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[Editorial] The Secret World: Musing on Funcom



  • Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member Uncommon

    LOVED this game! It is ahead of it's time. It's downfall was that it was released at the wrong time, it should have waited at least until Christmas time after GW2 and MoP hype died down.


    The other downfall was severe lack of advertising. Everyone I know that's an MMO player never heard of TSW. I only heard about it because it come to this site. My friends don't come here and hence didn't know about it.

  • rwyanrwyan raleigh, NCPosts: 467Member Uncommon

    There are a lot of factors at work here...


    Flash banner ads and an innaccesible Facebook game (though interesting) aren't going to cut it in terms of marketing.  Features... articles... blogs... that is where it counts.  Reviews were mixed with both players and critics.  Simply, TSW didn't have much of a presence prior to its release as it was constantly competing with GW2 beta/stress events and GW2 coverage.  


    Thankfully, I had closed beta access which convinced me to pick the game up at launch as opposed to a few months down the road.  The devs had a lot of momentum leading up to the release and I was more than excited to see what came of that.


    However, with that said, there are a lot of small rough edges.  More than enough to distract the "core" player.  This certainly didn't help with reviews which didn't help sell boxes.


    However, with that said, this isn't your standard "WoW Clone" with a few nuances.  The core of the game is "similar" but a bulk of the game isn't.  I think with the right changes and additions... the game could grow ala EVE.

  • theniffrigtheniffrig DublinPosts: 351Member Uncommon

    I was one of those 200k box sales. I enjoyed the game & would probably be subbed to it right now if it performed better on my PC. The game was never going to cater to the MMO masses, but I hope it will stay around and not go the way of the Matrix online.

    Also, it's probably a combination of factors people have mentioned above that has put the game at its current numbers.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member Common

    You know who should be angry about this? That Ragnar guy. He actually managed to get a decent game done and Funcom somehow managed to fumble it. They should have grabbed TSW from Ragnar and just tap danced through a field of tulips into a money filled win zone. He's probably sitting in an office with a look of shock on his face as Funcom continues to stagger around with his game.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,593Member Uncommon
    I think a lot of reason for why TSW did not sell well is because it is Funcom and they dont have a particulary good reputation among gamers, mostly because of AoC which was a big dissapointment.
  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,526Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tawn47
    I haven't played TSW, so I cannot comment on the game itself except to say I can't see what the 'ahead of it's time' fuss is about.  It has skill based progression..  ok, cool.. but not a gamechanger IMO.  Anyway, ill put this down to my ignorance of the game. I think there are 3 main reasons it hasn't done well. 1 - releasing close to GW2 2 - Box price, subscription and cash shop.  Seems excessive. 3 - Funcom.  Sorry, but some of us got burnt with AO.  Others got burnt with AOC.  It'd take a lot to restore any trust.

    2 - Box price, subscription and cash shop.  Seems excessive.


    I cannot stand this type of practice. I know companies can price their goods for whatever they want, but it feels like nickel & diming to me.

    Here's how I see it:

    If a game has a box fee and monthly subscription, I should have access to any item in-game - if I earn those items.

    If a game is free-to-play, then cash shop is acceptable.



    Star Trek Online did this in the worse way ever. This is why I'll never play a Crpytic MMO.

    4ft Gaming Mouse Pad -
  • CypeqCypeq TychyPosts: 66Member

    This game is a gust of fresh air but there is one big problem there funcom forgot to brush the teeth for development of combat system and pvp. It's same old stuff... it works but I think others did this better. So people enjoy mystery and immersion even hard dungeons but that runs dry quickly people goes back to WoW or whatever.

    To be subsciption based MMO you have to provide wothy long / grindy endgame content that keeps people involved besides quests and story. This game should have been released q1 2013.

    I guess they have lost at least half of subs to Guild Wars 2

    They should be developing expansion and hype it up to be big thing next year but I guess FC first overestimates than throws project to trash. If they spent money on marketing this game could have at least return itself becouse it apeals to mature audience who has money besides allowance isnt afraid to pay upfront and have month or two of fun with a good game that's not cartoonish and childish like most mmo's.

  • i_evil_ii_evil_i Anytown, ALPosts: 13Member Uncommon

    This is spot on --> ...I have to opine that releasing TSW less than two months before the much more familiar and touted Guild Wars 2 and less than three months before WoW: Mists of Pandaria was a big mistake. As a new and different and, as Bill said, irreverent MMO, The Secret World needed time to captivate its audience. One to two months simply wasn’t enough time to become part of the fabric that makes the MMO player community...


    Also the subscription model is a dying breed...and rightly so in my opinion.


    For all of you who bought a lifetime subscription to TSW, LOTRO or any other sub. based game. I also bought one to GW2. And it cost me the price of the game only.


    I have nothing against TSW or FunCom (I still play AOC).


    I would really like to give TSW another go in the future, when I need a break from GW2 and after it goes F2P.


    Until then good luck!

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 21,800Member Epic

    I get wrapped up in our genre's culture, and expect everyone to know every MMO that's coming out like I do. When in reality, despite recent high-profile releases and the phenom known as WoW, we're just a gaming subculture.

