and tuning the tools (Dreamfall engine etc). Now almost exactly 11 years after the Anarchy Online launch they release a game that looks as if it is the result of that vision combined with years of hard earned experience in developing MMORPGs.

One comment that a number of people have written goes along the lines of “seems ok, but I wait until the game goes F2P, which it inevitably will“.  While I can predict the future in some cirumstances, I cannot say for sure what Funcom will do down the line. But most Western MMOs that has converted to some “F2P” model has converted to some kind of hybrid where one still has to subscribe in most cases if you want access to the whole game. In fact, Funcoms previous MMO titles have significant portions locked away behind subscriptions. If Funcom changes the business model at some point it will likely be a glorified trial with restrictions, e.g. like the beta weekends.

Personally I am considering buying a lifetime subscription for the game. Even if I would end up not playing the game long enough to gain a monetary benefit from it, I would happily provide that as an incentive to a developer that I think is about to revitalize the genre.

Categories: The Secret World
  1. July 3, 2012 at 17:05

    While I did play AO at some point when that was the only MMO they had out, I haven’t been following Funcom very closely. There is definitely some adventure game DNA in TSW, which I’m finding quite refreshing.

    I personally have found that there is an awful lot of content you can get to in AoC without having to pay much. I have payed to unlock a character slot so I can play the three classes I want to (characters I rolled during my brief time subbed up the summer after the game launched), and that’s about it.

    Given that TSW already has an in game item shop, the game seems well positioned to transition to some sort of FtP model once subs dry up. That may take longer than some seem to believe, I think there is already a solid base of players that dig the puzzles and the setting.

    • July 3, 2012 at 21:54

      There is a lot of content in the “free” portion of Age of Conan, most of the pre-level 80 content is there. However, at this point it seems to me that a majority of the activity is happening at level 80 in the sense that is where most active players are. With the option to start with a level 50 once and add offline levels to your characters I think once people have reached level 80 once they move up new characters rather quickly.

  2. July 3, 2012 at 19:22

    We just filled for two lifetime subs just because this seems like one of those games where it’d be more enjoyable should you take your time following the main storyline. We figure this would take us more than 13 months playing anyways.

    I never understood though, all things being equal, why some people would rather wait and see a game fail in its sustainable dev-business model and turn F2P (usually after firing most of the devs) than to support them from the get-go. Especially if its something they value. It’s a dictionary definition of a jerk.

    • July 3, 2012 at 22:10

      @dataferret: Yeah, if everyone thought like that we would end up in many failures. While I do think thay F2P-type models where people can try out the game before committing to it, I also think that it is up to the company to decide what they think is a sustainable business model.

      Regardless of the details of the business model I do believe they want a model in which most people are willing to pay something for their game experience. It is not a mass-market-attract-as-many-as-possible type of game where content is such that it is easy consumable by everyone. If one does not want to pay for it, then one should look for another game.

  3. July 4, 2012 at 23:54

    If I wasn’t unemployed at the moment, I’d buy a lifetime. And I swore off lifetime memberships after that one time at band camp…er… I mean… Champions Online.

    Anyway. This is my only game this summer so I can justify one subscription. =)

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