The Secret World Subscription No Longer Required

The Secret World - Funcom - Buy To Play

On Tuesday, we showed you guys Joel Bylos‘ End of Days diary and asked you if you thought — as I did — that The Secret World would be making a F2P/B2P transition.  I think most of you agreed or at least hoped they would.

The two questions most seemed to have were what the new model would look like and what they were going to do for those people who shelled out for a Lifetime sub.

Well… Now we have our answer.  As of this morning, TSW is a Buy To Play game with a couple different subscription options for those who would like to do it and receive some bonuses.  It will still include the shop which is already full of clothing and other items like XP boosters and a run speed upgrade. (I’m not going to lie… I’d throw money at that.  “Run” is TSW‘s version of a mount.)

In addition Issues will no longer be free and it seems like they might be less frequent.

For those of you who don’t know, Issues is what TSW called their free monthly content update.  As of now, the official word is that they will be periodic and will cost $5 each.

All-in-all, I think Funcom have set up a pretty fair system here.  I’m very glad they didn’t go full on F2P as the game is worth the cost of the box to enter.  And I feel like charging a small sum for periodic content is reasonable.

The only thing I am uncertain of — as I did not throw down the cash for the Lifetime sub — is whether or not those who did will feel that what they are receiving for their support of the game is equal to what they gave.  We will see shortly.

For a full details on the B2P transition, check out the blog on The Secret World‘s site here.

  • 7BitBrian

    I like the model, I’m a big supported of B2P. At first glance the rewards lifetime subs get each month seem to be damn good to me, I think people are going to be happy with it. I’ll definitely be jumping back into this game now, especially when I have more time after the new year.

    • http://quintlyn.com/ QuintLyn Bowers

       Agreed. I’m a fan of B2P and subbing options.  And the game is well worth the purchase price.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Hatcher/100000111448255 David Hatcher

         Back in Beta I said that TSW was set up perfectly for a Wizard 101/DDO “F2P” model where you buy content map by map.  If I were TSW, I would have gone further down that road and completely ripped off Wizard 101′s model.  Make the first map free (thats your free trial), then sell the existing maps $3-5 each or monthly sub VIPs get full access to all content.

  • Theodore Ezike

    Is it too little too late:?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fredrik.gardsio Fredrik Fronken Gardsiö

    Shame they didn’t make it all the way F2P, if they did, i would’ve easily checked it out, but as it stands now i see no reason to purchase the box after everyone keeps saying that the combat system is crap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Berger/612288895 Nick Berger

    You have to buy to access their new content? EA………….. That’s just stupid. If it was an expansion sure, i’m down with that; but not general content updates.. 

    • http://twitter.com/SocietalSin Andrew Hostrawser

      It looks like the DLC packs will only be $5, hop off the high horse and realize that the game needs to make a profit to even survive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Brookens/100003510262900 Dustin Brookens

      I remember when you used to have to PAY for shareware versions of games, now people are mad if it isnt totally free!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Hatcher/100000111448255 David Hatcher

      Thats exactly how DDO has been doing it since F2P.  They have a basic storyline that is free, then they sell chunks of content they call “modules” (line pen & paper D&D) which are basically one storyline or map with a series of related adventures for $3-$10 each. Its a perfectly valid B2P method. Buy the content you want, dont buy things you dont.

    • Kagitaar

      I’m not one to go into the ‘complaining about entitled gamers’ mode, but come on. Do you expect them to give you new content that they worked hard on for free when you have given them nothing in return? The world doesn’t work like that. They are using the module method, aka mini expansions, so why is it so obscene to you that you’d have to drop $5 every couple months to get more content?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1386746308 Grzesiek Zelek

    watch and learn swtor!!!! Happy to try TSW now! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicholas-Wade-Flora/1751689478 Nicholas Wade Flora

    Meanwhile, GW2 is a one time purchase with incredible amounts of free monthly content with a fair cash shop for those who like to go the extra mile with costumes etc. 

    Can no one else follow in ArenaNets footsteps? Stahp being greedy you pathetic gaming devs! I know people who have literally spent thousands already in the GW2 cash shop because they love the game so much and they aren’t forced to, it has a lot of gambling “treasure boxes” with rare skins and such lol.

    I guess rich people can spend their money on w/e, anyway sorta off topic just thought it was interesting. People are more willing to spend money on a game when not forced a monthly fee or a fee for monthly content.

    This is a good start for sure. I hope more game devs do the same. Honestly don’t see the point in even having the monthly option though, like I said if people like the game they will spend tons in the cash shop. Seriously, don’t underestimate how crazy people go with that thing.

