Massively OP Exclusive: Hard questions about Secret World Legends

Now that the official countdown is on leading to Secret World Legends’ launch date, questions about this reboot of The Secret World seem more relevant than ever. Massively OP sat down with Romain Amiel and Scott Junior to ask them several point-blank questions about the transition and the studio’s decisions behind the whole process.

Some choice quotes from the interview:

  • On the demotion from MMORPG: “Early in development for The Secret World, we came out with ideas like, is it really even an MMO? It is massively multiplayer in a sense, but we didn’t focus on things that traditional MMOs focused on.”
  • On why TSW wasn’t profitable: “Making more money by making more content stopped being viable at the beginning of last year… the actual issues were not making a profit any more.”
  • On whether or not SWL might have lockboxes: “Yes.”
  • On the greater good: “At the end of the day, some group of our current customers were going to be upset.”
  • On porting progress over from TSW: “We could have made it work given enough resources and time. However, we didn’t have it […] Pretty much anything is possible. It just wasn’t plausible.”
  • On Season Two’s arrival: “Later this year. We’re going to be publishing our post-launch roadmap.”
  • On AEGIS: “The AGEIS system will not be the same in Secret World Legends. AEGIS was probably a mistake.”
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209 Comments on "Massively OP Exclusive: Hard questions about Secret World Legends"

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Still waiting for a compelling reason to play this.

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drownoble .

It’s more accessable now for the masses. The whole ability wheel, no levels and no classes of TSW probably confused a lot of people who were used to Blizzard’s hand-holding style of gameplay.

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Castagere Shaikura

From what i’m hearing the so called changes are just not that different from what it was. Meaning the combat hasn’t really changed all that much.

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drownoble .

Combat is more akin to Neverwinter now. The Ability Wheel is gone, you have a simplier, somewhat linear, tree to put points into. You don’t do the “use builder to get X resources to then use bigger spender ability”.

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Sleepy

Um…is it mentioned anywhere if we get to keep our toon’s names, or even reserve them for a time?

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Taiwan Wolf

There’s a button at the bottom middle of your account page to reserve name. You have to login and rename your character through if you haven’t since their recent name wipe.

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Sleepy

Brilliant, thank you!

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ghostmourn

Cool, good to know I can keep my cosmetic goodies. :D

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syberghost

I don’t care about lockboxes. I don’t care about starting over. I don’t even care much about losing my lifetime sub, if I get all the content for free.

What I do care about is all the stuff I bought, earned, or won for character customization. I literally bought real-world clothes to match things I had in game so I could, if I chose, match my character. Am I just losing all that stuff? Some of it likely can’t ever be gotten again; it was from giveaways and contests. The rest was purchased with the $300 I spent on that lifetime sub.

I’m not buying that stuff again, and I don’t think I want to play without it.

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kidwithknife

They’ve said in other interviews that most or all of your cosmetic goodies will transfer over, as will your lifetime sub.

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syberghost

That is fantastic news, thanks.

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Frank White

The bottom line is TSW needs a lot more content. People can talk all they want about combat mechanics, the ability wheel, the new user experience, etc., but I think content is going to be the biggest factor in how well the game does from here on. We need more stories, more dungeons, more maps, bigger hub cities with more to do in them, etc.

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John Mynard

Granted, if you’ve been playing a while, it may seem like there’s not a lot of content. But I spent WEEKS in Kingsmouth before I felt like I should move on to the next zone. Secret World has a ton of content. The problem isn’t the front loaded content, but the back loaded stuff beyond Transylvania. Which they’ve said this will allow them to develop and release, and hopefully the new blood that a Free to Play launch brings will allow them to bring that plan to fruition.

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Jeffery Witman

TSW had a lot of content for a newish game. The story was very dense. The problem is that it is 5 years old and hasn’t had any real content updates for the last 2 years. Much of the content near end game was thinly veiled grinding. Scenarios and Aegis were the worst offenders, but even the Nightmare dungeons and raids were just high difficulty, low return missions to make gearing up to QL11 a long, slow, grueling effort.

The worst part is that there was so much more hinted at after that point. Everyone wanted to be ready for what came next. But then nothing came, and people left. Then more nothing came, and more people left. Then it became impossible to make new content because they lost too many people by not making new content.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

AEGIS was probably a mistake.

LOL. That only took them three years. Better late than never, I guess. Probably too late though to make a difference for this game, relaunch or not. It was the reason I quit playing the game. One of them anyway, along with all the similar grindtastic garbage they rolled out in that era. If the reboot is going to return to the simplicity and clarity of the original game, and even streamline and improve it more, without all the crap they tacked on later, I might take another look.

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Kevin McCaughey

I may be the odd one out here, but I am looking forward to SWL or whatever it’s called. I bought and played (and sub’d) on release and I always felt the MMO side of things was really lacking. It wasn’t ever really an MMO. I quit just a couple of months after release, but I think I will jump in and do all the puzzles from the start this time. At least I won’t have to get groups for the difficult parts now they have been reworked.

Does everyone have to be so negative about it? I think we should give it a chance – Funcom are a decent company.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Think it would’ve been better if they went down the single player sandbox route with optional multiplayer. Similar to Borderlands, Diablo, Mass Effect, etc.

Probably would’ve saved them so much money and time. Not to mention much better production values in terms of gameplay.

styopa
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styopa

Wait just a second.

“Making more money by making more content stopped being viable at the beginning of last year… the actual issues were not making a profit any more.”

What – precisely – is going to make ‘offering the exact same content’ a 2nd time change that equation, that THIS TIME the model will NOW support new content offerings?

Do you really think that adding some SFX, some breadcrumb quests, a reticle, and dumbing down the advancement system will substantially change that?

That’s a pretty expensive gamble on long odds, considering you’re telling your longest-time, most faithful, durable customer base: “oh, sorry, you have to do it ALL again! ”

For my $0.02? I don’t.

My optimism is slowly ticking toward “this was a dumb idea”. I didn’t want to seriously consider that this was a moneygrab. I LIKE FUNCOM. I liked AoC (and am saddened it’s basically in a coma). Yet…I don’t think these guys are dumb…which means that it’s only more likely that this is a hail-mary moneygrab? Damn I hate saying that.

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Ben Stone

It means they are going to focus on other types of monetisation and just give everyone all the content for free. ie: lockboxes etc

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Malcolm Swoboda

Look, they don’t (exactly) want you. They want the people that bring profitability. You can be faithful and durable all you want, but you can still not be enough material for the construction to not fall down.

