"I think people got lost because they don't have this number telling them how strong they are."
By Tim Colwill on October 9, 2012 at 10:52 am
The success of The Secret World seemed all but assured: a new and intriguing modern-day occult setting, a level-free system, an evolving personal story, and of course the brand-name power of Ragnar Tørnquist. But despite this, sales of the game have been much slower than anticipated — to the point where Funcom laid off up to half its staff, including the Lead Designer.
That Lead Designer, Martin Bruusgaard, has now come forward to reflect on how The Secret World reached this point. “Looking at the numbers from our (million-player-strong) beta where – and I don’t know exact numbers – but it was something like 80% thought the game was good or great and would recommend it to their friends… the numbers were really, really positive. We thought we must’ve done something right, that people really liked us.”
Asked to identify what they could have done differently, Bruusgaard pointed to the level-free system. “This may be a radical thing to say, but I think it would have helped if we actually had levels in the game. I’m sort of ashamed to say it, but I think that might’ve made things feel more familiar when it comes to players tracking their own progression and telling how strong they are, and knowing where to go. I think people got lost because they don’t have this number telling them how strong they are.”
Bruusgaard concluded: “I think we probably should’ve gone for something that was maybe a bit more familiar (…) If I’m thinking about making the game a more commercial success, I think we should’ve gone more commercial.”
Source: PA Report