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News & Features Discussion  » [Editorial] The Secret World: Musing on Funcom

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155 posts found
  tman5

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/07
Posts: 613

8/29/12 9:19:05 AM#21

Bill's musings about why some gamers have stayed away from TSW - still nursing wounds inflicted from past crap releases - is very true in my case.  I am interested in TSW, but likely won't touch it until at least the end of the year.  This gives time to fully vette it's gameplay, community, and dev support.  And until a free trial opens up, it's a non-starter.

The days of heavy presales and blindly jumping into the lake of hype is over for this old gamer and, I suspect, many like me.

  User Deleted
8/29/12 9:22:41 AM#22

I saw the same sentiment echoed by both of you up front. "You stand by the score the site review gave for the game." Alright then. Who questioned your objectivity and why do you feel a need to defend yourself now? From my perspective the simple truth is that good products can under preform for a variety of reasons. Release date doesn't cut it as an excuse for what every knows is a niche product with limited appeal up front. So you like it and the market doesn't yet. I don't think you are out of touch...

 

 I'll admit in my view it's a well done one or two month wonder for the average MMO goer that might have been better off being released as a single player RPG. That's because there isn't really anything to do in game other than follow along with the story (good as it is.)  The current games where this same thought applies on the market are preforming on par with TSW if you understand. There is a disconnect in the MMORPG world right now between what players want and what they are getting that can't always be traced to spending habits.

 

I do not think TSW is a bad game. As much as I like what they did and tried to do they dug their own hole. Maybe like RIFT, they can make a comeback. I hope so. But that last FUNCOM statement about changing the focus of the company's products really is tellling. (Not to be a prophet of doom.)

  Superman0X

Elite Member

Joined: 3/28/06
Posts: 1080

8/29/12 9:26:40 AM#23

You have made a very astute comment (yet failed to understand what it meant):

Originally posted
Funcom cited at one point in their predictions for TSW's sales the success of box sales for Age of Conan. But that was a different time, a different IP, and people hadn't just been burned by several lack-luster MMO releases.

 

Funcom was a participant in the mass market P2P failure of he past few years. They helped to turn unhappy consumers into an angry mob that demanded change. This has caused them (and the rest of the market) to turn away from P2P (a valid business model) because it has been overused to such an extreme.

 

F2P is the 'hot' new fad for a reason. Customers are angry at how they have been treated, and have moved on to something different. Companies such as FunCom are still expecting their old tricks to work... and believe that they can sell a Million copies of this game to customers, despite the fact that they know only a few hundred k will actually like it. The expectation of product sales is not based on the demand for the product, but rather the ability of marketting to sell the product, regardless of its actual value.

 

TSW is a decent game. However, it is a niche game, and one that needs more polish. No one could have reasonably thought that it would sell a Million copies, unless they believed that they thought they could do so through trickery. They have blamed the results on poor reviews.... but have not actually adressed the issues that caused the poor reviews.

 

Bottom line is this:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

 

  Harttz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/17/12
Posts: 92

8/29/12 9:28:33 AM#24
Another thing I think that really hurt them was that they used their beta tests for testing rather than for advertisement. I think a lot of people who played the beta weekends to try the game came out very unimpressed. I first played the 2nd beta weekend and didn't really like the game very much. I managed to pick up a closed beta key and decided to give the game another try and really started to like it much more after they started polishing it and I had more time in the world. For most people you only get one chance at a first impression and I think TSW's first impression wasn't very strong during those open beta's.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10942

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/29/12 9:28:39 AM#25


Originally posted by Mardukk
It likely is a combination of things that destroyed the sales of this game.  A company with a bad reputation, the release date, the payment model, many non mmo friends of mine didn't even know about the game and the fact that people apparently prefer cartoon fantasy settings.

Despite what some other misinformed zealots may spout on this site, I don't think it was the game itself that was the problem.  Even with all the factors coming into play, I'm still shocked that it didn't sell better. 




That's just it. Funcom has a good game on their hands. It's niche and not too many people know seem to know about it, but it's a good game. Maybe the only thing they need to do is advertise in standard gaming media or Youtube commercials or something.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Illyssia

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 1525

8/29/12 9:31:31 AM#26
Bill, it surely is the end of Funcom as we know it. They have crashed and burned on TSW and will now head in a different direction.
  marz.at.play

Novice Member

Joined: 5/08/08
Posts: 913

nanu nanu

8/29/12 9:35:25 AM#27

LOVED this game! It is ahead of it's time. It's downfall was that it was released at the wrong time, it should have waited at least until Christmas time after GW2 and MoP hype died down.