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andrew_dh88

Was their any discussion regarding PVP in SWL, I know they plan to start with Shamebala (which is a shame). But I’d like to hear more about there future plans for PVP in SWL. PVP is player made competition aslong as there’s a base to allow it to grow on. It’s the only thing that kept me logging on for my 4 years in TSW because I burnt out on most PVE content. Despite very little updates being made to PVP over those years having a base of Stonehenge/ElDorado and Fusang was enough to make me and many others a regular for a long time to come regardless of the rate content was released. I think it will be a mistake for them to ignore this aspect of the game.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Shamebala is a storyline area. I wonder if they’re considering saving the rest for when the story calls for the area more. I do know there’s the theories about one of the intended upcoming areas being in South America (so, El Dorado).

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Paragon Lost

Agreed that AEGIS was an error. The whole ongoing dance that mmo developers do to try to avoid the term “mmo” ceased to be amusing over a year ago as an aside. Also I simply can’t get over that this is nothing more than a money grap and a fuck you to everyone who invested time and money into TSW.

No really, abandon everything you’ve done in TSW because we want you to do it all again in SWL. We’re simply slipping the content over to this new engine and making the mechanics simpler. Oh and bonus you get a reticle that you never wanted! Hrmph.

Crow
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Crow

AEGIS wasn’t an error. It was only an error because they assumed a larger audience. They blame AEGIS when AEGIS was rendered a non-thing by mods VERY quickly. Like how EVE has existed for years.

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Ben Stone

AEGIS was an error. It was a terrible system and I would be happy for it to not exist.

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John Mynard

I don’t totally disagree.

But the biggest problem with AEGIS was that it was completely non-intuitive. Blue AEGIS never seemed to actually do anything to Blue Mobs or Red for Red or Purple for Purple. The upgrades, such as they were, were not terribly effective either, adding only a few percentage points.

Much better, if they wanted to make the Tokyo mobs scarier, would’ve been to simply flag them as invulnerable to anything but their AEGIS type instead of futzing around with shields and extra health bars. In Lore, wasn’t that the whole point of AEGIS anyway? To protect and defend against particular types of creatures who had become too strong for more traditional methods due to their proximity to the Filth bomb?

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drownoble .

AEGIS was poorly implimented. I liken it to Trials of Atlantis expansion for Dark Age of Camelot. DAoC was doing well but when ToA hit, they radically changed how progression worked putting a huge time sink wall in front of players. Their subs suffered after that. It was like a “NGE lite”.

I love TSW but once you hit Tokyo, you basically had to start over gearing yourself as all the nifty purples you had before were now rendered useless.

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Brother Maynard

I think the main problem with AEGIS was not the system itself, but how the density of mobs made it very cumbersome to use and you ended up fighting the system itself instead of mobs.

The whole idea of players preparing for combat with specific mob types was good and in a game with no classic level-based progression something of this sort is needed.

However, it quickly falls apart when you have many mobs of different types in a small area. Even with relatively easy low health enemies, you spend most of your time juggling with AEGIS modules during combat and often end up dead.

Fewer mobs, perhaps a bit more challenging, allowing players to prepare for each fight, raising slightly XP gained per kill and leaving multi-AEGIS mobs for the nightmare area would work better, I think.

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Geoffrey Smith

Lock boxes….. *sigh*

They are right, though, about that, no matter what, someone was gonna be upset. Though I would think this is something you should realize basically from the beginning. If not, you really aren’t paying attention to the MMO genre at all.

And there is no “probably” about AEGIS being a mistake. It was a very, very, very, bad idea.

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Paragon Lost

Yeah the lock boxes are just the frosting on this unappealing cake for me. I honestly didn’t even bother to address it because of all the other aspects I don’t like.

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John Mynard

Lock Boxes are the least of the evils that can be implemented to [hopefully] provide a sustained level of income for the game and keep the lights on. It’s could be so much worse and comments like this make me wonder if people who complain about them even understand that.

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Geoffrey Smith

Well I mean, I guess they are already IN the game, but they were really just fluff at best. This….doesn’t sound like that.

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Feyd Darkholme

So here’s a question; What is going to happen to those holiday events with open world bosses that require large raids to take down? Are they just going to scale them down to be soloable or just remove them from the game or what? I am the type of player that really enjoys special events and it would be a rather large negative for me if they were no longer in the game.

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Sajiri

I recall the large scale bosses being brought up in a past interview. I can’t recall exactly what was said but they arent being taken away. I *think* what was said is they are going to be in a special field that allows more people?

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

Yes, I specifically asked this of Romain in our first interview, and he said they will be in special instances (like the Flappy raid) that can handle more people. Remember, old playfields didn’t handle all that much!

Crow
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Crow

Can you ask if they have any concrete financial plan to bring new content?

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Carson Raycraft

I’ll try to dive in here, with the disclaimer, I have no idea of the finances of the game, nor of Funcom’s exact plans. They’ve given a commitment many times to starting season 2 by the end of the year, and that’s why I’m willing to give SWL an honest shot.

In watching the video, they brought up that point pretty much exactly: The Deep Boxes pulled in more money than content releases.

They also stated that when content was released, they saw a spike in logins. Sure, they could just focus on releasing new lockboxes and hope to pull profit from there, but lockboxes themselves are likely not enough to keep a userbase for SWL.

Content will do that, people will login for new stories. Especially if they’re free. People actually playing the game are more likely to spend money on ‘stuff’ than people not in the game.

I’d expect their plan is that releasing content will get people in the door and invested, and then they probably have an idea of the percentage of those people that would need to spend money on things to be able to afford to make additional content.

As for the relaunch, I think it’s far more about pulling down barriers than making a new game. There have been some pretty well known barriers to the game that kept people away. I even didn’t mind many of the barriers myself… but I know many people who were put off by them.

Again, I’m just a player of the game who hopes for the best with SWL because I want the story to continue.

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Malcolm Swoboda

That’s how it works for Warfame etc. Their model has, even, resulted in MORE storytelling than before, as a fanbase grows and wide genuine interest in seeing a cinematic storyline spreads.

Crow
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Crow
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Elenoe

I have no hopes, no wants anymore. If they bring more content by the end of year I will take a look by the next spring if no other game gets from alpha/beta stage by then. Very low attention needed until then.

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

(LOVE your avatar Elenoe =D <3)

Crow
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Crow
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Nathan Aldana

see, me, I’m just a tired old mmo player who has seen this story play out multiple times before. And people are always hopeful it’ll be a new resurgence in their game, and usually their hope is entirely false, and I just don’t have it in me to bother with hoping anymore.

luxundae
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luxundae

This was fantastic. Thank you very much, Justin & Massively & Funcom folks!

I feel like it’s really rare to see this sort of honest and in-depth interview in the gaming world, as opposed to the short little PR interviews companies do at conventions. It’s something I’d love to see more of, and thank you very much for doing this!

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NeoWolf

It will all depend on the combat again for me. The crappy combat system is what drove me away the first time if its sttill bad with legends ill be staying away…so hopefully they will fix it, not just slap some pretty FX on thing sot gloss over the god awful bare bones of it underneath.

