EA & Funcom’s latest entry into the world of MMORPG called “The Secret World” has been spoken for when they stated that the game isn’t planning on going free to play anytime soon. In a time where almost every MMO that launches, no matter how appealing always ends up going free to play (With a more recent example being “Star Wars: The Old Republic”) and companies in turn report higher player base and more profits from going free to play than when they were on the pay to play mechanic. Will The Secret World actually be able to pull this off? Considering how others before them have tried, failed and ultimately followed the trend?
In the struggling world of MMO’s and specifically MMORPG’s there are very few games that can pull off the “pay to play mechanic” until the loyal fans are separated from the people who are still on their on their first month of free game time. So far World of Warcraft is perhaps the only truly successful pay to play MMORPG to still go (partially) free to play but yet maintains a larger player base of subscribed players.
Many games and companies have tried to knock the mighty game off its throne / high horse and all have failed. Lord of The Rings and Star Trek Online are only the few of the many examples of gamers being loyal to the WoW brand name and eventually had to go Free to Play to maintain a player base and ultimately these companies going free to play were their biggest advantage as their subscriber base and player base skyrocketed and helped in their profits.
In an official statement: (link to the statement)
“No it’s not going free-to-play any time soon,” Funcom communications director Erling Ellingsen told Eurogamer. “There’s currently no plans for making it free-to-play.”
The Secret World is published by EA games and was developed by Funcom, so far it appears that the game is able to hold a firm ground and despite being released in July appears to be doing fairly well as the game isn’t planning on going free to play anytime soon according to the developers.
With plans of upcoming content planned for May 2013 it seems that The Secret World might just have the magic to stay off the free to play shelf long enough if they keep their current plan going strong and are able to improve on it.