 

The other downfall was severe lack of advertising. Everyone I know that's an MMO player never heard of TSW. I only heard about it because it come to this site. My friends don't come here and hence didn't know about it.

  rwyan

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/24/03
Posts: 436

8/29/12 9:38:28 AM#28

There are a lot of factors at work here...

 

Flash banner ads and an innaccesible Facebook game (though interesting) aren't going to cut it in terms of marketing.  Features... articles... blogs... that is where it counts.  Reviews were mixed with both players and critics.  Simply, TSW didn't have much of a presence prior to its release as it was constantly competing with GW2 beta/stress events and GW2 coverage.  

 

Thankfully, I had closed beta access which convinced me to pick the game up at launch as opposed to a few months down the road.  The devs had a lot of momentum leading up to the release and I was more than excited to see what came of that.

 

However, with that said, there are a lot of small rough edges.  More than enough to distract the "core" player.  This certainly didn't help with reviews which didn't help sell boxes.

 

However, with that said, this isn't your standard "WoW Clone" with a few nuances.  The core of the game is "similar" but a bulk of the game isn't.  I think with the right changes and additions... the game could grow ala EVE.

  theniffrig

Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/07
Posts: 352

Ooh, they have the internet on computers now.

8/29/12 9:42:29 AM#29

I was one of those 200k box sales. I enjoyed the game & would probably be subbed to it right now if it performed better on my PC. The game was never going to cater to the MMO masses, but I hope it will stay around and not go the way of the Matrix online.

Also, it's probably a combination of factors people have mentioned above that has put the game at its current numbers.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10942

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/29/12 9:44:03 AM#30

You know who should be angry about this? That Ragnar guy. He actually managed to get a decent game done and Funcom somehow managed to fumble it. They should have grabbed TSW from Ragnar and just tap danced through a field of tulips into a money filled win zone. He's probably sitting in an office with a look of shock on his face as Funcom continues to stagger around with his game.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

8/29/12 9:44:09 AM#31
I think a lot of reason for why TSW did not sell well is because it is Funcom and they dont have a particulary good reputation among gamers, mostly because of AoC which was a big dissapointment.
  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

8/29/12 9:47:32 AM#32
Originally posted by Tawn47

I haven't played TSW, so I cannot comment on the game itself except to say I can't see what the 'ahead of it's time' fuss is about.  It has skill based progression..  ok, cool.. but not a gamechanger IMO.  Anyway, ill put this down to my ignorance of the game.

I think there are 3 main reasons it hasn't done well.

1 - releasing close to GW2

2 - Box price, subscription and cash shop.  Seems excessive.

3 - Funcom.  Sorry, but some of us got burnt with AO.  Others got burnt with AOC.  It'd take a lot to restore any trust.

2 - Box price, subscription and cash shop.  Seems excessive.

 

I cannot stand this type of practice. I know companies can price their goods for whatever they want, but it feels like nickel & diming to me.

Here's how I see it:

If a game has a box fee and monthly subscription, I should have access to any item in-game - if I earn those items.

If a game is free-to-play, then cash shop is acceptable.

 

 

Star Trek Online did this in the worse way ever. This is why I'll never play a Crpytic MMO.

  Cypeq

Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/12
Posts: 67

8/29/12 9:53:16 AM#33

This game is a gust of fresh air but there is one big problem there funcom forgot to brush the teeth for development of combat system and pvp. It's same old stuff... it works but I think others did this better. So people enjoy mystery and immersion even hard dungeons but that runs dry quickly people goes back to WoW or whatever.

To be subsciption based MMO you have to provide wothy long / grindy endgame content that keeps people involved besides quests and story. This game should have been released q1 2013.

I guess they have lost at least half of subs to Guild Wars 2

They should be developing expansion and hype it up to be big thing next year but I guess FC first overestimates than throws project to trash. If they spent money on marketing this game could have at least return itself becouse it apeals to mature audience who has money besides allowance isnt afraid to pay upfront and have month or two of fun with a good game that's not cartoonish and childish like most mmo's.

  i_evil_i

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/10
Posts: 13

8/29/12 10:14:58 AM#34

This is spot on --> ...I have to opine that releasing TSW less than two months before the much more familiar and touted Guild Wars 2 and less than three months before WoW: Mists of Pandaria was a big mistake. As a new and different and, as Bill said, irreverent MMO, The Secret World needed time to captivate its audience. One to two months simply wasn’t enough time to become part of the fabric that makes the MMO player community...

 

Also the subscription model is a dying breed...and rightly so in my opinion.

