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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:27am 30/08/12 | 21 Comments
Funcom has announced they'll be refocusing their development and publishing model on smaller, more cost-effective projects after The Secret World failed to live up to expectations upon, and post, release.

As stated in their second quarter financial report, the company believes that even over a 12-month period sales and subscription numbers of The Secret World will be less than half of what they initially expected. As a result, they'll be working towards cost-cutting which will unfortunately include a large number of layoffs and a renewed focus on game development.

"The company are working towards ensuring that all of the live games as well as the company are cash-flow positive," they said.

Their next project will be a free-to-play LEGO MMO based on LEGO Minifigures, and they will continue to work on smaller, more financially viable titles like this in the future. However, they did confirm that support for The Secret World would continue with a focus on strengthening subscription numbers by addressing key problems in the game.

Source: Eurogamer.



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Latest Comments
Khel
Posted 10:31am 30/8/12
Its a shame, its a really good MMO, better than the majority of them, but man what a hard time to launch it, right before Guild Wars 2 and the WoW expansion.
carson
Posted 12:50pm 30/8/12
I might get The Secret World over summer once Uni is over. So hopefully it sticks around for a little longer.
eski
Posted 12:57pm 30/8/12
carson - it'll probably be free to play by summer

The MMO model championed by WoW, that made everyone want to cash in and make MMOs of their own, died years ago. I would have hated to be at the helm of Secret World or Old Republic knowing that no matter what I did my game was almost certain to bomb.
TicMan
Posted 01:03pm 30/8/12
Wonder if they have a trophy room with all their s*** products - this one can take top shelf next to Age of Conan.
Vaene
Posted 01:17pm 30/8/12
It is such a shame because this game is really good, i played it on release and found it thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately what is killing it is the subscription model. As long as Guild Wars 2 is Buy 2 Play without a subscription fee; other games aren't going to be able to hold a candle against it. Guild Wars 2 at the moment in my opinion is the most refreshing thing to come into the MMO space for a very long time and I believe it is going to do very very very well. I cannot wait to play more of Guild Wars 2 and explore the beautifully crafted world!
Khel
Posted 01:24pm 30/8/12
Wonder if they have a trophy room with all their s*** products - this one can take top shelf next to Age of Conan.


Its funny, cos a lot of the things I see you saying you like in the Guild Wars 2 are in the Secret World as well :)

I thought it was great, they really knocked it out of the park and it had a much more interesting setting than pretty much any other MMO I've played. The skills being tied to the different weapons worked well, and being able to swap from a tank to a healer to dps on a whim was pretty sweet. And being able to move around and run around while casting just made it feel so much more dynamic, thats probably the thing that feels the worst now, playing WoW after Secret World. And the ingame web browser, I miss that too :(

Pretty much no endgame content at launch though, and not enough people playing to really do stuff with. It pretty much felt like a single player game to me, I hardly saw other people or did anything with them, haven't even found a guild to join. Made me realise how big a part of MMOs the social experience is, cos without that social aspect it really felt lonely and lacking.
Enska
Posted 02:45pm 30/8/12
Yeah I've been giving it a crack lately and it's done sooo many things so well, it's such a shame it didn't pick up the subscription numbers it needed to be successful.

Edit* - Having said that, the server I'm on seems to be quite busy, but I do see a f***load of max level toons just standing around doing nothing in agartha.
carson
Posted 08:38pm 30/8/12
How is it that GW2 makes money without the monthly fees?

I don't really like the F2P model. I'd rather pay monthly and have access to everything, rather than sinking money in to stuff to get a leg up.

carson - it'll probably be free to play by summerThe MMO model championed by WoW, that made everyone want to cash in and make MMOs of their own, died years ago. I would have hated to be at the helm of Secret World or Old Republic knowing that no matter what I did my game was almost certain to bomb.