    • http://quintlyn.com/ QuintLyn Bowers

       As Gary pointed out last night on AfterDark in reference to PS2, a lot of people like subscriptions because they let them budget for it. It’s an option that allows the gamers to choose how they want to go paying for things and I love that.  I like that some companies consider every aspect and let the player choose.

      As for the Issues… It seems they will no longer bee monthly but instead periodically, which I imagine allows for two things.. 1. Giving them more time to test things and not have to push them back because they didn’t have time to work the bugs out. 2. Make them bigger and likely well worth the $5 fee.

      • Kagitaar

        Not to mention that the sub nets you enough shop cash to negate the cost of the sub in the first place. If you were going to be spending any money on the game, they did a great job making the sub attractive for that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dustin-Brookens/100003510262900 Dustin Brookens

      GW2 is a horrible game, at least TSW had potential to be fun!

      • http://www.facebook.com/BrianOrr.Author Brian Orr

        Too you it might be crap but I’m having a ton of fun in it, and no matter what time I am logged in there are always tons of others running around enjoying themselves as well. Love how they are putting out lots of new free content each month to keep out interest up.

        I am glad to see TSW give the B2P option a go and hope it works out for them. If it wasn’t for the lack luster combat I saw in Beta I might be tempted to get it. Really wish Swtor had gone this route with their change from a sub model. There are so many limitations on you there as a free player that I just dont feel inclined to finish off my 8 toons story lines.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Reyna/1830988318 Jonathan Reyna

      See I like Guild Wars 2 sure the game itself may not be my cup of tea since I like more traditional MMO’s like WoW but I love Guild Wars 2 model. Their cash shop is perfect! What people fail to understand is when you lock away BASIC cosmetics and content for the simple argument of “We need money to keep this game BTP” is completely unacceptable. You run into the dilemma of having to pay to not dread over how terrible your character looks from the lvl50 raid boss you just solo’d. See where I’m going with this? It diminishes the value and reward of accomplishing things in game when you do this and I’m glad Guild Wars 2 does not do this. The cosmetics are very pleasing as well as the “convenient’ options like boosts, gachas and account warehouse bags and such. That is the model to strive for not this rushed together sad excuse of a cash shop that clearly doesn’t care about their demographic in the slightest or they would’ve taken that into consideration. But I guess when you invest millions in an IP that ends up sucking for the simple fact its combat system is something that is subpar to any game made this decade… gotta be greedy as fudge.

  • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

    Played during the free trial weekend, wasn’t crazy about the combat.  Never been afraid of a box price or monthly sub, so this is unlikely to get me to try TSW.   Would require another free trail or f2p option to look at TSW again. 

    • Kagitaar

      Yeah, combat in TSW is pretty weak, but that’s not why you play it. If you ever get the chance to try it again, find an investigation mission, those are the best it has to offer.

      • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

        Thats why I keep it on my radar for MMOs.  Want to give it a full try, but not with a box purchase. Not right now. 

        • http://quintlyn.com/ QuintLyn Bowers

           The box price is $30.  That includes the full game, plus the four issues that have already come out, the one about to come out and some special perks.

          Joel Bylos has said that there are a couple of reasons for the box price — aside from money — one. it will help keep spammers and bots lower than a full on F2P model, two. It will cut back on people who join the game just to be jerks rather than enjoy the game, and 3. It will bring in people who at least intend to commit to the game.

          Basically, they want everyone to be able to play (and a $30 box fee makes that possible) but they don’t want JUST anyone to play.

          • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

            I can understand why Funcom wants to charge a box price. 

            What I am saying is the sales window for me to purchase TSW as a B2P game is over.  I have no problem paying a box price at the launch of a new MMO.  Pre-purchased GW2, had a blast during the beta weekends and enjoyed the game for several months after. 

            Tried TSW during the f2p weekend and just didn’t like the game enough to buy the box and pay a sub for a couple of months. 

            For me, it’s now too late to go B2P.  I would give it another chance if it was f2p with a cash shop and $5 issues.

            I would say for my next $30 out of my gaming budget, I’m considering splitting it between Planetside 2 and Guild Wars 2 or purchasing The Walking Dead, which I’ve heard really good things about. 

            Plus the rest of December is crazy.  Still got progression raiding in WoW Mists, WoW Mists alt raiding with the out of school crowd, Rift SL free week, GW2 holiday events and the ongoing Planetside 2 madness. I still need to run through Starcraft 2 again, before the expansion next year.  

            TSW needs to do better, if it wants my attention back. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Reyna/1830988318 Jonathan Reyna

    Do they still have a cash shop? If not i’ll consider it but if theres a cash shop its still worthless.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Hatcher/100000111448255 David Hatcher

       Of course there is a cash shop.  They need continuing income somehow.  Amazing how naive internet people are about basic economics.  Game developers need to eat and pay rent; you need to pay something for your games or no one will write them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Reyna/1830988318 Jonathan Reyna

        Except they had this when they had a sub too and there were a ton of amazing items in there so I’m going to guess this will definitely eventually cross the point of pay to win where a majority of the game is locked away. Standard funcom shouldn’t expect anyless of them.

