By now everyone should be well aware that if you plan on launching a subscription-based MMO there is one thing that you need more than anything else: high-quality replayable content. If your subs don't like replaying what you have provided it's not going to be sustainable. For Funcom's The Secret World they seem to have found themselves in a bit of a pickle but they say that they can convert the game to free-to-play when necessary.
In an interview with Gameindustry.biz, newly appointed CEO of Funcom, Ole Schreiner (not to be confused with the term 'ole Schneider) commented about the current state of the MMO business, a business that Funcom has made their bread and butter for many years with games like Anarchy Online, Age of Conan and now The Secret World.
According to Schreiner, after the recent layoffs at Funcom and with the new content update on the way, the game has officially entered the black and has become profitable. He also states that free-to-play is not out of the question...
We tried leaving our options open during development so that we could launch with a different model should we have decided during development that's what we wanted, but eventually we did settle on the subscription model and that's what informed much of the game's design.
Obviously it means Funcom will milk The Secret World a short while more on its subscription model before making any monetary model changes.
The rest of the interview just kind of talks around the subject of The Secret World and its “success”. We don't get any specifics on anything and Schreiner just kind of talks up the selling point of additional content being on the way for The Secret World following the latest content pack, Cutting Deeper.
You can read the entire interview over at