Yeah I reckon. Everyone wants something that'll match wow, but nothing will.
glynd
Posted 10:03pm 30/8/12
How is it that GW2 makes money without the monthly fees?


think of it more like TF2 ... it's more cosmetic. there's a couple things that give you XP boost but considering they give them to you and you can PvP at max level straight away, there's no real advantage. you can go throughout the game without paying an extra cent.
Viper119
Posted 10:06pm 30/8/12
Here's hoping they do a sequel to The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey - loved both of those games.
fpot
Posted 10:20pm 30/8/12
Instead of making games that they think typical MMO fans will like and competing with WoW they should try and make an MMO that breaks some conventions to try and attract people who don't really like MMOs (like me). There may be x amount of people who are WoW subscribers but there is x to the power of a f***tonne of people who aren't subscribed.

Or maybe they are doing that already. I don't really pay much attention to MMOs :P
Khel
Posted 10:51pm 30/8/12
Yeah, the thing is, thats how WoW got so mega successful in the first place, by doing a bunch of new stuff (and doing it well), appealing to players outside of just the ones playing MMOs at the time, and not just copying previously succesful games in the genre. But instead of taking that lesson on board, most MMOs since have just tried to copy WoW and subsequently failed.
deadlyf
Posted 11:06pm 30/8/12
I don't really like the F2P model. I'd rather pay monthly and have access to everything, rather than sinking money in to stuff to get a leg up.
Except what you end up getting with subscriptions is permission to play the game you've paid for and micro-transactions on top of that. With WoW the transactions aren't really that micro either.

Or maybe they are doing that already. I don't really pay much attention to MMOs :P
There isn't much about The Secrete World that is similar to WoW other than an attempt at a subscription model. What I played of it was really well done, but while it's refreshing to have a really strong single player game in an MMO it kind of makes being an MMO pointless if there isn't incentive to play nice with others, especially if it's subscription based.
fpot
Posted 11:24pm 30/8/12
I guess the things I don't like about MMOs (I have only ever played WoW so perhaps things are different in others) are -

Instances - I am one of those weirdos who likes to get really immersed in his video games. Instances usually contain really important missions and I really hate the way they take you out of the game. I reckon properly dynamic missions could be possible in an MMO. Wasn't it Old Republic that sort of bucked the trend and added voice acting for every mission? I think MMOs could get away without voice acting which would allow greater freedom for the developers to create custom missions so instances wouldn't be necessary.

Rapidly respawning mobs - now even my precious Skyrim has respawning mobs. But I hate the way in WoW they literally pop up in front of your eyes like they are on some kind of timer. Some sort of AI controlled society would be nice. Eggs could be laid. Enemies could be hatched. Orcs could be recruited. Speaking of orcs...

Stupid fantasy settings - I have mentioned this before and I know APB was terrible but I would really love an MMO set in a city area surrounded by outskirts. It is purely a personal preference thing but I'd find it much easier to relate to my PC if I was robbing banks with a bunch of pipe-hitting n****s or hunting down some serial killer boss as a policeman. They could also do cool things like being an informant for the cops or the crooks ala The Departed. I reckon it would also be easy to hand out unique missions this way. Crooks could be ordered to steal this, kill him, rob that, blow up this and cops could be given similar tasks. Apparently there isn't much love for this concept and most people think it would be boring but an MMO game with GTA's production values would result in me boarding up the doors and windows for a while.

Gumbied physics - now this is a prickly one because good physics require good hardware on the server side or a rock solid connection from the client. Perhaps both. It kind of annoys me how in WoW you can just walk straight through people and all the objects in the game are completely static. I accept that's the way things are until quantum computers and quantum entanglement become standard, though.

Anyway that's all I can think of now. None of what I said will ever happen because the ideas probably suck when you consider the logistics behind it and the fact it might only appeal to me and not others. One can dream.
deadlyf
Posted 11:57pm 30/8/12
Instances are created to separate you from the general populous. Unfortunately people are d**** and if you create open world content like WoW used to have, even people from your own faction will go out of their way to stuff things up. It's also about load sharing, breaking up content between multiple servers. That said, it's not unpossible I honestly don't even know if GW2 has instaces.

