Funcom admits The Secret World is doing less well than expected

The Secret World

By on August 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Funcom’s latest financial report has revealed that their latest MMO offering, The Secret World, has only moved 200,000 units since its release in July. According to the firm, they are attributing its lower-than-hoped-for sales to competing MMOs and mixed reviews.

The fact that the release date for Guild Wars 2 was announced 2 weeks before the release of The Secret World is being called a contributing factor, as well as Blizzard’s announcement of The Mists of Pandaria.

As strategies to combat these less-than-exciting numbers, Funcom is saying they will be looking at various “initiatives” to draw in a larger player base, and at the same time will focus on “smaller, more focused online games”.

Source: VG247

16 comments (Leave your own)

ouch, looked interesting and wanted to give it a try, but money is tight now a days, and cant be bothered with a subscription based game really. If it goes free to play, perhaps i’ll take a look, then again, I find mmo mechanics boring as hell, so eh…


Probably would have sold a lot more if their previous MMO wasn’t a complete failure.


I think it was a bad decision to go subscription based..especially after it was announced that TOR was going F2P…


Age of Conan was great fun, the only reason they fked it was by not having the whole game voiced, instead of just the start zone.


Lose the monthly fee and i’ll play again, i really enjoyed the game. But not enough to pay $15 a month…

Village idiot

Lose the monthly fee and i’ll play again, i really enjoyed the game.But not enough to pay $15 a month…

Agreed. I like the game and i know its only $15 a month in the scheme of things (its a few cups of coffee), but lately my play time has just been too small and sporadic to justify the payments.

Maybe when i get some more time up my sleeve ill go back, who knows.


So sad some people feel that $0.5 a day is too much to pay to play games online…
Instead of a large big mac meal you could get a medium and use the left over money to pay for an online game :D

This game is fantastic. No split community in PvE as you can group up with the other 2 factions any time. The 1v1v1 PvP is a lot of fun too.

525 skills to unlock and I am only 55% done >.<


I unsubscribed, also can’t justify the fee, just not enough content yet.

I reckon they’ll go F2P soon.


I think the monthly payment model has basically become outdated. It’s surprising Funcom has gone down this path one more time with Secret World when it even adopted F2P in AoC (quite successfully too). It’s almost as if they put on purposeful blinkers during the development process hoping that things would work out. What were they really expecting would happen with the juggernaut level hype surrounding GW2 that was due to release in the same year, even if the date wasnt in concrete. Worse for Funcom now that GW2 is showing it’s not going to be a flash in the pan like SW:TOR.

My issue with a $15.00 monthly fee isnt specifically the cost – $15.00 is not really even one pizza these days (well delivered :) ) – it’s the fact that I’m shelling out $15.00 for something I cant guarantee I’ll play. This month I resubbed to TSW and I’ve played it for around 10 minutes during this sub period. My most wanted game of the year came out (Transformers), with my second most (GW2) wanted at almost the same time. In addition to those two, I’ve been wanting to put further hours into other addictions such as Dota2.

Long story short – GW2 is a godsend in this regard. All the trappings of a good MMO but I can play it whenever i wish – TSW feels like money i’ve allocated but wasted.

That all being said, TSW is also a surprisingly good game. It’s something I think a lot of people wouldn’t expect once they give it a good few hours. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely a somewhat unique experience in the MMO field. Think Alan Wake combined with Left 4 Dead.



I’m not so sure it’s the cost itself, but rather the feeling that you’re paying for something you’re not using. I may be alone in this but I dislike monthly subscription models with regards to online games simply because I then feel like I’m obligated to pay or I’m pissing away money.


Subscrpition based MMO’s are slowing dying F2P is where its at right now and I Bet as soon as they make this game F2P they will see millions of players.



Pretty much this. In my personal opinion it’s subscription costs and not the games themselves that cause MMO addiction. If I paid money and was told I had only 1 month to play the game then I would want to play it every second of the day to get my money’s worth otherwise it would feel like a complete waste.


If games had continual content and appeal then people would happily continue to pay subs like WoW and Rift.

Going F2P after people have been paying subs is a slap in the face to those who did though. Especially after 6 months like SWTOR. It shouldn’t be the enevitable fall back option of subs-games.


The problem with going from subscription to F2P is it wasnt originally intended. A game designed to be F2P from the word go will generally be well put together. One going from Sub to F2P will often be a clunky slap in the face.

While LoTro isnt terrible – i know first hand that when it went F2P i paid for a subscription because it was simply too much of a pain in the ass to work out what i could or couldnt do. Am i limited to 2 gold? Am i able to quest in this area? I can access this instance but not that one? I have one quarter bag space? It’s seriously like playing with a set of weights around your nads.

EQ2 was another that did the same thing – but was much worse IMO. It was so clunky that it even re-released as an EVEN MORE FREE F2P – hah!

So many games struggle to find their F2P identity. Heroes of Newerth is a good example, recently making all of its heroes free, where previously they weren’t. It’s adapting to obvious large scale feedback.

SW:TOR will no doubt adopt one of these annoying models where you’re given a free game, but a gimped experience – just like EQ2, Lotro, AoC etc etc.

The companies that really own it up in this area are the ones that make it seamless, provide you with a legitimate crapload of free (100% free) content – and create things that you actually WANT to purchase. League of Legends is the king here. Ask your average LoL player how much they’ve splashed out on cosmetic skins – skins that serve absolutely no purpose other than looking great. Their quality makes players feel that they want them – it’s important to the average gamer to stand out from the crowd, or to be able to look how you want. So many companies cant understand this simple concept.


Probably would have sold a lot more if their previous MMO wasn’t a complete failure.

Yep I think this was a big factor. Given that Age of Conan didn’t retain players after the first month, it’s no surprise buyers gave The Secret World a bit of the old ‘wait and see’ treatment. But the REVIEWS are what really killed it. Given that lack of excitement about Funcom, it really needed good reviews to get people across the line. Mostly they didn’t get them. Some reviewers really liked it, but a lot didn’t and since the generation we live in sees a 7/10 on Metacritic – processes that as a ‘meh’ game, and moves on to something else – too bad for Funcom.

Patrick Vuleta

Three things we really need to keep in mind though:

1. The game has lower operating costs than Age of Conan.

2. The cash store in The Secret World is performing ‘as expected’.

3 Player retention is generally high.

Investors have a funny way of looking at investments. They want their money back within a short timeframe, not within a year. That’s why the main thing looked at with movie releases, for example, is the theatrical release. The video and merchandise is kindof pushed to the side.

So with The Secret World generally achieving consistent profits over time, it’s not ‘dead’.

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