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Yoshi Senpai

From the videos I’ve seen with devs cherry picking the weapon combos it still looks just as bad but with a reticule in the middle of it to make it more ACTION! Reminds me of the action camera from GW2 that no one ever used.

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Elenoe

Or look at Neverwinter or StarTrek Online. It works well there… it doesn’t look they took it that far unfortunatelly. But I’ve never had problem with combat in TSW past few hours in KM.

Crow
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Crow

Eh, this model will make korean grinders look like a great deal.

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Malcolm Swoboda

When you said 12 days of all dailies/weeklies to unlock another weapon, I really wasn’t bothered, actually.

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Nathan Aldana

Yeah, see, me, on the other hand? Thats the level of grind where my response will be to laugh in the designers faces and go back to warcraft where I can play the basic game with all class options unlocked without grinding unless I care about raiding

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Malcolm Swoboda

I have my preferred couple of weapons, is why. If I want more for endgame, well I do some prep for it anyway.

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Nathan Aldana

see, me. I’m an altitis type.

I like poking every option at least once, shit, my wow account and ff14 account have almost 1 of every class. I;ve even rolled new chars on 14 just to do story again with a new class.

being limited in my class options is a massive turnoff.

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NeoWolf

Thats pretty much what im worried about :(

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Jeff

Why don’t they just say what we all know.

People are terrible, you put a lot of terrible people in one world and it turns into a “look at me” troll fest.

A Co-op RPG does everything a MMO does without having to deal with the toxic masses. Honestly the original Guild Wars had it right all those years ago

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Paragon Lost

Seriously though, TSW’s community was really never one of the bad ones. Age of Conan on the other hand…(shudder) The only thing I ran into with TSW is a bit of put off elitism at times.

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Ben Stone

Age of Conan had a great community after the initial launch crowd disappeared.

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Paragon Lost

Maybe on your server, but mine had a bunch of homophobic, racist, sexist crap going on from launch day until I quit playing full time a few years later.

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Ben Stone

Possibly. Being Australian I always go for the Oceanic servers, which are rarely the most populated cool kid servers full of douchebags. Generally a better community since we have less population at our play times.

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Paragon Lost

Late night gaming with various Australians was always a good thing in my opinion. :) At least from what I’ve experienced in LotRO, WoW etc.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Seriously though, TSW’s community was really never one of the bad ones.” It will be with TSWL, so FC’s trying to head them off ;). IMO.

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Feyd Darkholme

Honestly, TSW has one of the best communities in an MMORPG I have ever seen (since starting in 1997), so this argument isn’t even really valid for the game. I’ve been playing since beta and I can’t even come up with enough truly problem players I’ve run across on one hand…

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Paragon Lost

I rate it as a far distant second to LotRO for community. It’s not a bad one that I agree with, but it really didn’t hold a candle to LotRO. Always amused me though that Age of Conan on the other hand was one of the more toxic communities that I’d ever encountered.

Crow
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Crow

Man, are you seriously blaming PLAYERS for Funcom’s bad financials?

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Xijit

…. More like MMOs in general are fatally flawed by the effect that players are shit bags.

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Elenoe

Sorry, but EVE can’t be played solo. That’s how MMO’s should work. Or Ultima from the time before instanced soloable theme parks. And for sandboxes is MMO a good way. One ant can never create enough interesting events.

Crow
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Crow

So why even read this site?

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Yoshi Senpai

Great question.

I like my massive worlds filled with players.

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theblackmage75

Well, Massively casts a net considerably farther these days than boilerplate MMOs and few sites bring together this range of content with as much panache.

Crow
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Crow

That question wasn’t directed at you.

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Adam Babloyan

Clearly. Doesn’t mean he can’t answer it. And he did. Quite pointedly at that.

Crow
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BalsBigBrother

Just finished watching the video and just wanted to say thank you to Justin and Massively for asking the question you did and for not being a fluff piece. Also to be fair to the Funcom folks thank you for answering them without the usual PR nonsense that often accompanies such things.

That said my earlier comment is still my stance and nothing in the interview really calmed the worries or concerns I have.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Logged in just to like this.

While I may not like the answers, I surely respect being told the truth and Justin did not softball them either.

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Hirku

I’m not going to listen to all of this because hearing these guys makes me want to punch things, but out of curiosity have they even said a single word about what the membership involves? Or is it supposed to be a launch-day surprise?

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Buchi Buci

Getting less and less interested tbh.
It all began when they showed the “improved” combat.

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Dug From The Earth

I keep hoping to read about how my experience starting out in the game, is gonna feel any different than 2 months ago, aside from the combat and ability changes.

Is the only real difference that I will have access to all the DLC chapters that before hand, I would have had to pay for?

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Serrenity

Honestly, the more I hear about this to less interested I am. Ironically, its the lockboxes that bother me more than anything else. I wanted to think that Funcom was above something so anti-player like lockboxes but I guess I was mistaken about the character of Funcom.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

Honestly, the more I hear about this to less interested I am.

I have to agree, I will give it a go though being a mostly solo questing player I always loved the story’s and backdrop of the secret world but I only ever got so far due to the terrible character builds and really bad combat, it world be nice to get through all the content I never managed due to rage quiting.

Crow
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Crow

Funcom isn’t the same company they were in 2012. Or in 1999. They simply aren’t. Up until a few years ago Funcom was under what could only be described as a “rich benefactor.” An older, wealthy man underwrote most of Funcom’s stuffs from the late 90s until 2014 (I think?).

That was when they reorganized, fired tons of people and got new investors who have zero-compassion for anything that doesn’t turn a profit.

Prior investors let Funcom develop content for TSW at a loss. Their new shareholders will not accept that at all.

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Serrenity

I just want the company to create another game like Anarchy Online. Same sandbox, same depth of gameplay and inter-player dependence with the best parts of modern MMO sensibilities.

It’s becoming increasingly unlikely, and I might be the only one who wants it *shrug* a guy can dream

Crow
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Crow

They won’t, ever again. Just accept that. That era passed.

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Tanek

Unless they are changing the system entirely from what exists, TSW has had lockboxes for a long time now.

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Serrenity

I might have been mistaken – I didn’t realize they had lock boxes now.

Crow
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Crow

Care to look deeper into that context?

TSW did a Halloween cosmetic box that made more money than any previous DLC. After that, they slowed down content creation for the boxes.

Like… do you even understand that development costs money and that every decision made is a profit/loss determinate?

Also, these lockboxes will be progression-focused. Not cosmetic.

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Tanek

My comment was just in response to what seemed to be something thinking the lockbox idea will be new for SWL.

But hey, if you say lockboxes make money, maybe that answers your other questions! Good detective work! :) Problem solved.

Crow
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Crow

Look, if you’re not interested in things like “context” or “historical trend” then whatever… this is all great.