        • Kagitaar

          How about you actually look up what’s in the shop and what isn’t before you go shooting your mouth off?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Reyna/1830988318 Jonathan Reyna

            O tough guy? I was in Beta for over a month I know whats in the cash shop. Thanks for the comment though.

          • Kagitaar

            The run speed boost is an upgrade you can buy in the game, it’s just letting you buy it for cash instead of waiting to get enough Pax. The rest is standard convenience and cosmetic stuff, there is no P2W. Nothing in the shop is required to have fun with the game.

            Unlike you, I actually played and liked the game, I just didn’t have time for another sub. Now I can spend hours digging through clues without having to worry about playing enough to justify the sub.

  • Kagitaar

    EA is barely affiliated with TSW, in that case they are just the publisher, while Bioware and SWTOR are owned by EA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bent.lybech Bent Harley Lybech

    This sadly doesn’t fix the one reason I haven’t paid for the game… EA!

    Love the game, but I refuse to throw money at EA.

  • http://twitter.com/AisarGaming Aisar

    I have to admit I thought the game would go full F2P and be supported by the cash shop and something like the $5 content packs (although obviously I did not know about those).  I figured they would go this route to eliminate the barrier that people like me cannot get past.  Shows how naive I am lol.  I really hope this helps them out though ;)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YSVAPKVBUPTX6YS3W2DLPOBNN4 AlokP

      The $30 gains you access to everything in the game right now, well over 100 hours, which is better than most triple A titles. GW2 had a 60$ price tag, no one bitched at them that they should just allow free access to their game with only a cash shop. You’re literally complaining about the B2P model which is generally fair unless they nickel and dime you by map (which it doesn’t seem like they’re going to do). The only difference here is that they started as a sub, and they’re gonna compensate those who subbed til now for being subbed. New content looks like it’ll be 5$ DLC akin to map packs, which is different than GW2, but I imagine TSW isn’t rolling in the money ANet is.

      I look forward to trying TSW now, I loved the beta weekends but wasn’t willing to pick up another sub.

      • http://twitter.com/kirzanSix Michael Coulombe

        ^ This.

        When people complain about things that make sense, they don’t always compare with the right stuff. Right now, TSW is a bang for your buck considering the time/$.

        The way I see it is: Right now it’s 30$. It’s going to be 5$ per Issue. So we have about 6 issues until it’s equivalent to GW2. From that point on, it’ll be more expensive and you’ll probably have done everything you could by then.

        TSW is comparable to, like, Call of Duty. If Call of Duty came with 5 map packs for 30$ and the next 6 map packs were 5$ each. Wouldn’t that be awesome? People are already paying 60$ for the base game and 15$ per map pack… Get it?

        • http://twitter.com/AisarGaming Aisar

           Yeah you guys are totally right.  I just have no interest in the game.

    • http://quintlyn.com/ QuintLyn Bowers

      ” If your game is good why charge me to access and play it?”  Like anything else, because they do need to make a profit off of it.  And, as a barrier to entry for the people they DON’T want in the game, hackers, botters, trolls, etc. 

      The $30 fee is there to make people who might otherwise jump into a full on F2P game second guess whether it’s worth the expenditure to get in.  Will it keep them all out?  No… But there are a lot of lazy and cheap people who won’t drop $30 when they could just go cause havoc in some other game.

  • crothcipt

    I have loved the idea of this game from when I first heard of it on twimo.  But they tried to do the whole fb. thing to get into beta threw me off.  For me if they can’t advertise it to a group that they are looking for then I won’t play it.

    I think that this is a good move for them.  If they do a try it for free weekend I may try it, but I have to few time to devote to this game.

  • http://twitter.com/JasoonMc Jason McIntyre

    This is honestly how every single MMO should be.  The fact that there are still mandatory subscription fees on MMOs is really sad.  Developers should have to work for the money they receive ($5 for additional add on packs.)  I got back into WoW recently for the expansion and I threw a game card on to my account but when it runs out, I will not be resubbing.  NO GAME is worth $15/month plus the cost of the box.

    Blizzard have a solid product and WoW is worth $50 or so but I am not going to keep throwing money at a 8 year old game.  I would love to see blizzard do something like this.

    • http://twitter.com/dularr Dularr

      I would actually like to see Blizzard follow the EVE business model.  Charge a monthly sub, but don’t charge for expansions. 