    This ^

    Besides this site I have only met about two handfuls of people who knew anything about mmo's and that is from when I started playing them.

    And most of those people only knew WoW.

    So it doesn't surprise me that TSW only sold 200k. My thougth is that Funcom should have budgeted the development of the game with the idea that not everyone would be itnerested in it as it seems a bit of a niche game among mmo's.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,775Member Rare

    It was just bad timing. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    You just don't launch a game in middle of summer when everyone is on holiday.

    I said it before launch and I say it again.

    GuildWars 2 launched on the perfect time. End of August. As pretty much everyone is now back to school or work.

    Couple this with the lack of any real advertisement they did for TSW and know you gonna sell little amount of boxes. /sigh


    But besides all that, I still enjoy the game tho and the server I am playing on still has good amount of activity each night.

    It's just a shame they didn't went for an autumn/winter launch window, which everyone was actually expecting anyway. The whole 21st of December 2012 thing that was going on for a while.

  • ThorqemadaThorqemada BerlinPosts: 1,282Member Uncommon

    What gamers say and what they in reality want is often more a matter of self delusional wishthinking that seldom reflects in the buying behavior.
    TSW is not for the lazy tv watching internet surfing en passant type of player.

    MMOrpgs be a niche of gaming, quite a big one thanks to a very few MMO-Giants and blown up "we count even the dead" numbers of some f2p games.
    And the p2p market is in decline for sure with a still increasing competition.
    Reasons may be many why TSW did not make it.
    TSWs 3 way pricing is probably one of it with a B2P GW 2 around.

    Many gamers want to belong to the "winning team": Booh, my mmo is bigger and badder than yours...
    TSW simply can not beat WoW and GW2 and especially a part of the GW2 crowd seems to be jealous to the extreme for any kind of low level success that could overshadow a tiny bit of their super duper wonder world saving holy grace of a game.
    The badmouthing and false reporting, misinforming posting about TSW has reached ridiculous levels.

    The really big numbers only come when you have an established fanbase like Blizzard, a successfull prequel like Arenanet, where the gravitiy of the playermasses alone let the numbers grow to many millions.
    Funcom has probably much more players alienated than they have fans - another reason.

    A big IP not backed by a successfull online portfolio of the developer like its with Star Wars and Bioware did only sell what? 3 Millions and maybe less than 500k play it still?
    What would have happened if Blizzard had made it?
    Probably 10 million people bought the very disapointing Diablo 3 only for the good name of the Blizzard Brand and the Diablo series.
    TSW is an unknown IP ("The Longest Journey" is how old? Who knows Ragnar Thornquist? Isnt this the Swedish Cook from the Muppet Show? (no offense here))

    I really think that if Blizzard had made TSW it would have been a million seller.
    Well, Blizzard starts to hurt their reputation lately but its still big and needs much more underperforming (disapointing players) games to be destroyed than one Diablo 3.

    I dont play TSW bcs i can play another game i like more in my finite time and i am not happy with the late corporate decisions funcom did and i have doubts that they can keep up the needed pace for frequent monthly updates but that does not change the fact that TSW does not play like SWTOR, is a craft of passion, yet in its infancy, and one of the best Themeparks that is made in the last decade.

    Try it out and judge it for your own!

    "Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

    MWO Music Video - What does the Mech say:
    Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around:

  • Mors-SubitaMors-Subita montreal, QCPosts: 517Member Uncommon

    A lot of people(myself included) were really excited about the game's concepts... Then we played the beta weekends and the game's great concepts are not done justice by the lackluster and, frankly, crappy gameplay...


    If they had made good gameplay to go with their good concept, I would probably be subbed right now. :(


  • DunkareDunkare NottellingPosts: 33Member

    i love this game. so much. its one of the greatest games i played in a long time. and i sure hope theyre gona pull through this.

  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member

    They did an awful job marketing the game. Their focus only interested those that were already a fan of the game to begin with. They didn't market it the right way to encourage new customers. They also had their bad rep that hurt them.

    It is a shame because the game does deserve more attention. It is a good mmo that offers some interesting storytelling and compelling questing.

    1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

    2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

    3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  • rwyanrwyan raleigh, NCPosts: 467Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    I get wrapped up in our genre's culture, and expect everyone to know every MMO that's coming out like I do. When in reality, despite recent high-profile releases and the phenom known as WoW, we're just a gaming subculture.

    That and the MMO community at large is very hateful, vengeful and disrespectful.  Don't get me wrong, for every bad egg.... there is probably 5-10 good ones.... but who screams the loudest?


    If a player doesn't like the game.... what do they do?  He/she runs to the forums and posts some pretty awful stuff about the game, about the developers, and about the fans.  Rarely do you ever see, "It just wasn't for me, kthx bye, and oh, here's my stuff!" 


    When the genre was still young, forums were usually places to discuss, theorycraft and ultimately enjoy the game and its community outside the game.  Now-a-days, you shouldn't forget to bring your kevlar, riot gear, and mace with you.  The tantrums are just awful.

