I am so incredibly angry right now!
As you may well know, if you are a longtime follower of ol’ Scormey over my various web-projects and podcasts, that I am pretty much a Fanboy of the first order for Funcom’s MMORPG “The Secret World”. I have stated on many occasions that I believe TSW is possibly the finest MMORPG to have ever been developed, with one of the best communities in all of gaming. I have defended Funcom time and again when people attacked them for their handling of the TSW launch fiasco, delayed development, the switch to a Buy-to-Play model, etc. In short, I’m a Homer.
That ended today.
You see, early this morning I was perusing Facebook, when I received a message that the official FB page for “The Secret World” had changed names to “Secret World Legends”. This sparked my curiosity, so of course I had to take a look at what was going on. Well, what was going on was the official announcement that TSW is going to be relaunched later this Spring (in just the next couple of months) as a Free-to-Play, action RPG. Sure, this new version will have a multiplayer aspect to it, but for all intents and purposes, it will be a single-player RPG, for the most part.
Yeah, it’s like that.
So here’s the thing: “The Secret World” isn’t getting shut down. We will still be able to log into the game as always, play as we always have, even after SWL launches. In fact, Grand Masters (Lifetime Account owners, like myself) will become lifetime Patrons in SWL, if we connect our accounts between the two games. And while we won’t be able to transfer characters to the new game, we will be able to reserve one name in SWL, and transfer many of our fun little toys and whatnot from TSW to SWL. So at least we have that going for us, right?
None of that bothers me, really, it doesn’t. What bothers me is this:
- TSW players have been asking for a new or updated combat system for years. That is coming to SWL, but not to TSW.
- SWL will start off with the original eight playfields (the original “world”), with all of their dungeons and such. Content that came after that in TSW will be added into SWL as future updates, with apparently even more updates beyond even that to come further down the road. But this means everyone has to start over from scratch in SWL.
- And to tie into the last point, strangely enough, Funcom refuses to say whether or not TSW will continue to receive future updates, as SWL will.
So it comes down to this. Rather than update “The Secret World”, Funcom is instead going to relaunch the game effectively as a single-player RPG with optional multiplayer aspects. And they will give this new game a new combat system, rather than just fix the one already in TSW. Plus all of us who have played the game since Closed Beta in 2012 get to start all over again, but this time with only one character slot (unless we buy more, of course, because that’s how F2P cash-shops work). Oh, but we’ll still technically be able to play TSW as well, but let’s face it, the game will be in Maintenance Mode only.
Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps Funcom fully intends to continue updating TSW in the future, in parallel with updates SWL will be receiving? Perhaps they will use TSW as a test-bed for future updates to SWL, since they are holding back the most recent updates to TSW for future additions to SWL, right?
Yeah, and Mi-Go might fly out of my butt, too.
That all said, I will still continue to monitor this situation, and hope that Funcom does the right thing and continues to update TSW, like they should. But it seems obvious that this will not be the case, and I expect in a year or two at most, “The Secret World” will quietly be shut down, in favor of Funcom’s newest cash-cow. Which is disappointing, because as you know I have included TSW in my weekend vlog series “Meandering about MMORPGs”, and have videos recorded for the game through May at this point.
Now I just need to decide if I should cut my losses with including TSW in that series, or keep showing the game off regardless of what stupid choices Funcom makes? Because I can tell you this right now, I won’t be featuring “Secret World Legends” on that show, or in any other capacity. MaMMO is for MMORPGs, not former MMOs given the ol’ NGE treatment (“Star Wars Galaxies” fans know what I’m talking about here).
Oh, and one last thing: Fuck you, Funcom.