At the end of the day Funcom haven’t done good PR (because they fired their PR people years ago).

So, like when I make argument you ignore elsewhere… making money off lockboxes does not equate to a company thinking a historically money losing content dev is something they should do. This is what happened to TSW-proper and I see no evidence anything will change with this new “reboot”.

If you have an argument I’d love to hear it… but making money off lockboxes doesn’t lead to new money-losing content. It just leads to MORE lockboxes.

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Greaterdivinity

Nice, thanks for the summary. Flagging to listen to later on YT!

AEGIS was probably a mistake.

As someone who was so completely turned off by the system that they barely bothered with it (and as a result Tokyo content), this is music to my ears. Please don’t screw up whatever you put in to replace it, if anything, because nothing will kill new players interest upon entering Tokyo faster than an AEGIS-esque grind looking at them square in the face.

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Paragon Lost

Yep, AEGIS was the big final nail in the coffin for me. Totally disliked the mechanics system.

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Jon Camp

I’m in this camp too. AEGIS just killed the game for me. I couldn’t ever bring myself to finish Tokyo.

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Armsbend

Aegis really wasn’t fun.

Crow
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Crow

It was a non-factor with a simple mod.

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wakkander

I was super into the game the last time I returned to it, and had all my interest sucked out once I hit tokyo, so I agree 100%.

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Necromonger

So to progress in harder contend you can now buy your way to endgame.

Those delicious loot boxes will be there main $$$$

I feel to progerss also on skills you need to either grind your mind out or buy again from the cashshop.

I rather pay a box price or a subscription as i already feel where this is going….

Crow
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Crow

This is designed to give them a big revenue burst before they announce, again, that new content isn’t on the table.

They’re literally trying to get journalism outfits to treat this like a new game.

Fahey at Kotaku has the best take on this that the whole thing is “Bizzaro”.

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ogged451

On porting progress over from TSW: “We could have made it work given enough resources and time.

Now this is a statement that just makes me rage. They have the resources to sift through thousands of items to make the transition to SWL but adding up the XP of all characters from the source account and give a portion of that to the SWL account is unfeasible ?

B o l l o c k s.

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wakkander

I could manually port every character from the old server to the new one, just give me a few years. (plus/minus depending on how long making the tools to assist would take to develop.) Would that be a wise use of my time, or the resources used to pay me to do so? Probably not.

Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it is practical or reasonable. Sometimes choices have to be made, and honestly putting resources into making the combat better is probably a better long term investment that making old players happier with character transfers, especially given that the old playerbase wasn’t large enough to sustain the game anymore.

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ogged451

If they can implement “look at all paid clothing on a TSW account and transfer those to a SWL account” in an algorithm, they can implement “give one AP booster for every 50 million XP” or “give one blue level 25 weapon for every custom purple weapon (limit of one per weapon type)” just as easily. Actually, those are likely much easier because these things don’t involve going manually through a list of 6k items before you can automate them.

Crow
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Crow

A large part of this “reset for all” decision is they’re buying time. They know they can’t make more content and they’re banking on content from years ago being released as “new” content will provide enough of a screen for them to cash-in on TSW before they announce they’re never making more content.

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Carson Raycraft

Appreciate the great questions asked. This definitely wasn’t a fluff piece and that’s great.

The financial information was especially interesting, though I’m not surprised that the issues weren’t the revenue generator of other things on the TSW cash shop. I do wonder how much of the fact issues weren’t generating sales were due to the Grandmaster subs. As one of them, I know I pretty much used my bonus points on the new releases. Over five years, I got more than my money’s worth of it.

I do think SWL is more about bringing down barriers than anything. There’s so many people I know that started TSW and got frustrated with the combat and the deck building that they gave up on it.

Hopefully this F2P change will provide the type of revenue stream that will allow the next chapter to be told.

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kidwithknife

I do suspect the grandmaster subs contributed to their problems. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it was a mistake to offer them, but offering them as cheaply as FC did was probably not a great long-term move.

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Nick Smith

Well said Carson. If the combat is smooth and fun ill happily go through the stories again. :)

Crow
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Crow

It isn’t and it won’t be.

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

In your opinion…. I think you forgot that part of your statement Crow. Just because you don’t find it fun doesn’t mean others won’t. I found it fun the last go around when others didn’t.

Crow
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Crow

I have data to back me up… and that is what is most frustrating.

I mean, I was someone who was against the “UHG BAD COMBAT!” meme about TSW for years… don’t you remember?

They have literal data. They know how many players chose reticle over tab. And that data isn’t at all in question. Players chose tab over reticle at an amazing rate.

EDIT: MJ, you don’t get it. I don’t work off of my own feelings… that’s insane and unscientific. I work off of data and sometimes shared experience. This isn’t something you can just dismiss as an “opinion” which is super offensive after I do the work to track this stuff down.

Estranged
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Estranged

Humans work off feelings. Answered questions are feelings. Anyway…

One huge flaw in the whole reticle choice issue is many players had no clue it existed. What choice? It isn’t like the game defaulted to reticle.

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Malcolm Swoboda

My issue wasn’t reticle, it was that it was poor reticle. So I stick with meh tab-target. It may still be poor reticle in TSWL, but that’s just my two cents.

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BalsBigBrother

If you have evidence to back up your stance then may I suggest you source your comments so that we can all take our own objective look. At the very least if not here then with MJ or Massively directly.

Otherwise it is still just a very much a case of he said she said.

Crow
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Crow

https://twitter.com/joelbylos/status/852175759208853505

Just like a real journalist, I seek good sources. Does that accept?

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BalsBigBrother

Fair enough and while I still think you are making leaps about certain things I can at least understand why you say some of the things you do.

Can I make a suggestion then for the future. If you make a comment based on something similar in the future then please link it in a similar manner. You might find folks more willing to engage in a discussion with you rather than an argument. :-)

Either way take care sir o/

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Paragon Lost

Honestly BBB, I don’t think Crow is being all that hyperbolic. :(

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BalsBigBrother

Antagonistic is the word I would pick. I bear him no ill will personally and often agree with what he says if not the manner he decides to express himself.

Its all good in any case we are discussing games after all not trying to solve the worlds real problems like why do my non tangle cable headphones always end up in a tangle you know important stuff :p

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Paragon Lost

“why do my non tangle cable headphones always end up in a tangle you know important stuff”

That, is one of the great frustrating mysteries of life! I will agree with you though that he can hmm be rather grating to read and debate with at times. :)

Crow
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Crow
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BalsBigBrother

Enjoy your arguments then /sigh

Crow
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Crow

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Paragon Lost

Yep, this is nothing more than Funcom trying to make money with as little investment on their own part.

They can put makeup on that pig but it’s still a pig. I feel that they’re morally unethical at this point with their recent endeavours.

