Joel Bylos, Game Director of The Secret World, has started a web series full of almost as much mystery and intrigue as the game itself. While contemplating the alleged “End of the World” on December 21, 2012, this first video log follows Joel’s thoughts on how to get more people to play The Secret World before the coming Apocalypse. The video has some funny tidbits and culminates in Joel crashing a Funcom board meeting and telling the head honchos to “Drop the Sub” and have the “Subscription not Required”.

While the video focuses on these thoughts and the date 12-21-2012, it stops short of actually advertising the game as going Free-to-Play. The video series is “to be continued” and more details are sure to come out in the next few days.

So what does it all mean? Will The Secret World shift to a fully free to play model? Will it drop the subscription and still require a box purchase a la the Guild Wars 2 payment model? Looks like the last few days on earth should be interesting… at least as far as The Secret World is concerned.


  1. Went buy to play today

    Instead of having to pay every month just to play the game, you’ll now only need to part with your cash once to buy the title and then select which of the three membership tiers you want: free, member or grand master.

    The conversion isn’t planned to introduce any restrictions to the game’s current content; anyone who opts for the free tier will be able to access every weapon, dungeon and mission included in Issues 1 to 4. The next update, Issue 5, is planned for January and will be provided free of charge to anyone who registers an account before the end of December.

    That’s not to say subscription options are disappearing entirely, though. Choosing to pay the base amount of $15/€15 a month for a membership will net you an item that doubles XP gains for an hour with a 16 hour cooldown, Bonus Points to the value of $10/€10 every month to spend in the Item Store, a mystery gift on the first patch day of each month and a 10% discount on everything except content packs and other “packs” in the Item Store.

    Grand master lifetime members will get all that plus a further 10% discount at the Item Store. Both members and grand masters can use their free monthly Bonus Points to purchase DLC, while anyone who currently still has sub time left will be credited with 1200 bonus points and the XP boosting item.

  2. end of the world happening Dec 21? well here is a bit of thought for you, they didn’t have leap years so it should have happened 8 years ago if you use the Mayan calendar

  3. Its a good game. ts something different and unique. Theres a lot of new stuff that nobodys ever in an MMO. I subbed for a few months and had a ton of fun and the combats not as bad as people say. I actually liked it better then most MMO’s. Just like I do with all MMO’s these days I got bored and went somewhere else. So its not worth subbing to only to play sometimes but it is worth the sub IMO I really dont like how free to play games do people these days. Im like evryone else, hoping its just not a bunch of wack ass restrictions

  4. Wonderful game, and it’s actually a good P2P title, it’s just not a top priority P2P title. If it went F2P, it would blow up like crazy.

  5. might give this a try if properly ftp (i.e not extended/unlimited trial or with crazy restrictions)

    gw2 killed off btp for me so not falling for that 1 trick pony again

    • Eh, wouldn’t mind that at all.
      Its just a one time fee, you buy the game and thats it.
      There’s no need to force players to buy a subscription if they’re enjoying the game as it is, unlike Star Wars: The Old Republic as plenty of people have already stated.
      I know I would buy the game in a heartbeat if they go this path of just buying it and thats it.
      And to be honest, the game has a lot of interesting ideas, especially the quests that involve you having to search the internet for information about certain things and such, not often we see that type of thing in computer games nowadays.

  6. every game goes to f2p. why? best way to advertise it and make it popular= let it play for free, and add the cash shop and subscription for when they decide to buy

  7. well we all know turning this game f2p from p2p will give em for sure more players i would personally play this/try this if it went f2p i mean who wouldn’t seems an awesome game i just don’t like(as magicman said)its combat system but i will give it i try

    • EA and F2P just doesn’t get together in the same sentence, use Pay to Play model for those 2 companies, I mean, if the game changes for a free to play model there shouldn’t be items that actually modify the tide of the game for real money, I mean, clothes and skins, experience boosts and stuff that help you progress through the game quicker are fine in F2P model, but EA sucks with it.

  8. It wont happen. Else it would be unfair for players who bought the lifetime subs. It’s worth a year and about two months, and the game is out for only 4 months. I am a lifetime subscriber and hope to be refunded a part of the 200$, even if i get free goodies each months

    • that’s a risk you put up with when you put a lot of money into a new IP, but don’t flesh out the IP well, it tends to go f2p, and competeting with WoW does not help. they should have started F2P. they also have no need to give back the money, which is a sad thing.

