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[Interview] The Secret World: Funcom - About the Long Haul

13

Comments

  • pupurunpupurun spartaPosts: 537Member Uncommon

    what they did with AOC and the fact that they werent actually listening to their gamebase for almost 3 years is the main reason why hundreds of thousands of players won't spend another dime on a FUNCOM product. AOC had all the potential to become one of the greatest mmo ever and they did everything that was possible to screw that potential. They did a few good things afterwards but it was too late....People were gone. My guild was hardcore lovers of the game and stayed on boat for 4 years....Those merges after merges killed our number,our  social identity and eventually disoriented us out of game.

    I still remeber the RP player base of the game and considering how great of an IP AOC is....its sad

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,758Member Uncommon

    AoC was a great game, but the flaws were huge. It was grittier, created a real world feel with moderately sized open areas.

    I am wondering if the lay offs come as any real surprise to the company. MMO companies know the score now, the population after launch will drop through the floor. So you are going to be employing a lot less people after launch. Now you can either do this at launch or a month or two after. It seems standard now that to avoid bad publicity at launch you do it a month or two after.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,144Member Uncommon

    Reason I left TSW even before 30 days free time: button masher, caused obviusly by limiting active abilities to only 7. Second, yes, it may have 500 or more various abilities ... but 90% of them completely useless, unfun, just filler ups to get to something usefull.

    For the rest, I actually started to like a lot, but this 2 was to much.

    And, yes, they can not expect every player will spend 5 times client cost to upgrade computer to w7 64-bit. My client was crashing constantly, all responses from them were that there is nothing to do, because of great graphics and blah blah blah ... i should consider to upgrade to w7 64-bit with more ram. I actualy did this, purchased new disk and w7 64, just to try this. And, no, I'm not rich, but had this in mind before. This was just last motivation i needed. And indeed, no single crash afterward, incredibly better experience. But .... knock, knock, ... any1 at home? If they advertise game is completely compatible with xp, then they can not afford insisting players to upgrade for 250€ aprox for new windows. Period.

  • FreezzoFreezzo EnschedePosts: 235Member
    They should just remove box prices for TSW. There's the biggest thing that let me to not try the game.

    "We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
    And for MMORPGs ever so true...

  • 7star7star SeoulPosts: 405Member
    Originally posted by SeriphinX
    But since I actually like it, with my luck, that means it'll prolly tank and go off life support.

    I know what you mean...

     

    But don't even say it.

     

    Let's hope for the best and hope that as a quality game, it will build up over time.

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member

    There is nothing wrong with limiting abilities. it means you actually have to THINK about your build instead of including everything.

    The majority of the abilites i use are in the basic tree, so i dont really know what your talking about. each ability has its own use depending on what you want to do with your build. ive only seen 2 or 3 abilites that are pointless to have, since there are better of the same thing in other trees.

     

    Also for TSW i hope, i REALLY hope it doesn't listen to its majority fanbase. the majority fanbase usually ends up being the ones crying because "the games too hard". If the game goes the way of WotLK i will stop playing the game. Fights need to be more than a DPS check. so far each fight having its own mechanic and Strategy you have to follow is great.

     

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • bgipedbgiped Etters, PAPosts: 2Member

    I think my biggest issuegroup.  with tsw is there was no need to group. I love grouping with my guild, but in TSW it felt too solo. Developers need to get back to the days when not grouping ment not progressing. I makes the player for invested not only in the game but the people they play with. Take FF11 for example, once you hit level 10 unless you were a beast master you had to group to progress.

    I have no problem paying subs but the game needs to give me a community that requires me to be active and immersed.

  • LucziferLuczifer TallinnPosts: 154Member Uncommon

    TSW is a Great game. Now, when they sent me free GW2 to write about it I see another WoW clone. TSW with it's quests and world and immersion is very fun. And some-one whine about PvP - I would happy when they cloes that stupid pvp at all - I have all weaps maxed at 10, done most quests (maybe 4-5-6 left) but I still Never touched PvP and have no plans.

