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.

45 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Bx on December 12, 2012

    freemium is worse then anything

  2. Deathgod on December 12, 2012

    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.

    • philtothetop on December 12, 2012

      Just to clarify, GM packs will get 2400 points/month

  3. Sicaris on December 12, 2012

    You guys..Funcom will never do a game totally free >.>..BTW they only removed the subs but u need to pay for the game -.-

  4. werwer on December 12, 2012

    f2p , everyone gets it

  5. adsd on December 11, 2012

    free to play without restriction , maybe i’ll give a try M A Y B E

  6. longtimegamer on December 11, 2012

    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

  7. jonathon82 on December 11, 2012

    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

  8. Curst on December 11, 2012

    Is it the end of the secret world? How sad…

  9. xcr00k3dx on December 11, 2012

    I bet that it’s going to have a free play day where they have an end of the world event =D

  10. Kraele on December 11, 2012

    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.

  11. Echoman on December 11, 2012

    Im so unlucky to have birthday at the same time as the end of the world xD

  12. removalmitt on December 11, 2012

    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

  13. Odin on December 11, 2012

    it’s not going free to play its going buy to play (like guild wars 2) i saw a adv.

    • commanderhavoc on December 11, 2012

      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.

  14. hovsep on December 11, 2012

    *sniff sniff* …you smell that? i smell bullshit restrictions

  15. sdfdsf on December 11, 2012

    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

  16. Seawolf on December 11, 2012

    I dont like F2P!! Please make games that we have to buy like always!!

    • datoamo on December 11, 2012

      U went into a f2p game website…To say make everything buy to play?

  17. Fedde on December 10, 2012

    Please FUNCOM make it FREE!!!

  18. zoren on December 10, 2012

    If they do f2p it might be full f2p or it will be like swtor

  19. nexthazard on December 10, 2012

    ya this game is epic but who in the world is this wasteman -,-

  20. Zhao Yun on December 10, 2012

    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

  21. on December 10, 2012

    I beta tested and couldn’t afford the monthly, if they keep the F2P at the same level as the Beta, I’d play…

  22. Gamer on December 10, 2012

    First thing I saw on this link on the video… is some guy’s belly o.o
    Lol… xD

    But yeah, I hope this game would be F2P

  23. globox on December 10, 2012

    Let’s just hope they don’t follow a bad example like Bioware/EA with the F2P option.

    • Dantiko on December 10, 2012

      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.

  24. Philtothetop on December 10, 2012

    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

    • zero on December 10, 2012

      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.

    • Magicman on December 10, 2012

      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.

    • pRogz on December 10, 2012

      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?!

    • phonz on December 11, 2012

      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.

    • Tio_Z/frealms on December 11, 2012

      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!”

  25. Rufinus on December 10, 2012

    i would play if this game goes ftp

    • DC on December 10, 2012

      Me too. I doesn’t worth to pay a sub for this game. But id actually play it if it turns f2p.

      • MaxHavok on December 12, 2012

        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.

    • pRogz on December 10, 2012

      Thats what people said if SWTOR went F2P….


      If its shit, its still gonna be shit when it changes its payment system.

      • Whoopyoass on December 10, 2012

        Indeed, but atleast you are not spending any money for a shitty game.

      • Seth on December 10, 2012

        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.

        • reavermyst on December 11, 2012

          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?

          • Tio_Z/frealms on December 11, 2012

            “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.

          • Sakee on December 11, 2012

            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?

          • Seth on December 16, 2012


            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 ^_^

      • jesterhead on December 11, 2012

        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…

      • steelslinga on December 13, 2012

        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