Mobs respawn because you share the game world with others. There is nothing worse than having to wait for a mob to spawn to complete a quest IMO, except maybe cancer, that is a bit worse. Again there are ways around it to an extent, by having dynamically spawning mobs when events are triggered like in GW2 but you can't eliminate it all together.

The Secrete World isn't in an Elves and Orcs setting, it's about secrete societies and has Zombies and s*** in a modern setting. Honestly it's an ok single player game if it wasn't burdened by subscription. The combat isn't what I'd want it to be though.

The "Walk straight through people" thing is to stop griefing. Again, people are d**** and if you give them the ability to block the path of other players they will do so. I do prefer the ability to aim and hit targets, hate the way WoW for example will send a fireball around corners but it really would mean that Aussies don't get to play without local servers.

MMO's still have a long way to go, they take a long time and a lot of money to develop so they seem to move indescribably slow as an industry but I do think they will eventually be the norm in gaming. For whatever reason, their strongest asset, social gaming, seems to be really poorly supported by just about every MMO that has come out recently.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:29am 31/8/12
I will play a MMO that has an evolving story, shaped by the players that has an ending.

For instance, the game is scheduled to run for 5 years. A definite begging, middle and end. An epic struggle between two or three factions. Where battles actually count towards the story and are permanent. The world changes, the story moves along. Eventually it comes to a conclusion with 1 faction (or allied or whatever happens) the victor.

Until then all MMO's are the same, endless pieces of crap with no real 'endgame'.
Khel
Posted 10:44am 31/8/12
Most MMOs I've played have an evolving story, each expansion (or even content patches) push the story forward and change bits of the world. Its not directed by the players, but really, that sounds like a recipe for disaster to me if it was. Majority of people would just do the douchiest thing they could to f*** up the story if thats how it was run.
TicMan
Posted 10:54am 31/8/12
Eve can provide that user controlled environment and world changing events. Back when I played there was massive month long wars between alliances (player made) to take over regions of space. The end result was the destruction of many corps and alliances and pretty much had just the victor (BoB) left.
eski
Posted 11:00am 31/8/12
tale in the desert
skythra
Posted 11:00am 31/8/12
Most MMOs I've played have an evolving story, each expansion (or even content patches) push the story forward and change bits of the world. Its not directed by the players, but really, that sounds like a recipe for disaster to me if it was. Majority of people would just do the douchiest thing they could to f*** up the story if thats how it was run.
People are self interested. Much like how our basis of our economy is mostly run on the idea that helping society is profitable to the individual, that too should be how MMO's are run.

Although what you're describing is basically the changing 'bits' of the world is more like the world has an option for a few different plotlines which have inconsequential effects on the whole. MMO's like dayz require no story with scripted plots, because the players themselves are the story.

Once someone figures how to combine a game with a minor backstory where players themselves create their own story in the world, where self interest is equal to societal interest then you'd crack the code of MMO's being sameish and quest driven with limited feel of consequence.

Personally i'd go with the whole WoW comes from warcraft where economy meant building a base and army to defeat an opponent, if i made WoW with unlimited resources, then it'd be based on that premise; you are one person in that world, you can earn money by building things, you can fight in wars, you can offer recruitment to your guild whom you pay so they too can earn money, then you can fight for glory and resources directly, destorying if you have to towns, then rebuilding them to earn larger profits. Your guild could max out at only 200 people (same as the food limit in sc2) and strategy plays a part in the area that you own, overextending like the roman empire will mean multiple guilds could come in to take over your land from different areas.

Your guild is paid in rewards for participating in strikes against your enemies. Your guild members find this rewarding as a victory equals loot and gold, allowing them to invest in macro (farms etc) or micro (their equipment). Each with it's own reward.

Guilds could create alliances that were nothing more than verbal or written promises to perhaps hold each others back or to strike a common enemy.

Attacking an enemy is a matter of challenging outposts or farms tactically growing your borders and holding strong points.

Pie in the sky talk, but that's my idea of an MMO.
ravn0s
Posted 11:42am 31/8/12
That said, it's not unpossible I honestly don't even know if GW2 has instaces.


you go into instances for your main story.
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