Funcom gives update on The Secret World


Limp Gawd
Apr 12, 2011
Development since launch

Following the launch of The Secret World on the 3rd of July 2012, Funcom's share price has decreased significantly. The company attributes this mostly to the aggregate review score, the "Metascore", for the game at MetaCritic ( together with other public sources for tracking the performance of games.
While there are very positive reviews, there are as well mixed or average reviews from various press outlets, giving an aggregated score for The Secret World of 72 out of 100, which is to be considered low, and not in line with the positive feedback received during the beta phases from both press and players. Funcom is of course disappointed with achieving such a Metascore. A game like The Secret World, which is not based on a well-known brand, is normally dependent on positive press reviews to achieve successful initial sales, in addition - but not limited - to other factors like word of mouth.

Scenarios for The Secret World for the first 12 months following launch

Funcom has on several occasions presented two financial scenarios for the first 12 months following launch of the game; please refer to page 17 in the 1Q 2012 presentation *). Funcom does not consider it likely that either of them will be met.* To improve sales going forward, Funcom is currently enhancing distribution by launching the game on the Steam platform as well as focusing on key areas for improvement of the game and on-going activities on content updates, sales initiatives and communication. The effect of all these initiatives together with other factors impacting sales are difficult to predict, but based on the available early data, one scenario is that sales for the first 12 months following launch will be less than half of what was presented in the "Conan-like" scenario.** It should be noted that the sales amount in the "Conan-like" scenario is significantly higher than for the game "Age of Conan", due to the assumption of better retention implemented in the scenario. Also it should be noted that the company has significantly lower operational cost for The Secret World than what was the case for Age of Conan. As less initial sales than expected is considered an indicator of impairment, the company is currently evaluating the need for recognizing an impairment loss for the game in the profit and loss statement.


Funcom is pleased to see that gamer satisfaction is high, with user score of 8.4 out of 10 and higher on and other sites like This is in line with the beta surveys and beta players' feedback that the company received prior to launch. The company considers this a positive indicator of high customer satisfaction, and a solid foundation to build on the positive and engaged community Funcom has established with The Secret World.
First indication of churn is more positive than for Age of Conan, and the in-game store is performing as expected. The add-on packs are performing better than expected. Also higher than expected sales are going directly through the online download stores like EA's Origin and Funcom's own storefront, generating more profitable sales for the company.
A possible scenario going forward is that the game will sell less than both of the two above mentioned scenarios the first 12 months following launch, but with high customer satisfaction, it will generate a more stable subscriber base than the game Age of Conan. Over time, this will enable Funcom to retain more customers and generate higher revenue.

* the scenarios that funcom laid out are as follows:

Target Scenario:

Client sales 30% higher than AoC
Majority of digital client sales
Subs/client price as AoC
In-game store sales/uptic amounting to 35% of subs. revenue
Healty retention; 490,000 average subs

Conan-like scenario:

1,050,000 client sales first year
Poor retention (a bit better than AoC) 280,00 average subs
Other assumptions as above

** Funcom expects to sell through 500K or fewer copies of the game in the first 12 months.

more at the SOURCE
As long as it finds it's niche like Rift it will be fine as the core game isn't bad or fatally flawed. I wish the best for them.
I like TSW and will be resubbing for at least another month and will keep resubbing as long as I enjoy playing the game

with that said, low sales #s are due to the low amount of hype surrounding the game (this can honestly be viewed as a positive nowadays) and critic review scores

the reason why I decided to purchase TSW was because I chose to value the player reviews over the critic reviews and I'm happy I did

some other things that affect TSW sales is that combat isn't anything groundbreaking other than being to make use of the ability wheel and completely transform builds/play styles through the ability wheel

the game is also hard if a player has issues creating builds through the ability wheel and becomes harder in dungeons if a player can't mouse look, strafe, and press buttons at the same time
I ... didn't even realize this was out yet. And I'm an avid pc gamer (including MMOs) and follow several game-related discussion forums. What a major, major failure by their marketing crew.

There are so many interesting angles that they could have played up to create buzz (modern-day setting, Lovecraft tradition, MMO for "grownups", puzzle-solving/detective gameplay, etc.) but the only thing I ever read about it were beta impressions that were mostly "it's good but..."

If the game really is good, and they keep developing interesting content, then it will continue to grow. I think a Steam sale would be a good idea.
Metacritic needs to die imho.

I love TSW simply because it is different enough to not play and feel like WoW. They'll keep getting my money for as long as the servers are up, which better damn well be years.
hell i didn't even make it past the first mission before i uninstalled game during beta.. game looked cool but the mechanics were rubbish and the game ran and looked like crap due to the limited quality settings available because it was hardset by vram limit.. low was 258mb medium was 514mb.. yet i could get 100fps in low but because my cards only had 512mb i couldn't run medium settings.

i'm sure there is a niche market for the game but i think they had their expectations to high for the vast majority of gamers these days.
The standards just keep getting lower. Now any MMORPG that is a "themepark different enough from WoW," is high quality innovation. The quality of PC games is going downhill badly, but MMOs are the worst of all the genres now, and at the beginning they were a shining example of the potential of PC gaming! Now they symbolize everything wrong with gaming today.
TSW being a Funcom game, and fairly high potential pricing turned me off the beta.

Funcom's less-than-stellar reputation might have something to do with low sales too...
Why? I find it extremely useful to use the user reviews. The critic reviews are all bullshit though (see: Diablo 3).

Ok, the critic part of MC needs to die. ;)

User reviews are all I read nowadays, mostly here.

Either that or try to get into the beta for something I'm interested in.
I've been telling people how great this game is. Going to get my friend subing with me very shortly. This game kicks ass. I haven't been able to get into another MMO since WoW back in 2004-2006. Age of Conan was cool for the first 20 levels but I unsubed after that when there really wasn't anything left to do and the game was full of bugs.

This game is very addicting. Sure it's not perfect, but I kind of like it that way. I have high hopes for more improvements and changes coming. I would love to see an auction house go up and more raids!!!
Why? I find it extremely useful to use the user reviews. The critic reviews are all bullshit though (see: Diablo 3).

And the user reviews are either blatant fanboying, or irrational review bombing courtesy of Fucktardchan.