    Better they open new areas with for new PvE - Shambhala, Tunguska, Macchu Picchu etc - there is a lot of Mysterious Places perfectly hit for TSW.

  • kilunkilun Apopka, FLPosts: 709Member Common
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

    Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

    Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

    And then they have to keep these players?

    Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

    I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

    That is for any business.  The problem is leasing companies for business areas only require a year worth of stuff, so they aren't out.  That is why you see so many small businesses fold rather quickly because they don't have the start-up to keep in business.  Business hasn't changed very much other than its more global now.

    www.ozumgames.com

  • delta9delta9 PlymouthPosts: 343Member Common

    In the meantime, Morrison told us that vanity items are in the shop are selling well and creating a positive revenue stream particularly in light of the fact that the things in the shop are vanity, not “play to win"

     

    The game is not play to win? Surely he means pay to win? :)

     
  • GR3NDELGR3NDEL Tulsa, OKPosts: 108Member Uncommon

    The 'I won't play because it's not F2P' meme puzzles me.  It's not uncommon for me to spend more than that in a single night if I decide to go out to eat.  Or see a movie.  Certainly I have a right to ensure the service provided is good for the money I spend, but to refuse to play a game simply for that reason just doesn't make sense.

    'I won't buy this game because it's Funcom!'  All right - if that's your choice... but to me, that's like (using the previous example) saying that I won't buy an iPod, or an iPad because it's made by Apple.  Yes, I have no desire for an iPhone, and I don't particularly like Apple's sales methods, but I'm not going to boycott all Apple products - I happen to really like the iPod, for example.  Personally I think Funcom learned a LOT from AoC's release - I mean, TSW launched relatively bug-free, and maintained consistent quality in terms of quests across all zones, unlike AoC at launch.  Is Funcom ever going to shake the chains of its' past mistakes?  Apparently not.

    Basing one's opinion on a game based on a Beta that's now what, 3 months old?   Sure, some people loved what they saw, and picked it up right away and that's fine - but Funcom's still offering the 3 (5) day trial.  Why not take advantage of it and see if anything's changed that might improve your impression of the game?

    'I don't like the combat animations' - that's fine, because that's based on personal opinion.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with TSW's animations...and besides, after a little while I'm not paying that much attention to the combat animations anyway.  No matter how cool or awesome the animation, if I've seen it a bunch of times I'm not going to keep going 'oooh, aaaah' over it.

    Character customization - well, that's again based on personal opinion so I don't have much to say there.  Personally, I like the approach TSW has, because according to the TSW mythology, we're just regular people who have been given supernatural abilities.  The upcoming patch (when it finally gets here) will have additional customization models, and I'm glad to see it coming.

    Innovation - okay, this one irks me - it really does.  Gamers have been screaming 'we want innovation!' for the past several years.  Well, TSW offers innovation!  From the skill wheel, to investigation missions, to storytelling, to mood/atmosphere... the list goes on quite a bit.  Yet these very qualities are now constantly and consistently derided.  Apparently, 'innovation' has become a catch word, but there's less discussion on what innovation actually is, and too much personal opinion on what it isn't.  When has F2P become 'innovation'?  Or level-based character progression?  Or a fantasy-based IP?  Yeah, we've got a serious shortage of those.  /eyeroll

    Is TSW a 'niche game'?  Well, it does a number of things very differently from other MMOs.  It didn't have an existing IP to fall back on, or a previous game with a large fanbase to draw from.  I guess the jury is still out on that.

    Whatever Funcom's decisions were (and yeah, their expectations were probably too high), I have been consistently impressed with the game itself.  Despite all the bad press from AoC, I was willing to give TSW a shot - and I haven't been disappointed.

    YMMV

    image

  • HurricanePipHurricanePip Sommerille, MAPosts: 167Member

    The two key problems with TSW has always been:

    1.  The barrier to entry.  Subs made sense in the past, but not given the current state of the MMO market.  Subs can't compete with GW2's business model right now.

