Following a growing trend among the MMO community, Funcom’s The Secret World has removed it’s Monthly Subscription Fee. Now, you’ll only need to buy the game, though the in-game cash shop will remain open for micro-transactions. Details have been summed up in a FAQ on the Main Site.
However, The Secret World has also added a number of benefits to their subscription services, offering even more than they had before:
For those who want to get the most out of their Secret World experience we have an optional Membership available. Being a monthly subscriber, for the same cost as before, now gives great benefits. For being a member you get the following:
- 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
The Grandmaster pack includes all these benefits and gets an additional 10% discount to everything in the in-game store, for a total bonus of 20%. So being a Grandmaster is better than ever!
The drive to go Free-To-Play, or at least Pay-Once-To-Play is an interesting conundrum. Most MMO’s are going this route nowadays, but two of the most successful and longest lasting MMO’s, World of Warcraft and EVE Online, remain subscription based. Is the subscription model dead, or are MMO’s just getting worse at holding a crowd?