70,000+ units sold in the month following the new business model
Taking The Secret World from a subscription-based game to the “buy-to-play” model has done quite well for Funcom. The company has called this re-launch a success, announcing that “Activity levels in the game have increased by over 400% as original players have returned joined by thousands of new players. After its re-launch, The Secret World has sold more than 70,000 units in the last four weeks alone, which is close to 30 percent increase in total sales.”
This spot of good news was mixed in with word that internal restructuring is still very much the plan. Through office closures, consolidation, and streamlining internal processes, the idea is to be “better equipped to realize the strategy of building smaller high quality MMO games such as the upcoming LEGO Minifigures game” while supporting current releases such as Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, and of course The Secret World.
After Guild Wars 2, I can’t see myself ever paying a subscription fee only to feel guilty when I can’t actually find the time to play regularly. Full retail price to own the game and receive continued access? No problem. But I fear commitment, and based on Funcom’s figures, I’m hardly alone.