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wakkander

You have old data that isn’t particularly relevant to a new combat scheme. Unless the new combat is identical to the old reticle system, your data doesn’t matter.

Crow
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Crow

Why doesn’t data matter?

(Comment edited by mod.)

bereman99
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bereman99

All that data suggests is that certain revenue sources, like mystery boxes/lock boxes, are strong generators of revenue.

Which, if anything, implies that adding them to the game could be a potential source of solid revenue going forward.

You have to make quite a leap to go from that to the certain belief (it’s always a possibility, but you’re approaching it as a certainty, which is a mistake) that this indicates it will be nothing but a money grab with no plans to develop content.

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Nathan Aldana

except, you know, knowing how the industry, and shareholders in the industry think. Which has been demonstrated time and time again.

Crow
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Crow

Making new story content loses them money. What gets funding?

(Comment edited by mod.)

bereman99
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bereman99

Making new story content in the context of the game as it currently exists loses them money.

Alternative sources of revenue not currently present (lock boxes, for example, are a potential here) can off-set that loss.

The balancing act then becomes releasing enough lock box based content to continue to generate revenue, while also funding the making of new content (while still staying in the black), which can be used as a draw to bring players in…to spend more money on lock boxes.

As I said, it’s a possible way forward for the company (and, since companies like to continue to make money, a likely one as well). If it works, they fund future content, though speed of delivery and scope are likely to be impacted.

If it fails, it becomes the cash grab you predict before fading into irrelevance.

Crow
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Crow

Nothing addressing making new content. How can they make new content?

Estranged
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Estranged

How do they make new content? They make it. Problem solved.

Crow
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Crow

No. They don’t. That’s where you thinking is “magical”.

The problem of them losing money still exists.

Estranged
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Estranged

Even if they lose money on the new content, this content brings customers which instigates cash shop sales.

A loss leader, just like the grocery business.

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BalsBigBrother

I am not seeing why, as an existing player of TSW, I would want to play the game through again using a mode that existed in TSW that I didn’t use or like with the only real practical difference being streamlined skills.

I am still going to look when they release SW:L but I can’t shake the feeling that myself and Funcom will be parting ways shortly thereafter.

Feelings please be wrong, please be wrong :-( /sigh

Crow
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Crow

Part ways with Funcom. Support Red Thread Games and Ragnar Tornquist (and Dav!).

My dream for years was that Funcom would sell the TSW IP to RTG and Ragnar would care for it. It was a dream.

Ragnar, and this isn’t an exaggeration, WAS Funcom. From The Longest Journey to The Secret World… that was all his work. Bylos cut his chops by working with Ragnar and it really shows in how brilliant Joel is as a dev when given good resources.

Crow
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Crow

We should demand Ragnar, Dav and Bylos make us the game we want. I know we’d all do a KS for those three.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Kickstarter? DFC was barely what they hoped.

Crow
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Crow

The Longest Journey/Dreamfall remains a pinnacle of games-as-art. We’re striving to even come close to what the swan-song of adventure games provided.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’ve always liked the games (all three even), but I consider them far from pinnacle. Ragnar strikes me as an ideas guy that needs far more competent teams and much more resources and more refined critique of the process, to accomplish any of the vision. The stories would be B-grade television material for the most part (besides his appealing signature atmosphere, seen in any game he’s been part of).

Crow
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Crow
Crow
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Crow

A Request:

The next time MOP gets a Funcom SWL Dev to answer questions, can you ask them if they’re even considering how to bring down costs for new content? It doesn’t make sense that if content packs lost them revenue that that is still 1) a goal and 2) not at the front of their concern? Myself, and others, are just wondering how a money-losing dev activity is something that even goes back on the table without realistic changes?

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Malcolm Swoboda

My guess: Less (but still some) cutscenes, action sections in most missions (for grindiness and to extend time), and more text writing (they ‘don’t have a writer’ but Season 2 is supposedly mainly written and they can have writers on contracts). They wouldn’t eliminate cutscenes from a game like this, if successfully going forward – but they can do them more cleverly and judiciously. Future zones also would mostly not be as complicated to produce as Tokyo, and they can do a mix of simpler zones plus returns to older zones in the meantime.

I deliberately ignored all of your theories and predictions with this post.

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wakkander

I would agree about Aegis, it probably was a mistake.

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TheDonDude

I’m impressed they straight up said that the issues weren’t making money. It’s thus understandable that they’d think about some other path.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I think they were until Tokyo. But when Tokyo took so long, then got cut up so much, and post-Tokyo work so difficult to do…. its a slide that makes the whole process maybe impossible.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

That’s awesome that they were honest about the money situation for the game. It’s a niche game that has a player base that is too small to keep it financially viable so they are making it new again for a hopefully new player base; i.e. one that will keep it afloat. Makes sense.

I’m still waiting to hear if the combat is better in the new game. I am holding out hope that it is because I’d love to actually completely play through the game. The combat in TSW drove me away from the game though.

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rafael12104

So first of all, Justin and gang of MOP, great job on this. And great work putting more of this type of reporting on youtube. I know many of us are getting more and more of our MMO news and first looks from youtube. And perhaps it can be another source of revenue? You already have a good core of subs, now you need more likes. Subbed up, liked and looking for more, reviews interviews etc.

One further note. There are a lot of reviewers on youtube, but I think your mindset and professionalism will bring something much more legitimate in terms of reviews on youtube. Also, I think that interviews like this one are gold. Not every youtuber has access to devs like this. If you can do this type of thing regularly, oh man, it will be great for us and for MOP.

As for TSW:L? Ok, yeah, I’m in. The bottom line that it is F2p and I love the stories. So, despite the changes, it will literally cost me nothing to give it a chance. In this MMO world I don’t hold grudges because of changes. After all, it is a “what have you done for me lately” business, so things go from bad to good and good to bad all the time.

Only two old grudges come to mind and most of you can guess them.

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Leiloni

I have to disagree on the Youtube bit. I dislike videos for the most part. I prefer to read my news because it’s a much more flexible way to get information for me. I can read far faster than it takes to watch a video, but more than that I can read in more places and more ways than I can watch a Youtube video. I do a lot of reading about games at work either on my other monitor while working, or during my lunch hour. I can’t watch videos at work. Also when I get home, I either will forget to go back and watch some video I saw earlier, or I just won’t want to devote the time to it. When I get home if I have time to sit around at the computer, I’d much rather spend that time playing games instead. I dunno, videos in general for anything news related kinda sucks.

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rafael12104

Fair enough. My perspective is a little different. The advantage of vids, for me and many that get news this way is, we can be doing other things while consuming news. Makes things much easier at work, or play and even mobile. I don’t have watch every second because I can listen, that is good enough.

