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The Secret World moves 200K units, Funcom to focus on smaller titles in the future

Tuesday, 28th August 2012 15:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The Secret World has sold 200,000 units since it launched in early July, according Funcom’s Q2 2012 financial report. The firm attributed the lower than expected sales to competing titles and mixed reviews which impacted the MMO’s sales “significantly.”

Funcom the Guild Wars 2 release date being announced two weeks before The Secret World’s launch was also a contributing factor, and Blizzard announcing a September 25 release date for Mists of Pandaria also attributed to less than stellar sales.

The firm said it is currently looking at various “initiatives” to acquire more players for the MMO, and at the same time it will look to developer “smaller, more focused online games,” in the future, which will require less development cost and time.

“The Company will concentrate its new development on more focused, systems-driven games that have a high degree of community and player interaction,” read the financial statement. “These games require less time and development cost to bring to market.”

The firm also noted the previously reported “large cost cutting measures,” which included the reduction of “around 50% of staff in all offices.”

“The company is working towards ensuring that all of the live games as well as the company are cash-flow positive,” it said.

Revenues for the firm during Q2 were $2.6 million compared to $3.1 million during Q2 2011.

You can look over the report presentation here.

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10 Comments

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  1. Faceless

    And that’s the end of that. I dare say SWTOR is a success compared to this. I wanted this to be good, but it shed a lot of its former ambition when it transitioned from concept proofing to actual game mechanics.

    Should’ve made Dreamfall 2. With such a hefty dent in staff and trust from publishers, I don’t think we’ll ever see that game, now.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. TheWulf

    The saddest part about this is the lost potential. If this had been a co-op game focused solely around the investigative bits (sort of like Uru: Ages Beyond Myst) then it could have been a resounding success with people who like thinky games. But the subscription and the grindy combat (which had absolutely no feedback) was intolerable for me.

    What makes me the most angry about The Secret World is that it could have been so much more. And they could have taken even more risks with the storyline as a co-op game, too, without aiming for the MMO mainstream. So the story and lore could have been better written as well. Frankly, TSW was amazingly weak in the writing department compared to Ragnar’s prior efforts (The Longest Journey and Dreamfall).

    It was a very black and white, good and evil affair, and the ‘grey areas’ were very Saturday morning cartoon in their rendering. (And that’s insulting to some cartoons, even, since Phantom 2040 had a far more fleshed out sense of morality, philosophy, and ethics than The Secret World has.)

    Damn shame, really.

    There was potential, there, but it was completely squandered.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. deathm00n

    The game is good, but not for a subscription based game, if it’s free I will play it

    #3 2 years ago
  4. GrimRita

    £12 a month subscription fee – maybe that one was of the overall factors they have failed to admit to?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. MFBB

    I think they would have sold way more if they made this as a normal RPG (may be with online coop aswell).

    The settings seems interesting and with all the illuminati/templar stuff etc could have been lots of fun.

    That stupid mmo plague is ruining many potentially good rpgs since years.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    They’ve failed to admit that the payment model (and reported derth of content) is what’s happened them in to this situation. (200k sold…wow.) It’s all very interesting, until they want monthly payments – and continue to try to monetise all else. “It was a very black and white, good and evil affair”

    So, how is that not a complete botch? I thought they were not going to pull that enforced morality angle…Funcom is likely to find it tougher to gain/retain player’s trust at this rate in future (and many consider AoC to have become a disaster, that would be redeemed with TSW as being a mere mis-step.)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. mad1723

    Meanwhile, Guild Wars 2 had 400K concurrent users during the pre-opening weekend, which means they will gather much more soon, when the official launch floodgates open.

    All I see is that people have no intention of spending money monthly on MMOs anymore, with F2P going very popular. One-time fee is fine for most, with games like Guild Wars being very popular, but subscriptions are a big no-no. The only reason WoW still works is because of established fanbase, nothing more. All the numbers about WoW subscribers have shown a reducing subscription base quarter after quarter.

    Even EA broke their teeth badly on SW:TOR, expecting to use the dying subscription model, which they assumed would work since they spent bazillions of dollars in marketing. But marketing only gets you so far, you need to deliver a product after that which works and provides lots of content for people to feel like their money is well spent. SW:TOR failed, TSW failed, even WoW is failing.

    The MMOs are dead, long live the MMOs.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. fearmonkey

    I played it on one of the free weekends, and I was really wanting to love it, but it was essentially just another MMO with an amazing setting. I would love them to make a single player game based on the ideas they came up with for the secret world.
    If the game goes free to play, Ill play it, but I’m sad to say that I didn’t feel the game was worth the price or the monthly fee.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    Funcom just didn’t bring it. It’s sad to lose so many guys, but they pretty much peaked with Anarchy Online. They probably managed to inspire the guys at Blizzard with that, but it’s not like anyone is likely to remember them for it.

    The Secret World was beautiful to look at, but it was an experience that everybody had had before. A rerun. You’re never going to move units with that.

    Since they stalled in the mid-odds, it seems to me like MMOs have really centered around gimmicks. It’s all about who has the best ones.

    I think the business model is less important, even if people like the sound of “not paying” over “monthly expense”. I think that’s something you could quite easily overcome if you actually brought something new.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Old MacDonald

    While Funcom makes one failed MMO after another, we all wait for the Dreamfall-sequel that’ll never come.

    #10 2 years ago