Some would say it’s the apocalypse we all saw coming; Funcom announced that as of today, you don’t have to have a subscription to play their conspiracy-themed MMO The Secret World.
The company had earlier teased the decision with a video showing game director Joel Bylos buying into the 12.21 apocalypse myths, and made things official with an announcement today.
While you still have to purchase the game, which is going for just $30, players can get access to all the current content without a subscription, including the recently-released New York raid. If people buy the game before Dec. 31 they will also get access to the fifth content update, due to be released soon.
Unlike other free-to-play models (we’re looking at you, Star Wars: The Old Republic), Funcom isn’t restricting any current content. Free players will have access to all raids, lairs, skill decks, and other content that’s in the game currently. I could make a dig about quickbars, but The Secret World limited how many action slots you had by design anyway, so there you go.
People who choose to continue paying a membership will get monthly bonus points to spend in the game’s store on leveling boosts, pets, cosmetic items and more. They’ll also receive an additional item each month, an XP-boosting item called the ‘Time Accelerator’, and 10 percent off everything in the store. People with a lifetime membership get a bigger discount of 20 percent, and everything month-by-month subscribers get.
The wrinkle in Funcom’s plan is that future update issues, which will contain unique story missions and new Auxiliary Weapons, will require everyone to pay to play. Other games typically give these to subscribers while charging free-to-play folks, but Funcom said all future Issues will be DLC bought through the in-game store. They say people who do sub up or have a lifetime membership will be able to buy this with the bonus points they receive each month, which means they’ll cost at most $10, possibly less.
However, Funcom also said in their FAQ that they will continue to put out “free content” regularly, along with other updates and enhancements to the core game. What the difference between these free updates and the paid DLC, though, remains to be seen.
Head over to The Secret World‘s website for more information on getting into the game, and what to expect from this transition. You can also read our review of The Secret World if you want to know more about just what you’re getting into.