    2.  The combat needs to be flashier.  The combat system is fine, but it lacks "impact".

    The ambiance, stories, etc are very good though.  TSW could be a great game, but for a few small, but very impactful problems.

    If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  • MagikrorriMMagikrorriM Binghamton, NYPosts: 176Member Uncommon

    Marketing was the problem with TSW, Funcom spent too little on it. Not so much as an ounce of hype, a lot of people I know (myself included) accidently stumbled on it.

     

    If TSW was a truely bad as some people say, then it wouldn't have a fiercely loyal fanbase. It's a good game, the only thing I see really lacking, with any story based mmo, you need some sandbox. That would make the game perfect, at least for me.

     

    I am fine paying a monthly sub, 15 bucks a month, is well worth the entertainment I get from the game. Cash shop, I don't spend money on, I know that most of the clothing in it will eventaully wind up in the game vendors.

     

    I hope it remains sub for at least awhile, the idea of the community going from what it is now, to a WoW-like community, would make me quit. They would start screaming that the game is too hard, and the once challenging aspects of the game would be reduced to facerolling, mindless grinds.

  • UNH0LYEV1LUNH0LYEV1L Summerville, SCPosts: 412Member Uncommon
    This really is to bad.  The Secret World is one of the most amazing games ever made.  IT NEEDS more content and more to do along w/ some serious effort devoted to the PvP aspects.  If those changes are made and content is added frequently it would be a scary good game.


    Spiritsever - AR/Ele - The Secret World
    Ashmaker - Ranger < Prophets > - Age of Conan - #1 in Kills
    Sweety - Sorceress < Infinite Darkeness > - SWTOR - 2.6K PvP Rating
    ??? - Pilot - ??? - EVE
    Symir - Swordmaster - Warhammer - RR100
    Dreadnaught - Rogue - Rift
  • DarkcrystalDarkcrystal st clair shores, MIPosts: 809Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ste2000

    TSW problems are similar to the that of the majority of all recent AAA MMOs (GW2 included):

     

    1) Too solo friendly, no need to socialize  (Yes I keep insisting on this point but developers just don't get it)

    2) Way too easy, superfast  leveling (Again..........fast leveling = short subscription terms)

    3) No character customization (everyone look the same as anyone else)

    4) Combat, just ridicoulus. Even AoC was better, more challenging and fun.

    5) Fucom.........that should teach developers that players have a long memory. I didn't buy TSW because of the way they dealt with AoC launch.

     

    If Funcom will not survive this, I won't be crying.

    Developers need to take more risks and make MMOs for MMO players.......not single player games with MMO functions

    I hope SOE and Zenimax take note

     

    They had a successful launch of TSW so take NOTE... of that..!!    WOW had a horrid Launch, so we forget.  GW2 had a horrid release ,a nd bug ridden, nothing works, so we forget but pick in Funcom??

     

    Funcom has an older game that has done well called Anarchy online, alot of people are pissed because AOC did not live up to the hype I agree I was disppointed , but the some of the game is one of the best I have seen, but sadly still not up to the Hype.

     

    TSW was never hyped because they knew it would NOT draw in the crowds, it was a niche style game like alot of sandboxs they tried something different , sadly gamers TODAY, are spoiled because of WOW, they like there damn hand held way to much, I personally can't stand games like that so I will keep giving Funcom, and indies my money because they try and make different games and I like them , but the issue is today some gamers would rather play a game that has 3 million subs, then agame with 10k, well I would rather play with 10k, because the games with 3 million have horrid communitys. WOW, GW2 has the worst community in the industry.!

     

    Also I see GW2 fanboys saying I would never pay a SUb!! Well guess what time for you guys to find a new hobby if you can't afford it. Just because Anet is gonna give a little to make them selfs look better means nothing because the game is bug ridden and its so linear its a joke, Events, Events and more events thats all it is... I don't get why people can enjoy that, oh I know because they are to cheap to pay for a sub for a great game, TSW has great storys, and puzzles, and I love how I can wield any weapon any time, I want, unlike GW2 I get what 4 or 5 skills, so restricted..