 

For all of you who bought a lifetime subscription to TSW, LOTRO or any other sub. based game. I also bought one to GW2. And it cost me the price of the game only.

 

I have nothing against TSW or FunCom (I still play AOC).

 

I would really like to give TSW another go in the future, when I need a break from GW2 and after it goes F2P.

 

Until then good luck!

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17527

8/29/12 10:15:00 AM#35

I get wrapped up in our genre's culture, and expect everyone to know every MMO that's coming out like I do. When in reality, despite recent high-profile releases and the phenom known as WoW, we're just a gaming subculture.

This ^

Besides this site I have only met about two handfuls of people who knew anything about mmo's and that is from when I started playing them.

And most of those people only knew WoW.

So it doesn't surprise me that TSW only sold 200k. My thougth is that Funcom should have budgeted the development of the game with the idea that not everyone would be itnerested in it as it seems a bit of a niche game among mmo's.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 5341

8/29/12 10:18:43 AM#36

It was just bad timing. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You just don't launch a game in middle of summer when everyone is on holiday.

I said it before launch and I say it again.

GuildWars 2 launched on the perfect time. End of August. As pretty much everyone is now back to school or work.

Couple this with the lack of any real advertisement they did for TSW and know you gonna sell little amount of boxes. /sigh

 

But besides all that, I still enjoy the game tho and the server I am playing on still has good amount of activity each night.

It's just a shame they didn't went for an autumn/winter launch window, which everyone was actually expecting anyway. The whole 21st of December 2012 thing that was going on for a while.

  Thorqemada

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1221

8/29/12 10:20:58 AM#37

What gamers say and what they in reality want is often more a matter of self delusional wishthinking that seldom reflects in the buying behavior.
TSW is not for the lazy tv watching internet surfing en passant type of player.

MMOrpgs be a niche of gaming, quite a big one thanks to a very few MMO-Giants and blown up "we count even the dead" numbers of some f2p games.
And the p2p market is in decline for sure with a still increasing competition.
Reasons may be many why TSW did not make it.
TSWs 3 way pricing is probably one of it with a B2P GW 2 around.

Many gamers want to belong to the "winning team": Booh, my mmo is bigger and badder than yours...
TSW simply can not beat WoW and GW2 and especially a part of the GW2 crowd seems to be jealous to the extreme for any kind of low level success that could overshadow a tiny bit of their super duper wonder world saving holy grace of a game.
The badmouthing and false reporting, misinforming posting about TSW has reached ridiculous levels.

The really big numbers only come when you have an established fanbase like Blizzard, a successfull prequel like Arenanet, where the gravitiy of the playermasses alone let the numbers grow to many millions.
Funcom has probably much more players alienated than they have fans - another reason.

A big IP not backed by a successfull online portfolio of the developer like its with Star Wars and Bioware did only sell what? 3 Millions and maybe less than 500k play it still?
What would have happened if Blizzard had made it?
Probably 10 million people bought the very disapointing Diablo 3 only for the good name of the Blizzard Brand and the Diablo series.
TSW is an unknown IP ("The Longest Journey" is how old? Who knows Ragnar Thornquist? Isnt this the Swedish Cook from the Muppet Show? (no offense here))

I really think that if Blizzard had made TSW it would have been a million seller.
Well, Blizzard starts to hurt their reputation lately but its still big and needs much more underperforming (disapointing players) games to be destroyed than one Diablo 3.

I dont play TSW bcs i can play another game i like more in my finite time and i am not happy with the late corporate decisions funcom did and i have doubts that they can keep up the needed pace for frequent monthly updates but that does not change the fact that TSW does not play like SWTOR, is a craft of passion, yet in its infancy, and one of the best Themeparks that is made in the last decade.

Try it out and judge it for your own!

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  Mors-Subita

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/04
Posts: 464

8/29/12 10:25:20 AM#38

A lot of people(myself included) were really excited about the game's concepts... Then we played the beta weekends and the game's great concepts are not done justice by the lackluster and, frankly, crappy gameplay...

 

If they had made good gameplay to go with their good concept, I would probably be subbed right now. :(

  Dunkare

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 33

8/29/12 10:26:18 AM#39

i love this game. so much. its one of the greatest games i played in a long time. and i sure hope theyre gona pull through this.

  Wickedjelly

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/09
Posts: 5064

The Dude abides

8/29/12 10:26:51 AM#40

They did an awful job marketing the game. Their focus only interested those that were already a fan of the game to begin with. They didn't market it the right way to encourage new customers. They also had their bad rep that hurt them.

It is a shame because the game does deserve more attention. It is a good mmo that offers some interesting storytelling and compelling questing.

1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

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