    • Actually The lifetime sub isn’t a big deal. If you think back to when Age of Conan did the same thing the lifetime subbers were given a TON of things when the game went free to play and they were (overall) pretty happy with the trade off they got.

      Short Version: Lifetime subs won’t stop Funcom if they want to convert it to free to play.

    • Age of Conan went free to play.

      They dont care what you think, they just want your money, and seems like they bought you into their bullshit, and their stupidly made MMO. Why would you think they would have lifetime subs for a that wasnt that great to begin with?!

    • Hah, I’m a lifer too, but I got a new fulltime job around the time this game released and I never really had a chance to play. I’m not worried about $200 though if they provide some sort of in-game compensation when it converts.

    • Who knows, maybe they saw Star Trek Online and thought: “If STO could pull off 2 lifetime subs sales, one during P2P time and second after going F2P with PW, we could pull it off too!”

      • NOT worth a sub??? have you even watched the trailers??? of course its worth a sub.. when did people become so spoiled and!! im broke so no i never payed the sub..infact daoc and eq2 are the only 2 games ive ever subbed. BUT if i had the money id have played secret world on release day.

      • Yeah well SWTOR isn’t F2P. It’s freemium. If you are just F2P you can only have 2 characters, a certain amount of money, limited character creation options, you can only field rez like five times total or some bullshit, and worst of all you can only have one action bar. That’s not free-to-play, that’s an infinite time trial. A free-to-play-with-restrictions-that-make-it-unplayable model.

        • Not quite, you get 2 quick bars as a free to play member. The game is still a ton of fun. I do wish they’d drop or at least change a couple of the ridiculous restrictions like the limits on Space combat missions and the artifact grade restriction. That would improve the experience a bit more.

          Aside from that, I played that game free to play, no complaints in terms of gameplay. It’s a very enjoyable casual experience with an engaging sets of stories. It’s not unplayable by any means. If it was so bad, they wouldn’t have received such a great sub increase. They executed the free to play teasing pretty well regardless of the insanity behind the restrictions. Many said, including myself, ‘they’ll have to change’ but then Is aw the numbers and said, “Why change what already works?” So don’t hold your breath on that!

          The method behind the madness is Target Marketing. They’re targeting those who are willing to dedicate themselves to the franchise and the core game through the sub. The free to play section is more or less a cheap plug for advertizing through envy. Free players who want to play the core game will watch those who do sub and feel inspired to pay to enjoy the experience. Those who don’t are not their target so who cares really?

          • “If it was so bad, they wouldn’t have received such a great sub increase.”

            Question would be, how long do they LAST? It is fairly usual to have re-subs when models change as people who were subbers and quit come back to check what changed (more so when the F2P restricts instances and what not).

            If the numbers hold up for at least 3~6 months then I guess we can say it was a successful one instead of a bloom of the moment to fade again.

          • Well… as far as I know free2play means it’s free to play the damn game and wherever there’s a restriction on the actual gameplay that falls off the scale for me.

            How could you call it free2play when it does asks you a monthly 15 bucks if you really want to play raids or those space mission or pvp or whatever?

            Lol.. even to get your loot as I heard there’s even equipment restrictions there… so yeah.. Really?

          • @reavermyst

            The two quick bars can’t be on the screen at the same time though, you have to switch through them. Screw that.

            But yeah, your last paragraph is reiterating what I’m saying. It is a cheap plug for advertising, an unlimited time trial. It is not a free to play game, it is freemium. It is free if you want to deal with a bunch of crap.

            As much as I loved the story and everything, it just isn’t going to stand up to some of the games coming out, like Blade & Soul (assuming it is free to play in the west, which many speculate it will be.) Archeage, Bless, EIN, Black Desert. While all these games have some time before they reach the western market, once they get here many of these MMOs that still have pay to play and tab targeting will fail. At least, that is my opinion, because I am never going back to pay to play again ^_^

      • don’t thnk people were anticipating them locking away a 1/3rd of the game for free players.

        thats a big no-no… if your going to make a game free-to-play it better not have restrictions. or its not going to survive long…

      • the game was far from shit.. actually it was one of the best mmo’s i’ve ever played and still is. the reason myself and some rl friends quit playing was after 2 months of solid energy drink fueled red eyed gaming we had run out of content… we actually ran out around the month and a half point but hung on hoping more stuff would be released.
        give it a try


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