But more importantly, it dawns on me that getting new subs and likes monetizes the activity for MOP. So, why not? I’m not suggesting it replace anything, but as a way to enhance coverage, I’m ready for more. And given all the crap sites out there covering gaming on youtube, I think it is a great opportunity.

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Schmidt.Capela

Particularly, if MOP started consistently burying the info I want inside videos while only providing the highlights in writing — like they did here — I would be far more likely to abandon MOP and find somewhere else to get my MMO news instead.

I really dislike getting my news from Youtube, or from any video or audio source, for a number of reasons; focusing on those platforms is a sure way to remove me from the audience.

BTW: I might watch a news video once in a great while, but I will do my best to block advertisements while watching it and will refuse to give it a like or similar. I don’t want the fact I was forced into watching a video to get the information I want to ever become an incentive for more such content to be released as videos.

Crow
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Crow

Who would guess and older-skewing demo wants older-skewing formats!

And… I’m one of us… I hate video. I can read a transcript a lot faster than when I need to worry about someone’s poor verb choice and confusing approach.

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Schmidt.Capela

Plus, the written media allows some modern information management tools (AKA searching) to be used far more easily. I can usually find fairly quickly any quote I want from any important article I’ve read in the last decade or so, sometimes even if the article isn’t online anymore, but doing the same for video takes far more time and effort.

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Nathan Aldana

See, for me. I;ve already seen the stories,. So a new combat system doesnt do anything for me,. So if it is a “what have you done for me lately” thing. then i can confidently say Funcom aint doing shit for me.

Crow
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Crow

That’s another bit I don’t get… they have data saying players preferred the tab-target to reticulated in an insane amount of preference. Like, a minority of a small minority chose reticle over tab combat targeting. I do not understand how going all reticle was at all a rational decision based on anything close to their actual data about what players enjoyed.

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Leiloni

I think it’s a few things. There was a lot of feedback that the tab target system sucked and people wanted change to things like combat animations, abilities, and targeting in general. But the combat system was designed for tab targeting, so no matter how much you disliked it, it was just easier for most to use that instead of the reticule mode, because reticule mode just didn’t work well. Just because more people use something, that doesn’t mean they like it. It just might be their only viable option. :P

Crow
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Crow

Yeah, I think that’s basically what it was. Just sucks that when they gave a choice the choice was super clear. And now the “reboot” takes what people disliked and makes it mandatory.

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John Bagnoli

“Making more money by making more content stopped being viable at the beginning of last year… the actual issues were not making a profit any more.”

They had to do something I guess. I mean, the reboot will get me to try it where I never had any interest before. And if the current player base is too small to support it (because they couldn’t get more sales from issues) the other option was no more game right? Seems to me if you like the game then maybe hold back on the guns a little.

Crow
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Crow

Unless they can find a way to not lose money on their expensive-to-create content, they won’t make more. And they’re being insanely quiet about that, because they know they can’t make more content. Even if SWL is a huge success, Funcom won’t make more content when they lose money for doing so.

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Leiloni

Well for one thing they’ll probably monetize things differently. They might do what a lot of games do and force you to actually spend real money on all new content instead of putting it on the cash shop where you can buy it via free cash shop currency that you earned via subs. Games like BDO, ESO, FFXIV, SWTOR, GW2, all do that and it’s a big source of revenue.

Crow
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Crow

We know how the monitization will shake out. Enough has been leaked.

They want a quick buck by limiting one’s engagement behind a paywall (remember how necessary swapping weapons is…) which will make the old Blue Mountain and Egypt walls look like paper in comparison.

Non-subbed players will pay hundreds to get what a sub will give, but without new content people won’t sub nor play for long.

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Nathan Aldana

Its because I like the game that I dont want some half-baked arpg that if successful is more likely to go all in on cash shops than new content to succeed.

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Jeff

I get not liking lock boxes and I only open them if the game gave me a key for free. However I really can’t think of a game that I play where I really noticed their existence. LOTRO I almost never even find lockboxes (probably not playing the right content) and neverwinter my only annoyance if they take space in my inventory. I’m sure they are in other games I play too but they don’t seem to effect me much.

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Nathan Aldana

See, the thing is. I wont use the lockboxes regardless, but they also mean theyre focusing the game more on lockboxes and enticing you to make lockboxes, which is one of the major reasons othger than it resembling 4e D&D superficially at best that I cannot find any fun in neverwinter.

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Jeff

“focusing the game more on lockboxes”. I will agree with this. And it worries me a bit with SWL if content wasn’t earning them much money before and now all the content is free then how much effort will really go into content. Hopefully content is seen as what keeps people around and they will use the money from the other parts to pay to make it.

Crow
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Crow

There will be no more content.

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Tanek

I get that all your focus and energy is on wanting Funcom to fail, but I’ll still take the crazy position of waiting to see what happens and giving it a shot before stating any absolutes.

I’m just weird like that. ;)

Crow
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Crow

That’s not my position at all. I don’t want them to fail at all. In fact, they’re not “failing” by any definition… CE is doing very well still.

I, as in me–Crow–, don’t want Funcom to fail. And if I wanted them to fail I’d just stay quiet and not care.

I laid out my argument pretty succinctly. 1) Content isn’t profitable and is actually created at a loss of revenue. 2) Secret World is a content-driven, story-focused game. 3) There are no plans from what we’re given to address the cost of new content. 4) If cost of content isn’t addressed, it won’t get approved by management who will say “NO” to any bit of dev work that is proven to be a loss for the company.

So, if you want SWL to do well you should be asking the same questions. If we want new story and new content, how do they make that happen?

And, “They’ll re-invest profits into dev that is proven to lose money” isn’t what they’ll ever do.

So if you can see a way that they make new content, by all means let us know. As it stands now, this is squeezing blood from a stone. Which I don’t blame Funcom for doing AT ALL.

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Nathan Aldana

Hint: criticism is not “wanting them to fail” any more than demanding people shut up and be optimistic until we give them a chance is optimism and being fair

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Tanek

As for demanding people shut up and be optimistic, I would actually say that is not constructive either. What I’d like to see is people getting into the beta and providing constructive feedback. I’d like to see people responding to what they know, even if it is negative, rather than what they want to be true (for example, saying “there will be no new content” is NOT constructive and is based on zero evidence at this point).

(Comment edited by mod.)

Crow
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Crow

Can you address this?

1) Content isn’t profitable and is actually created at a loss of revenue. 2) Secret World is a content-driven, story-focused game. 3) There are no plans from what we’re given to address the cost of new content. 4) If cost of content isn’t addressed, it won’t get approved by management who will say “NO” to any bit of dev work that is proven to be a loss for the company.

Crow
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Crow
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Tanek

“They know they can’t make more content”
“Part ways with Funcom.”
“It will be a ‘nickle and dime’ nightmare to begin.”
“SWL won’t get past Tokyo.”
“And this isn’t even a guess.”
“I’m cynical with TSW/SWL and Funcom in general”
“From all reports, this will be absolutely worse.”