     

    I guess todays gamers like junk games, because older games like games like UO, SWG asheron call .... No hand holding and we talked to other players, GW2, So anti social and Zero story behide it.

     

    Thats my 2 cents, oh and layoffs thats typical in the gaming industry , soon as your contract is up, you move on, layoffs happen after all MMo releases because they do not need that big of a team just to do content updating.......... This article is so false, I talked to them at Pax and they didn't talk like that....

     

  • ScribbleLay1ScribbleLay1 Mt Pleasant, SCPosts: 177Member
    Originally posted by UNH0LYEV1L
    This really is to bad.  The Secret World is one of the most amazing games ever made.  IT NEEDS more content and more to do along w/ some serious effort devoted to the PvP aspects.  If those changes are made and content is added frequently it would be a scary good game.

    I liked this game probaly more than anyother I played and I have been playing since probaly before some of you were born, but I have to agree with you on the PVP, maybe it is just my bad luck or Karma but I could never find anyone else to fight, one day it was just a Templar and myself and we both needed to kill 10 enemies, so we just took turns killing each other and at the end it was like Same time tomorrow?

  • BrotherDBrotherD AlbertslundPosts: 52Member
    What made TSW fail wasnt it new systems but it terrible combat, pvp and that it basically was a bad themepark MMO. Such a shame. The atmosphere was the greatest I have ever seen in a MMO.

    Currently playing: AoC, RIFT, Champions Online, DDO, LORTO, STO and Tribes: Ascend
    Have Played: TSW, SWG, AO, EVE, WOW, EQ, EQ2, SW:TOR, GW,CoH, DCUO, RotMG, WAR,

  • AtaakaAtaaka Benson, AZPosts: 172Member

    AoC was a let down for me...I got over it.

    AO is one of my favorite "I wonder how things are going there?" games. 

    TSW ...seriously... someone say something marketable, please. Whining and pissing on FC is a lower level than internet rage. 

    People, we are talking about a game here not the cure for cancer. It's a GAAAMMMEEE!!!!!

    So, having raged a bit, let's discuss what that means to me. A game is something I enjoy doing when I'm not out eating a really nice meal with my girlfriend. A game is something I enjoy when I have completed my work. It is a place I can go when the friends that I see more often have other things they want to do that I don't.  I can go play a game whenever I want but I can't always succeed in the things in my life that produce a return much greater than logging into my favorite game.

    A game is just a game until I logon. 

    I want content: Purpose, Meaning, Flow, Challenges, Management, PvP, PvE, LOOT, online Friendships, Goals, Riches, ownership, immersion, a working bowling alley, Randomness,

    respect, kindness, peace, MONSTERS, mobs, instances, open worlds, exploration, freedom!!!!!!

    (You can always tell the people who are DL'ing)

     

    Ataaka

    -the one and only

  • CujoSWAoACujoSWAoA Nooo, AKPosts: 1,781Member

    Funcom.

    Science Fiction MMORPG like Mass Effect.

    Sandbox.

    There, there's your flagship MMO of the future. 

    Its that simple.

  • InktomiInktomi merrick, NYPosts: 663Member

    These are a few things that I was thinking about how TSW would have been a better MMO.

    1) Do not make it an MMO. Start out as a single player.

    I don't know why studios think they all have this incredible formula for a successful Massively Multiplayer game. Single player still has a huge demand. Make TSW's starting points jump of from the three factions. Just like Dragon Age started off from three races all converging onto similar storylines. Choices made in the game will reflect in the gameworld and the the storyline. Yeah, I do want to be an evil Illuminati.

    2) Add in a small party system with recruitable characters.

    One of the best features of Skyrim are the companions you can recruite to follow you. Keep it single player content, but let players find and recruit members into a small (3 member) party system. Allow us to customize them and give them a decent AI so we don't have to constantly micromanage them. Party members was also a huge part of what made the Mass Effect series popular too.

