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DefaultTSW Business Model Discussions

This thread is intended to provide a SINGLE place for people who wish to discuss the business model of The Secret World. Any discussions about F2P, B2P, S2P, P2W, or any other TLAs should be done here. New threads opened to discuss the business model will be closed with a rediction to this thread.

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cadouin's Avatar

Very well. I understand that a game being launched as, or converting to, any sort of a BtP or FtP business model evokes strong opinions whether for good or bad. I have posted before that what I see is that TSW actually, as a game, is kind of a hybrid. It plays as an MMO but also plays well as an RPG like Diablo 3 or Skyrim or Dragon Age. So how about marketing TSW as having an MMO payment format (subscription and GM) or RPG format (BtP). MMO format would be as it is now. RPG format would allow the player all the playzones and all the content that can be done by a single player. RPG format would require additional payment to open up content issues. RPG format would allow fight clubs but not any PvP zones.

Make the marketing focus on the idea that TSW can be played as either style of game.. not on the payment model.


If we're talking business models then I've always thought that MMOs should be run more like a pay per view TV station than a TV show.

That is to say, Funcom (or whoever) provides the very basic 'world' as free to play and then releases an SDK and allows many third parties to provide the content production: missions/stories/dungeons etc etc (with oversight/approval/quality control of course).

You pay for content and both Funcom and the 3rd party get their cut. The same way apple does with their app store. Perhaps an operating system would have been a better analogy than a TV station.

3rd party content production = more content = more players = more cash.

Just thought I'd throw that out there..


Ravenhurst's Avatar

Originally Posted by Psygnosis View Post
This thread is intended to provide a SINGLE place for people who wish to discuss the business model of The Secret World.
VERY good idea.

I´m for sub model.

SUB > Freemium > F2P > B2P

But FC should add a zone limited, AP/SP limited, chat and trade restricted F2P for Kingsmouth.
Then for the trial users offer the game plus one free month for half price off if you finish x amount of missions in 3 days.
Bull whip (CHECK!) and grapple hook for auxiliary weapons!
"I make Speedy Gonzales look like regular Gonzales"


Belladawna's Avatar

I play The Secret World in the evenings with friends and my wife. My household does not have cable or satellite tv. My expectation for The Secret World is regular content updates. I expect to pay a monthly fee to play the game and feel like a I got a great deal buying two lifetime subscriptions.

That being said the business model of Wizard 101 (I know it's a kid's game) seemed to work very well. The game is Free to Play for limited zones and chat, subscription for access to all zones, and cash shop to permanently unlock zones. The cash shop was also item, both cosmetic and "play to win" (the "best" play to win and cosmetic items also drop from bosses).


Serra's Avatar

I much prefer the flat fee subscription model. I have no problem with a F2P restricted model like Fremium to bring in additional players, but I would not use it myself.

I did play AO freemium for about 2 years before I subbed while my friend was subbing. I really disliked the freemium model for my own play and it finally bugged me enough that I subbed.

I want Funcom to do whatever it is that makes them the most money. If that is the sub model, then please continue it. Freemium can bring in a lot of problem personalities.
Serra on Arcadia


F2P = Free Development Environment for Russian and Chinese bot makers
F2P = Being spammed with requests to buy kids with no credit card mall points
F2P = Pax farmers spamming chat channels and when banned for it just creating another account
F2P = Unlimited cheating, exploiting, hacking since who gives a sh*t if a free account is banned
F2P = Developers attention refocused on creating revenue generating items for the mall instead of the killer content they have been producing.

I can picture the future patch notes...

- Nightmare Dungeon lock outs increased to 48 hours
- Nightmare Dungeon Lock Out Reset added to Item Mall
- Signet Quest lock outs increased to 2 weeks
- Signet Bags added to Item Mall
- Pets will now expire after 30 days
- 30 Day Pet Extension added to Item Mall
- Pure Anima Potions can no longer be crafted
- Pure Anima Potion Packs added to Item Mall
- Additional Gear Manager Slots removed from vendors
- Additional Gear Manager Slot Token added to Item Mall

etc etc etc


MacDeath's Avatar


I think that TSW needs more players and Funcom needs more revenue. Here is a modest proposal that would help accomplish both of those goals. Not all models will appeal to all customers so, it's all about choices.

Option 1: TSW Lite

Players can download the game for free and play as long as they like. They are limited to ONE playfield; Kingsmouth. If they want to open additional playfields they can be unlocked by purchasing them for $15 per playfield or upgrading to all playfields for $60. They are limited to One character.

This is a long term trial and will get people to try the game. Many people say they are put off by the initial purchase cost of the STANDARD offering. Many of these customers will find that they like the game and will upgrade later.

Results: more players in the starter zone, more revenue for Funcom.

Option 2: TSW Standard

Players download the game for $60 and pay no monthly sub. They have access to ALL of the original playfields up to and including Transylvania. They are limited to 3 characters.
They can purchase premium upgrades in the store, such as expansion zones, NY Raid, etc.

Results: This appeals to players who are unwilling to play games with monthly subs.

Option 3: TSW Premium

Players download the game for $60 and pay a monthly sub of $15 (discounted sub prices for 3 months / 6 months). Players have access to all playfields including the NYC Raid and the Tokyo playfield.

Results: This appeals to those players who expect to be on for the long term and like the predictability of the monthly cost. Most current players will like this option.

Option 4: TSW Super Premium

Players download the game for $260 and pay no monthly sub. They have access to All playfields up to and including Tokyo. They get an in-game and forum title [Founder?].

This appeals to those players who are committed to the long haul and are willing to pay extra up front to avoid monthly sub fees.

Results: Funcom gets more money up front.

Players can upgrade the account type in the future by purchasing an upgrade.

examples: From Lite to Standard: $60, from Lite to Super Premium: $260. From Premium to Super Premium: $200.
MacDeath - Templar
TSW Forum Member since 10-14-2009


I believe that any payment model that Funcom chooses will be appropriate and hugely successfull. The incredible quality of the game and its 'play how you want' model will command loyalty from willing players and the posters in the Lifetime thread pay testament to TSWs attraction. Speaking purely hypothetically and not describing anything about my own account status at all, I would be happy to take advantage of any of the business models described above. The game really is that perfect. I hope it continues to offer such an exceptional gaming experience for many many years to come. Top marks, Funcom.



Azirphaeli's Avatar

I'll chime in:

How to drag more people into this awesome game.

1) Reduce box cost to ~$20 - $25
2) Add a trial that includes all hub cities, agartha, and kingsmouth + polaris with unlimited play time but a limit of Skill rank 3 in weapons, and inner circle abilities. Reduce AP cap to 7 and SP cap to 3 until they've purchased a sub.
3) Keep the sub the way it is
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