Do I know how exactly the finances will work out for SWL? No. Do I think I will be buying boosts for my characters? No. But do I know that it won’t work out for them? No.

The people at Funcom making the decisions have to answer the questions for themselves, but if they don’t answer you directly it does not mean they don’t have a plan. It also does not mean they do.

(Comment edited by mod.)

Crow
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Crow

Do I know how exactly the finances will work out for SWL? No.

Yes. Yes you do. With no changes to their process it will end up exactly the same as it did before. Losing the company money. Even if unlocking all the weapons and all the stuffs makes money, Funcom will NOT greenlight a project that they know will lose them money.

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Tanek

Changing the process seems to be one of the points of the relaunch. You yourself said that every decision made is based on the money. And that they have seen in the past what does and does not make money.

Crow
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Crow

The cost and creation of content has been 100% absent from every conversation about this relaunch.

So, how can you possibly have faith in a game that loses money for new content thinking they can just create new content?

(Comment edited by mod.)

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Tanek

Actually, it hasn’t been 100% absent, even in this discussion. They specifically said that content itself was not making money. Given that their new model has that content as part of the free bit, they are obviously no longer expecting it to.

Crow
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Crow

Given that their new model has that content as part of the free bit, they are obviously no longer expecting it to.

Finance is a pretty zero-sum game. The only conclusion from this is that content that lost them enough money to no longer produce said content will only lose them MORE money.

I understand the goal is to use the microtransactions to fund new content, but the SWL/TSW team is down to a skeleton. Even post 2012-layoffs they continued to make content with a team too-small to pull it off that well. You don’t seem to understand how insanely expensive voice acting, animation, production, etc., all actually IS in the end.

The point I’m trying to get across isn’t intended to be an attack, it is a rational and realistic questioning of HOW they will pay for new content; how they will bring enough team members on to produce said content, and lastly how any of this fits onto a balance sheet which is what determines if new content is made or not.

Like it or not, making new content for TSW isn’t about just “deciding” to make new content. It is about re-starting an expensive VO production process, placing significantly more people on the SWL team to actually create content (they dropped to AO/AoC levels after Issue #14).

All of this is SUPER expensive. Even if we have faith that we’ll see more content, you can’t deny it is contingent on SWL doing really, really well.

We actually have a proven and existing model for how Funcom approaches TSW/SWL because the game has been live with the same issues since 2012.

When they realized that cosmetic lockboxes made them more money than content, they phased out content. When microtransactions and leaning on existing content being re-released proves to make a lot of money, what makes you think they’d intentionally hit their bottom line with a proven money-loser? Take my word on it. Companies don’t do that.

Crow
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Crow

The people at Funcom making the decisions have to answer the questions for themselves, but if they don’t answer you directly it does not mean they don’t have a plan. It also does not mean they do.

So you support a MOP journalist asking this point-blank in the next interview? That would solve this argument.

Crow
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Crow
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wakkander

And I will think you OWE me an apology for this nonsense attack on my character.

Yeah, no.

You have an agenda made clear by your comments. Playing victim and demanding an apology for being called out on it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Do I know how finances will work out for SWL? Yes.

Just… if you don’t understand how this stuff works don’t attack people who do. You just come off as desperate.

So where did you show your work? I am not going to search the whole thread for it, nor am I going to just take it for granted you did.

As to Tanek, he/she doesn’t need to show work given they haven’t made any statements to require it. They said they don’t know how it is going to work out. Unless you want them to prove they do not actually possess the power of prophecy.

1) Content isn’t profitable and is actually created at a loss of revenue. 2) Secret World is a content-driven, story-focused game. 3) There are no plans from what we’re given to address the cost of new content. 4) If cost of content isn’t addressed, it won’t get approved by management who will say “NO” to any bit of dev work that is proven to be a loss for the company.

1) New Content for TSW stopped being profitable as of the beginning of 2016 per the interview.

This does not mean that past content, when there was a larger playerbase, was not profitable. And considering the games lifespan, the time between 2016 and now is a minority of the total time of operation.

It may simply be a matter of mass, and that with a relaunch and influx of new players the cost of new content may once again be worth it.

Getting, lets say 15%, of 300k players to pay $9.99 per issue may not cover the cost, while getting 15% of 1,000,000 players might. These numbers are simply an example, and certainly I have no idea what the actual numbers they have seen over the years are, but are intended to illustrate the point.

2) Sure.

3) Well, aside from the fact they are doing a revamp of the entire game which may or may not result in a more efficient pipeline for content development.

Even if it doesn’t, the fact they have not given a fully detailed explanation of their content design going forward and how it will work doesn’t prove there isn’t one.

As a story content based game, it behooves them to keep new content coming to maintain player interest.

4) This is speculation that all of the issues were made at a loss, and thus all new issues, assuming nothing has changed, would be made at a loss.

However, as I said before it may all depend on reaching a critical mass of players to make it viable. Certainly WoW couldn’t justify the amounts they spend on some of their massive expansions if their player base was below a certain point.

It would seem to me given the way it was stated that issues stopped being profitable that they hit a level of saturation among the current playerbase and they weren’t bringing in enough new players to change it. They people who were going to buy it already had and not enough new people were showing up to buy it either. The whole relaunch initiative seems to be about changing that specifically, so I guess they did answer you after all.

But I expect you’ll ignore all this and keep trolling on, because it seems you have made up your mind about what funcom is and isn’t doing. Ironic given you said this about Tanek:

But please tell me about how I really feel. You seem to have a better grasp on what I’m saying that I do when I type it.

So please, tell us what FunCom really intends. You seem to have a better grasp on it than anyone else, even though FunCom hasn’t said anything on the subject.

Crow
Reader
Crow

This does not mean that past content, when there was a larger playerbase, was not profitable. And considering the games lifespan, the time between 2016 and now is a minority of the total time of operation.

The Holiday bag made more than ANY content did before. And after the bag every content release was compared. Which is why TSW had a year of no content.

There exists NOTHING that addresses that issue at all.

(Comment edited by mod.)

Crow
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Crow

Thank you for engaging on what I actually say! People would get a lot less antagonism from me if we all discussed actual stuffs instead of “feelings”.

1) New Content for TSW stopped being profitable as of the beginning of 2016 per the interview.

This does not mean that past content, when there was a larger playerbase, was not profitable. And considering the games lifespan, the time between 2016 and now is a minority of the total time of operation.

It may simply be a matter of mass, and that with a relaunch and influx of new players the cost of new content may once again be worth it.

Getting, lets say 15%, of 300k players to pay $9.99 per issue may not cover the cost, while getting 15% of 1,000,000 players might. These numbers are simply an example, and certainly I have no idea what the actual numbers they have seen over the years are, but are intended to illustrate the point.

