That means no excuses for those of you who were thinking of getting this amazing game (I'm lookin' at you bro!).
|Even the draug were shocked!|
There is a full description of what the move means over on the official site announcement. In summary though, the entire game as it exists now (with all the four major content updates to date), plus the new Issue 5 content due shortly is completely free to play once you purchase a game key.
There is no restriction on the number of hotkeys, clothing slots, chat channels, inventory slots, bank use, or number of dungeons you can run (are you watching Bioware?). This is how free to play should work, the Guild Wars 2 model, not the miserly EA/Bioware way of doing things.
Free regular content updates will continue, but there will also be regular mission content that can be purchased in the cash shop. Those who choose to subscribe will receive various benefits including monthly Funcom points to spend on what they wish (it's up to you if you want to spend it on the new content or not), free items, and experience boosts (not a problem as it is in other games as there are no levels as such).
So what are my thoughts other than surprise at the speed of the announcement (perhaps Joel is right and the world is ending after all!)?
My main concerns are two-fold. First of all I really want this game to be a success. It deserves it because it is so different and unique. I hope this move allows the game to reach it's enormous potential, and that it doesn't backfire and the lack of monthly subscription income won't hurt it.
My second concern is the usual concern with a free-to-play move. What will it do to the game and the community? That remains to be seen, and I'm sure will be the subject of future posts. I hope that Funcom will stick to their guns with the direction of the game and not start dumbing down what is a challenging and thought-provoking MMO, just to attract the dollars.
This is a risky move I think. I really, really hope it pays off because I love this game. I only really discovered it a couple of weeks before release, and it hit me for six. Since then I've found it gets better the more I play it. It deserves to be a hit. It will never be a GW2 style smash because it is dark, adult, and challenging, but this may make the future for the game more rosy. I'll be continuing my subscription to support the developers (as long as they don't go the dumbing-down route).
Let's hope that with this move The Secret World doesn't remain a secret for much longer.
Here's a video Funcom have released to announce the free-to-play move.