Could also use a 'hybrid' model
Following the recent layoffs at Funcom, GamesIndustry caught up with CEO Ole Schreiner to talk about the subscription-based model The Secret World uses. He says that the game is profitable now that re-structuring has happened and they expect this to remain the case "for the foreseeable future."
"That's also why we are committing to the ambitious post-launch update plan," he said. "Of course, operating in the MMO business means you have to stay adaptive and evaluate yourself, your community and your competition, so we can't rule out a change in direction somewhere down the line. But we're quite comfortable with where we are now and what we're providing our players."
The Secret World was, according to Schreiner, "developed as a subscription-based game and the decisions made during planning and production was based on that business model. He continues: "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.
"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. We all know that trends and expectations in the gaming business, and perhaps particularly the MMO genre, is evolving quickly, and we're regularly re-evaluating our business model against the changing currents of the marketplace and our own player base as well. Not only in terms of The Secret World, but also our future games."
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