    3) Allow for single player expansions and content. 

    Keep the item shop for players who want deeper customization and then you can add some 'pay to win' items in there. We do not get upset on game changing items if we are not using them against human beings. Left to our own devices we will use cheat codes all day. 

    Secondly, roll out expansions and keep the content fresh. No need for multiplayer yet. Just keep adding to the game that players can use to further their characters and party members.

    4) Allow for moddability.

    Give people tools to create their own mods like Bethesda did. You would be surprised that people will play your game just to be able to create for it. With the proper tools the sky would have been the limit. In an MMO setting, there is no game customization at all.

    5) Ok now, since we have a good following throught the single player model. Release a multiplayer mode.

    Giving players the ability to rent space on server and create their own worlds for a fee. Charge a small fee for players to be able to log into said servers and see how this revenue stream builds up.

    Is it working so far? Do you have a good amount of revenue and interest from all your single player content rolling around out there Funcom?

    Good. Now, make your MMO.

    'Nuff said.

  • Anaba77Anaba77 Reggio CalabriaPosts: 33Member

    They could sell the Age of Conan project to another more healthier and more motivated software house, getting back some of their investments, no need this way with "firing ppl", and trying to focus on The Secret World which I guess was/is/will be their major concern the past/present/future years.

    That would be a win/win situation good for FC, good for the players and good for the mmo environment (since TSW is quite different to many mmos out there).

    I have played AoC since launch and at the end after 3 years I've just throw my tovel due to the fact that FC has completely abbandoned (except some really nice dungeon additions) the whole game. And their actual game director (Craig Morrison) has NO clue how to improve (sad to say though) their game:

    f...k, AoC has one of the best lores, intense Howard writing backround, one of the best s&s atmospheres and Funcom did sooo much just to let this "gift of god" flow away without any remarkable experience.

    Ok, at the beginning launch was not that good, that's why after 1 million of boxes sold after some months half of the playerbase left game. But why in hell didn't they even try to focus on the left 500K subs ??? WHY not improve and try to sell better the AoC brand to all the world ??? So many players don't even know that AoC exists (lol). Nooooo, they had to develop TSW, open new headquarters in Canada (due to a cancer called EA) and ofc they needed to be published by EA even if this cancer company already had their "own" mmorpg called SWTOR.

    Hell, I am really sad if Funcom in future would focus on facebook mmos (*sigh) or even brands like LEGO etc... (they are more talented than that crap) but this whole financial situation was created by bad bad financial and marketing decisions.

    THAT'S why ppl are scared of Funcom because they don't know when this company let a mmo-title fade away illuding the playerbase that they are doing something good with it.

    Really Ragnar & Co, give your AoC brand to another company with serious interests, do yourself and us a favor. It would be a win/win for all of us (you included).

     

    Sorry for my "rant", but I love the Conan brand really much, and seeing this great potential for a mmorg lore thrown away like as it was toilet paper makes me as a player//rpg fan/book worm really really sad....

     

    /my 2 cents

     
     
     
     
  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,758Member Uncommon
    More money is made at launch than from subs these days. MMO's cannot hang on to players, so why spend a lot of time on end game? Make sure everything looks great for launch and you have made a profit. Solo gaming model is now the only model for a MMO, both in gameplay and buisness stratergy.
  • rdrakkenrdrakken Gotham, FLPosts: 426Member

    Seems to me that Funcom actually hasnt learned a thing over the last 10 years...The best thing they could do for AoC is to hand it over to a different company.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,926Member Uncommon
    So basically, it's already in maintenance mode.
  • ScribbleLay1ScribbleLay1 Mt Pleasant, SCPosts: 177Member
    Well, IMO when people are decideing wether or ot to continue to play depends on if there is houseing or a tatoo shop tells me the game is already done fore and people are just trying to hang on for any reason.
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