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MMO players don’t mind paying a sub for a “growing, living world,” says Funcom

Friday, 6th July 2012 20:11 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Funcom’s Ragnar Tornquist has said the firm decided to go subscription-based with the Secret World because the developers felt players are willing to pay a monthly fee for content, services, and “the benefits of a growing, living world,” than pay for “little things.”

Speaking with RPS, Tornquist said charging a subscription fee helps supports the MMO’s large team as well as ongoing development.

“We have content plans for a very long time,” he said. “We have content that’s going to be coming on a regular, ongoing basis. We have content that’s going to come out pretty soon. It is the only business model that makes sense in terms of giving players this living, breathing world and this constantly upgraded, expanded experience.

“Whether or not that’s the business model that’s going to be around in five years, I can’t say. But it wasn’t right for us to come out and be a free-to-play game, because then we would have to find other ways to support the ongoing content. Whether it would be DLC and charging people for that, or an item store and charging people for that. At any rate, people are going to have to pay more in order to support the ongoing development.

“Of course [having Conan go free-to-play] has taught us a lot. Five years from now, ten years from now, will Secret World be free-to-play? I’m sure of it. But that’s a long time. For the time being, we’re committed to this business model, and as long as people are willing to pay us in order to provide them with expanded content and ongoing content, we’ll keep that business model.”

The Secret World launched earlier this week, and while stock prices in the firm fell on the Norwegian Stock Exchange by almost 40%, some are attributing the slide to the resignation of CEO Trond Arne Aas while others claim it’s a natural occurrence once a game is released to the market.

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7 Comments

  1. DSB

    Ultimately it’s a question of paying every month for the whole thing or being nickle and dimed for everything else. I definitely prefer a subscription. I know I’m getting the same thing as everybody else, and I don’t have anyone constantly trying to sell me stuff.

    I’m pretty sure that 40% drop isn’t because people are thrilled about The Secret World though. Most likely someone looked at the internals for the preorders.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Gekidami

    Funny, because The Secret World isnt a growing, living world. Its a world fractured by loading screens.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    I like good mmos but TSW is not one of them.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. roadkill

    Well of course they don’t! If it really is a “growing, living world”. And while most MMOs might be “growing” there is only one that’s actually a “living world”. And that’s EVE. Certainly not The Secret World.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. silkvg247

    Actually I do mind if it’s a cpl quid more than wow, which last I heard tsw is. Damn cheeky tbh.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheWulf

    I don’t agree with what he’s saying here at all, to be honest, as I’ve long accepted it to be a rip-off. I prefer a model that copies single-player, with a box price and then expansion packs/DLC. And if they don’t get the original product right, then their reputation is ruined for future sales, so they’re invested in doing that part right anyway.

    Guild Wars 2 does this. They sell the box price, and if I enjoy the product, I might buy some DLC from them. I may buy some cosmetic stuff, and then I may buy mission packs and expansions when those come along. And every time I put money down, I’m getting something back for it. It’s a sale.

    Now a subscription is more nebulous.

    Let’s say you pay for six months of a subscription at $15, yeah? That’s $90. Now let’s say that in that time you get a dungeon, maybe two. Now let’s say that a store releases a mission pack which has the equivalent of two dungeons, they’re going to sell that for $20 at the most, not $90.

    I guess I just understand the value of money, but I don’t want to pay a nebulous subscription where I don’t know what I’m getting from it.

    So I just see the subscription as a massive con.

    You know what they say, really. A fool and their money are soon parted. And ArenaNet likely could have charged fools $15 a month for exactly the same service they provided with Guild Wars 1 without the subscription. But they didn’t.

    How anyone can see a subscription as anything but a con is beyond me. You’re just lining an executive’s pocket, it’s not going back into the game at all, and if it does it’ll only be an infinitesimal amount of the money given. You’re essentially paying for someone’s yacht and getting shit all back from it.

    So if that’s what YOU want to do with your money, feel free…

    Me? I put more value on money.

    — EDIT —

    How about this? If you want a subscription, you can pay me $15 a month when you’re playing Guild Wars 2, and I’ll give you $0-2′s worth of content back from the store each month, depending on how I feel. And on rare occasions, like once every six months, I’ll give you $20′s worth.

    How about that? Because that’s how subscriptions work. It doesn’t sound a good deal for you, does it? That’s because subscriptions aren’t.

    I can’t imagine what sort of idiot you’d have to be to pay one, these days.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. _LarZen_

    @2 Dont know what crap your rig is made of, do you even have a SSD? Ofc if you are used to Cartoon Network graphics like in WoW that can run on 10 year old crap computer you will have loading time in a game like TSW.

    @6 If you are that poor you probably cant afford a computer to run TSW anyways.

    #7 3 years ago

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