      • http://twitter.com/Luke_Malcolm Luke Malcolm

        I rather pay for expansion than pay for a sub, But we all know if Blizzard said WoW was going B2P people would proclaiming its demise over the hill tops.

        We would never hear the end of it.

    • Cold Silfur

       “Developers should have to work for the money they receive”

      ehm excuse me this aint logical… still with p2p developers have to work hard to keep the customers paying..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Eggers/100000868131517 Kyle Eggers

    This is okay and I might try TSW now but I’m playing GW2 and they don’t charge me extra for updates?  Maybe if it goes on sale on Steam.

    • http://twitter.com/Agimat08 Solo Miranda

      15$ on Amazon

  • http://twitter.com/JamesBEvans1 James B Evans

    Well since I did pre-order the game but didn’t play much after it launched I’m going to give it another try.  I like a lot of things about this game I also feel this model is a much better option then what Bio-Ware did with SWTOR.  Maybe EA isn’t so much to blame as some people might think. 

  • http://twitter.com/SithPanda1 Sith Panda

    The change to Buy2Play is awesome. I see it as completely positive. The DLCs are actually going to be between $5 and $10 depending on content and while advertised as monthly, they have said that they will probably miss some months.
    The issue that I personally have is not the change, but with the plan to give lifetime subscribers $10 a month in points that will expire in 6 months, as well as a couple of vanity items. The thought is that the $10 will cover the DLC and if one is missed or one is less than $10 they will have some extra points to spend on vanity. The monthly gift is said to be worth $5 to round out the value of $15 a month. 

    Seriously? If this was the how the plan was designed when it was purchased then that would be fine, however, to declare a value of $15 for a plan with a gift that some people don’t care for and wouldn’t purchase as well as making the points expire is ridiculous. 

    The people at FC say that if you do not like the terms of the monthly subscription then don’t pay it, since you don’t need it anymore, and just spend your cash on FC points directly. The issue is if you purchase FC points directly you get a full $15 of points that do not expire. For the monthly subscriber it’s a no-brainer but for those who still have time on their plans or who purchased lifetime they are stuck.

    There are many discussions going on in the forums and while some people seem to be completely happy with the changes most disagree over the expiration date of points that are not given away as a gift but actually purchased with a plan. Many Members also would like to have the DLCs download automatically without a fee and the addition of the $10 in non-expiring points to equal the $15 value that was in the spirit of the original agreement.

    Since TSW has only been up and running for 5 months anyone who purchased the GrandMaster pack is only 3 months into their lifetime deal (the box gave a free 30 days and the master pack, which was a requirement to purchase to get the GrandMaster pack, included an additional 30 free days so 2 full months are already paid for before the lifetime sub kicks in).

    At this point there have only been a couple of people asking for refunds, however I suspect that if those at Funcom  fail to make their earliest subscribers feel valued that things could get rough.

    The posts from the devs on the forums point towards backroom arguments on how to handle things and an assurance that subscribers aren’t getting $15 a month so don’t even ask. The tone of the posts are a far cry from the rah rah posts and big thanks for member support just a few months ago.

    The Secret World really is a good game. I believe that the changes that they made could save the game and draw more people in as more and more are moving away from monthly subscription MMOs, however the fractioning community could have a negative effect and this is something that FC doesn’t need. It would take very little for FC to make their members feel valued and pull the community together. With the new B2P option a positive community could potentially be the best marketing plan as word of mouth could be more effective when people realize the one time fee involved to play (DLCs are completely optional and one can pick to buy all, some or none of them and continue to play). FC has made statements in the past that people who join TSW stay, it’s just that the incoming members have been a slow trickle… so a larger flow incoming, even a small flow, could result in a larger permanent community.

    It is my hope that the issues that FC are having with member disagreements are remedied soon so that everyone can get back to having fun in the world of conspiracies and secrets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1465601810 Zachary A Long

    For me I think it is to late to for this. I was interested in it when it was in beta but the monthly sub threw me off so I didn’t get it. Now there are other games that I have paid for that are F2P (Firefall) but I played the beta and I was interested in it and it was at a small price considering the price of the box to buy TSW when it came out. I have to admit though if the trial were still available it might have been enough to pull me in and get me interested again but sad to say it isn’t (at least not for me). If they put the trial back in to hook people in and keep it at $30 so it feels more like a smaller investment I think they might have something. They might have even had me. 

    • http://twitter.com/Agimat08 Solo Miranda

      It is 15$ on Amazon

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Reyna/1830988318 Jonathan Reyna

        Where do you see it for $15? I’ve looked everywhere but cheapest is $30 which to me still isn’t worth for the same reason as the original poster. With 3x Station cash coming up and LoL holiday/legacy skins here its hard to throw money at a game that pushed me away with a cash shop while it was still a box+sub.