The Secret World has launched
Today is the official launch day for The Secret World, although in practice the flood gates opened already yesterday. The Early Access has been going on for a few days now and it has been quite smooth for the most part – some glitches and issues, but nothing that I have encountered has caused any major concerns.
Funcom has also released a launch trailer on YouTube:
To me the game seems to be the kind of game that I think Ragnar and the others at Funcom envisioned when they created Anarchy Online originally. Back then they had the adventure game experience, but lacked experience with developing MMORPGs and online games (as many others). Developing and running Age of Conan helped them with building and tuning the tools (Dreamfall engine etc). Now almost exactly 11 years after the Anarchy Online launch they release a game that looks as if it is the result of that vision combined with years of hard earned experience in developing MMORPGs.
One comment that a number of people have written goes along the lines of “seems ok, but I wait until the game goes F2P, which it inevitably will“. While I can predict the future in some cirumstances, I cannot say for sure what Funcom will do down the line. But most Western MMOs that has converted to some “F2P” model has converted to some kind of hybrid where one still has to subscribe in most cases if you want access to the whole game. In fact, Funcoms previous MMO titles have significant portions locked away behind subscriptions. If Funcom changes the business model at some point it will likely be a glorified trial with restrictions, e.g. like the beta weekends.
Personally I am considering buying a lifetime subscription for the game. Even if I would end up not playing the game long enough to gain a monetary benefit from it, I would happily provide that as an incentive to a developer that I think is about to revitalize the genre.