The Secret World drops the subscriptions
As of now, paying a subscription for The Secret World is no longer necessary. Everything currently in the game will be available once you purchased the game. There will be free updates, but also paid-for story oriented content, plus the regular stuff in the game store.
They have also added some XP/AP boosts it seems. One can still subscribe to the game as before, called a member. Members and Grand Masters (life-time subscribers) will get a monthly allowance to spend in in the store, as well as some perks.
As a Grand Master myself, I think it will be interesting to see how this works out for Funcom. It sounds like an attractive approach for those who want to play the game without a subscription fee, a gentle shop approach and in addition to items in the store they will charge for what is the game’s strong area – story-oriented content.
See also the FAQ for the new payment model.