  • rpgalonrpgalon canilPosts: 430Member
    this only shows that cool stuff like ARGs don't work as advertisement.
  • tinywulftinywulf West Allis, WIPosts: 106Member

    I did not even know TSW launched until after it launched.

    The questing and lore in this game outshines most other games out there. The combat though leaves something to be desired. The loot feels very meh. Need good loot to keep the hamster wheel turning.

    I am of the belief the lack of advertising is what is dooming this game.

  • J-icepdJ-icepd BergenPosts: 23Member

    The MMO player will lose good game in the future. How fun will it be to play wow v12 or GW 6 and so on. No one will develope big MMO when the player are just like fotballsfans and stick to one game.

    TSW have one still change, and that is at the far east marked over the year. Then pandabear and GW player probebly are getting bored by doing the same thing again and again.

    the game is great, but is new and therefore it will take time before the game will rise.

    stay on track FC

  • Dahkot72Dahkot72 Pelham, ALPosts: 261Member
    I paid box price and sub fee for a supposed AAAA mmorpg that couldn't have chat functioning correctly for a month into launch.

    There's a reason Funcom is referred to as Failcom at times and they deserve it at times.

  • KuppaKuppa Boulder, COPosts: 3,292Member Uncommon
    Well, they got themselves into a storm of hurt because of their release date and their pricing model. The game itself is good though.



  • Reas43Reas43 New York, NYPosts: 297Member
    Good to see editors coming out clean about how they put out their scores about how the initially "feel" about a game. Nevermind if chat works or doesn't work. Nevermind if they have an advanced and excellent broker system or whether it doesn't even work at all. They toss their scores and judgement on game's based on general feel and a couple of weeks of play and not a semblance of objectivity or maturity.

    Edit: well, that was a little over the top. I must say the off hand way reviews, endorsemens and comments are handled in this site go past disappointing into frustratingland. Frankly, I hope the review practice criteria get amended or alltogether eliminated, for the sake of our little MMO genre. We claim for more variety but do nothing but cannibalize whichever flavor does not fit the taste of the given particular editor. That's a shame.
    TSW has a well made world, but sloppily crafted animation and combat. Give it a year I'm fairly confident it would stabilize to be a game that can be genuinely recommended without reservation. That is, if Funcom doesn't abandon it to thread water.
  • AdiarisAdiaris RomePosts: 381Member
    Originally posted by BadSpock
    I really don't understand all these "ahead of its time" comments - if anything TSW appeared to me as being a game stuck in the past. Linear, story-driven, grind quest-hub to max level, sandwich hit-point-swapping combat, whack a mole Trinity, and grind instanced end-game PvP and PvE. You know what would have happened if TSW had the IP recognition/popularity and marketing/hype of TOR? The exact same thing that has happened to TOR. Burn brightly, then burned out.


    the only innovative or different thing for me was the IDEA of the setting (yes, yes skill wheel and google quests) however whether you think it's special or yawn I'm surprised at how low sales were given that you would form an opinion after playing it, and thus having purchased it. I expected more of a TOR effect similar to what BadSpock describes. I would be curious to know how many people tried their betas and weekends and how many endedup buying.



  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,171Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Harttz
    Another thing I think that really hurt them was that they used their beta tests for testing rather than for advertisement. I think a lot of people who played the beta weekends to try the game came out very unimpressed. I first played the 2nd beta weekend and didn't really like the game very much. I managed to pick up a closed beta key and decided to give the game another try and really started to like it much more after they started polishing it and I had more time in the world. For most people you only get one chance at a first impression and I think TSW's first impression wasn't very strong during those open beta's.

    I'd agree with this. I was in the early beta and some first impressions were pretty awful. They got fixed before launch, but anyone reviewing the game from beta only would have had a terribad impression. I didn't realize until the last BWE that they were using it for marketing, and then I was just confused. Even Suzie's very first, preliminary review mentioned some of those terrible first impressions. I was really happy she stuck with it and came back to see it with the fixes in place.

  • MalanderMalander LondonPosts: 3Member

    TSW is the first game to really grab and hold my attention since SWG. I'm really enjoying playing in my own world, wearing clothes that reflect what I could take out of my own wardrobe, discovering new aspects of "real" history while I explore and trying to figure out how to defeat the dungeons with my friends :)

    Yes it's buggy, every MMO I've ever played has been, they've all come with bug fixes listed every patch day! Yes it's subscription based but that's cheaper than buying a new game every month or two and the ingame cash shop sells cosmetic items ONLY. I've bought lifetime and I really hope TSW survives to allow me to enjoy it's unique offering for many years to come.

  • AlalalaAlalala Gabrielston, SCPosts: 314Member Uncommon
    Wanted this game to succeed, if only because they were trying some new things.

    Pre-ordered. Got screwed on Day 1 on pre-order bonuses. Still have no resolution from Funcom Customer Service.

    Fun com screwed me once on Age of Conan's launch. I gave them another chance. They messed it up again.

    Stay away from Funcom and their games.

    Thanks for reading.
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