I’m not sure which is tougher: building a haven from the End of the World, or battling against hordes of Funcom executives. Either way, game director Joel Bylos can claim victory. Starting today, The Secret World no longer requires a subscription. Just buy a copy to get access to everything the modern-day MMO has to offer.
Replacing the subscription is an optional membership, granting unique items, a $10 monthly stipend of Bonus Points to spend in the Item Store, plus a 10% discount off almost everything except content packs. You can find the full details on membership in Funcom’s FAQ. We’ve also managed to pull Joel Bylos away from bunker-building long enough to answer our questions on why they decided to switch, and what it means for The Secret World’s future.
Non-members are likely to be surprised by the level of restrictions they face: simply put, there aren’t any. The entire current game, with all the dungeons, lairs and PVP, is there to experience as much as you want.
Since launching in July this year, the Norwegian developer has released four major content updates, including a barbershop and plastic surgeon, rocket launchers and chainsaw auxiliary weapons, and the New York raid. Although these updates will continue, we’re told that some content will be sold as DLC. This will start with Issue #5 next January, although this will be free for anyone registering a copy of the game before the New Year.
In my own one-month-in review, I’ve previously talked about the brilliant storytelling, well-paced dungeons and clever server architecture that makes group-finding easy. I even declared the fiendish investigation missions “some of the most rewarding questing experiences I’ve ever had in MMOs.” If you’ve been on the fence about Funcom’s latest, now’s a great time to dive in.
After all, if the Mayans are right, you’ll only have 9 days left before Armageddon envelops us.
Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor