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The Secret World looks healthier after dropping subscriptions
 The Secret World  looks healthier after dropping subscriptions
January 11, 2013 | By Mike Rose

January 11, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Funcom said today that dropping the subscription model for its troubled MMO The Secret World has proved a good move, as game activity has increased by 400 percent.

The game originally required a monthly membership fee on top of the initial purchase price. However, following a disappointing launch last year, the subscription fee was dropped in a bid to pull players in.

Now Funcom says that switching to a "buy-to-play" business model, as the company puts it, has seen the title sell an extra 70,000 copies in the last four weeks -- nearly a 30 percent increase in total sales. In comparison, the title saw 200,000 purchases in its first two months.

And Funcom's restructing efforts continue onwards too. The company said it was shifting away from giant, expensive MMO projects last summer, and now it has set in motion yet another restructuring process.

This latest move involves consolidating its offices and team around the world, as well as streamlining internal processes. Although the specific details have not yet been revealed, closures and layoffs are planned.

Funcom now plans to focus on smaller upcoming MMO titles like LEGO Minifigures, while keeping its existing strong MMOs like Age of Conan and Anarchy Online afloat.

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Michael Wenk
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Well the real question is not how many people play it, but how much does Funcom make off of it, and is that amount enough to keep the servers running and the paychecks to their employees coming.

And the real question in F2P (or B2P) is how much longevity there will be.

Joseph Legemah
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how is still restructuring healthier? 70K copies sold at the price of $15....barely buys them another 6 months to breath while planning another move to try and keep the ship afloat. Unless some serious changes go into TSW to make it more appealing to not only play past a few weeks but to spend more money on the item store, they'll be running out of moves i'm afraid.

Todd Boyd
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Honestly, this may be enough for me to pick it back up. I don't mind spending a little money here and there when I find something I feel is worth it (cool outfits, dungeon entry tokens, etc.), but their monthly fee was just over the top.