Tue, Sep 18, 2012 | 01:47 BST
The Secret World “is now a profitable operation”
The Secret World’s balance book is back in the black after Funcom made significant staff cuts.
“After the recent re-structuring of our internal teams, The Secret World is now a profitable operation and we expect it to be so for the foreseeable future,” new Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner told GamesIndustry, commenting that Funcom remains committed to monthly content updates.
“That’s also why we are committing to the ambitious post-launch update plan. We’re quite comfortable with where we are now and what we’re providing our players.”
The Secret World sold just 200,000 copies by Funcom’s last financials, and the company issued a round of lay-offs believed to have affected close to 50% of staff worldwide. The game’s designer was among the causalities and said some offices were almost totally closed.
Having clawed back to profitability, Schreiner said Funcom remains keen on the subscription model – although it can go free-to-play if required.
“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,” he said.
“That said we definitely have the tools to turn The Secret World into a free-to-play game – or even hybrid – should we decide to do that somewhere down the line. We did that with Age of Conan with significant success.”
The executive said Funcom is constantly re-evaluating its games and the market.
“I believe there is a market for free-to-play, subscription and hybrid business models. What’s most viable for your project depends on what sort of game you’re trying to make, what your focus is and how you’re going about putting it together. I do think that as that as free-to-play offerings keep raising the bar in terms of quality and longevity, it’s becoming more and more difficult for subscription games to live up to player’s expectations,” he said.