Funcom have struggled to find a large enough audience for their conspiracy heavy MMORPG The Secret World and they have decided to go for somewhat different hybrid model. They maintain a price on the actual game (£24.99), but they are doing away with the monthly subscription fee. There will be a premium subscription that will give players benefits (all existing subscribers automatically switch over to this model):
- Time Accelerator (Clickable item which increases experience gain for defeating monsters by 100% for 1 hour, 16 hour cool-down - only usable by Members and Grand Masters)
- $10 worth of Bonus Points (given out every month)
- Item-of-the-month gift (given out every month)
- 10% discount to everything in the in-game store
As part of this new model Funcom will charge for major DLC updates in the future:
"Periodically we will release packs of DLC (Downloadable Content). These updates, called Issues in The Secret World, contain new content, such as more Auxiliary Weapons, new missions and story arcs. These packs are fully optional and can be purchased normally or for the Bonus Points that are included in the optional Membership, as well as with the Grandmaster Lifetime service.
The first DLC will start selling in January 2013, and is the main storyline of issue #5. This will sell for $5, however this content is already fully unlocked for anyone who has a full game account registered before the end of December 2012.
Regular patches with free content and updates and enhancements to the core game will still continue."