Funcom’s The Secret World is a relative rarity in the MMO world. Like The Old Republic the conspiracy theory-themed title has opted to go for a subscriber-based model rather than implementing a free-to-play mechanic, something that few massively multiplayer games attempt these days.
Creative director on The Secret World Ragnar Tornquist, speaking in an interview with RockPaperShotgun, explained why the company decided to head for a subscription rather than a free-to-play model.
Of course [having Conan go free-to-play] has taught us a lot. Five years from now, ten years from now, will Secret World be free-to-play? I’m sure of it.
But that’s a long time. For the time being, we’re committed to this business model, and as long as people are willing to pay us in order to provide them with expanded content and ongoing content, we’ll keep that business model.
But it wasn’t right for us to come out and be a free-to-play game, because then we would have to find other ways to support the ongoing content. Whether it would be DLC and charging people for that, or an item store and charging people for that, [I can't say]. At any rate, people are going to have to pay more in order to support the ongoing development. I think that at least for me and at least for traditional MMO players, a subscription fee is something they understand.”
The Secret World launched on 3 July (last week).
via Gamesindustry.biz: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-07-09-funcom-committed-to-subscriptions-model