The Secret World column

The Secret World: Post-FTP

The Secret World: Post-FTP

Published on: Jan 11, 2013 at 17:29
By TJSonntag | More infos about the MMORPG The Secret World

The Secret World, Funcom’s second large-scale MMO, launched last summer with very little press or hype. With its real world setting—including locations in the United States, Egypt and Romania—and conspiracy theory theme, The Secret World was poised to differentiate itself from every other MMO currently live on servers. And that they did, to a great extent; while critical reviews were rather disappointing, user reviews told a much different story.

Those gamers interested in something different from the typical sci-fi, fantasy or post-apocalyptic scene were thrilled to find themselves unraveling mysteries in the modern world. With a cool selection of firearms, melee weapons and magical abilities, The Secret World also gave players the chance to use modern research technology and even included an in-game web browser. Not all of the answers to investigative missions are found within the game, and most require some sort of Internet search  along with some deductive reasoning to complete.

Due to virtually non-existent advertising, The Secret World didn’t sell all that well. In fact, Funcom only sold 200,000 copies in the first two months after release. Luckily for us, however, the publisher announced last month that they were moving to a different revenue model, à la NCSoft: buy the box, and play the game for free. You can, of course, choose to keep paying the subscription fee. That nets you tons of Funcom Points, enough to buy each DLC as it is released along with tons of costumes, titles and pets.

According to an article on Gamasutra, it appears that the change to FTP was a good move for Funcom and The Secret World. The last two weeks have seen another 70,000 copies of the game sold, and Funcom says that activity among TSW gamers is up by 400 percent. The current state of the game as of this writing is also greatly improved from their launch offering. Five full DLC packs of additional missions have been added, including the advent of auxiliary weapons with corresponding missions to acquire a rocket launcher, chainsaw and the Quantum Brace. They’ve also incorporated new features like the Barber Shop and Cosmetic Surgeon.

The Secret World is in good hands, and those Funcom developers on the project have shown over and over that they’re paying attention to what players have to say and implementing changes wherever they can. The recent PvP game play and currency overhaul is just one example. Funcom has also done some restructuring, including unfortunate staff layoffs and consolidation of offices. Hopefully, those moves will also let Funcom concentrate on creating great content for what is arguably the most ambitious MMO yet.

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About the author:
TJ Sonntag has owned various Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft consoles, most of which were purchased for an exclusive survival horror game or RPG. She has been playing World of Warcraft since July of 2006, as well as dabbling in several other MMOs such as Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings: Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. TJ has participated in the closed and open betas for Aion, Rift, and several WoW expansions. She also participates in several FTP MMO betas, and has been leveling a member of each Secret Society in The Secret World.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

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