The Secret World: Free to Play

secret-worldFUNCOM announced this morning that The Secret World is pay once, play forever effective immediately.

I’m not sure how I feel about the news just yet. To be honest, it took me by surprise. The inclusion of a cash shop at launch made it obvious that they would switch to this model eventually, but I thought they’d last much longer than five months.

I’ve been playing since closed beta, and I bought the lifetime subscription (aka the Grand Master Pack) as soon as the game went live. Apparently, Grand Masters will receive all of the same benefits that people who choose to continue paying a monthly subscription will enjoy, but we’ll get an extra 10% discount in the shop and $10 worth of FUNCOM points instead of $5. But it looks like we’ll still have to pay for new Issues, The Secret World’s major game updates, and I’m not too crazy about that.

I can’t help but feel a little burned.

At the same time, I’m excited to see the game slammed with players and receiving the recognition and publicity it deserves. More players means more PvP opportunities, shorter waits for dungeon groups and raids, and a gigantic pool of new recruits for our cabal, Occultus Curo. There’s also the tremendous influx of money coming FUNCOM’s way, and with it, the potential for better and more frequent content updates.

It’s silly, but I realize I only have reservations about this new business model because I felt like I was part of an exclusive club that has now flung its doors wide open to accept anyone on the street who cares to walk in. And that’s ignorant and bitter.

In the end, this is a brilliant play on FUNCOM’s part, and the future of The Secret World has never looked brighter. Or darker.

Either way, it’s good.