1) “This does not mean that past content, when there was a larger playerbase, was not profitable.” It is, by Bylos himself, a huge money loser for the company. It was always a loss of money and Funcom people have been really open about that.

Here’s my source… Joel Bylos himself.

My larger issue is that they’re aiming for microtractions to fund new content when new content has a history of not driving further sales. This is something they need to address, to their players, before they go much further. As it stands they can go through Tokyo content but we have no real plan for them making money off more content… if they thought they could, wouldn’t they lead with that instead of trying to reboot to 2012?

Well, aside from the fact they are doing a revamp of the entire game which may or may not result in a more efficient pipeline for content development.

Even if it doesn’t, the fact they have not given a fully detailed explanation of their content design going forward and how it will work doesn’t prove there isn’t one.

As a story content based game, it behooves them to keep new content coming to maintain player interest.

This is a PR mess… they’re not revamping “the whole game” and in fact, they’re making pretty minimal changes to the engine and the animations, which were the real issues. From my perspective, which I think is solid, they’re trying to pretend like TSW isn’t a years-old game and it is something new and shiny. This will blow up in their face soon.

4) This is speculation that all of the issues were made at a loss, and thus all new issues, assuming nothing has changed, would be made at a loss.

It isn’t speculation at all. Here’s my source… Joel Bylos himself.

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thickenergy

I think Crow talks way too much. :P
But the question he is asking here is one that extends logically from what the devs themselves have said, and it is a critical question that needs a good answer if SWL is going to have any long-term viability.

Crow
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Crow

Even I know I talk too much… but how else do we communicate?

Crow
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Crow

I truly don’t understand the vendetta Crow seems to have. All I know is that whatever the reason, THAT seems to be the driving force.

You have no idea what you’re talking about. But please tell me about how I really feel. You seem to have a better grasp on what I’m saying that I do when I type it.

Instead of making an argument that hinges on gaslighting me, address the clear four issues I put forth. I made a very rational argument and it is insulting that you think this is about some kind of emotional reaction.

In case you “missed” it:
1) Content isn’t profitable and is actually created at a loss of revenue. 2) Secret World is a content-driven, story-focused game. 3) There are no plans from what we’re given to address the cost of new content. 4) If cost of content isn’t addressed, it won’t get approved by management who will say “NO” to any bit of dev work that is proven to be a loss for the company.

EDIT: What I’m doing is the very definition of “critical thinking.”

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Elenoe

My English is bad enough, I keep it simple. Crow, you are speculating too much, making unsupported statements and no, your thinking is not “critical”. Being so sure of unsure statements is the exact opposite of wisdom.

So just one argument of many: content not being profitable is not a reason to not create content itself to make money. That’s the proven fact. Selling consoles is not profitable either but they still do it. In TSW it might work the same way (not claiming it will). If they use different model, if they get more money from shop/boosters/boxes they still need to create content “for free” to keep people spending more money in shop.

All they said is that content won’t pay for itself if that’s the only profit it makes.

Other F2P are for free as well. You don’t usually pay for new content. So ANY content creation is a loss. Again: why companies keep doing that? And why are you so sure SWL can’t do just the same thing even when others are doing it well?

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Jeff

Well I guess we won’t be any worse then we are right now then.

Crow
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Crow

My opinions on SWL are well-known, but the more info that comes out, the less faith I have in Funcom overall. And this comes from a place where post-TSW’s disastrous last few years had me at “one of little faith.”

It will be a ‘nickle and dime’ nightmare to begin. Reports are saying, both leaks and officially, that this will be a ‘pay to unlock everything’ kind of game. They’re maintaining the really simplistic and kind-of bad daily/weekly system and tying it into a daily-capped unlock like they had with MoPs post-EPE… except MoP isn’t even’t an in-game currency anymore… it is the cash shop currency. It’ll take 12 days of maxing your dailies/weeklies (and the limits those pose on choice of content as well as most content in dailies/weeklies being out of reach for early-game players) to get a new weapon unlock… and that’s just one of MANY pay-to-do-anything-remotely-cool-and-different paywalls.

But the biggest issue is that absolutely NOTHING they’re doing here addresses their issue with content. They know what that issue is, and instead of addressing it they’re doing everything except lowering content costs for content so they can… you know, actually make season 2.

If content was so expensive (and it was) there is no difference whatsoever in what they’re doing now. I’m somewhat upset that they’re treating releasing an old game with a few tweaks like they get a “second chance” at launch. This isn’t a “reboot” or a “2.0”… it is the few mechanics who didn’t get escape boats trying to frantically save a sinking ship by plugging holes one by one and ignoring where the hull is simply ripped open and bleeding.

There will be no season two. It isn’t part of the plan because they can’t even begin to pay for it. And at the end of the day if SWL makes them fistfuls of money, why would they then reinvest that into work that is demonstrated to not turn a profit?

TSW is a story-based game. That’s why people fall in love with it and love it so much. Everything circles back to a lack of content and content being stupidly expensive to create. When that investor presentation came up and we learned TSW would get a “reboot” I was super hoping that meant they dropped the super-expensive bits of development (like full VO and cutscenes) and re-worked how to make content, in a content-driven game, actually work again.

They’re banking on a this being a re-launch and the next year pretending like the content they made years ago is “new”. SWL won’t get past Tokyo. It is brilliant. They string people along, release old content like it was a prog server and then after years of not addressing the un-profitability of content they’ll elect not to make new content because it isn’t profitable. History repeats.

And this isn’t even a guess. It is exactly what happened to TSW proper.

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johnwillo

I can’t imagine levelling new characters through the same content, if it’s just a tweaked variant of the previous content. It had better be markedly new. Better combat alone isn’t enough to get me through it all again. Lockboxes are a minus, too.

Crow
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Crow

It isn’t. The content is exactly like it has been forever. Exactly the same, but with forced reticle mode which their own data should have shown only a tiny, tiny fraction of a fraction of people actually chose to use over tab-target.

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johnwillo

I guess that they are aiming at new players, then. I will stick with old school TSW. Although it would almost be worth leveling a new character just to see Tokyo without the Aegis system. I never finished Tokyo because it annoyed me so much. Well, that and I am too lame to solo it.

Crow
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Crow

I’m cynical with TSW/SWL and Funcom in general, but this is nothing more than a rational-business decision to try to wring blood from a stone.

And who knows, maybe it’ll be smash success. But there are too many bits of this plan for SWL that are constructed of tissue-paper and any number of likely curveballs will assuredly throw the whole thing out of whack. They’re banking on an owned IP making them money with a skeleton dev team while pretending like content releases from 2012-2015 are “new” and worth being excited over.

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johnwillo

I agree. I don’t blame them for the strategy, but am dubious about the odds of success.

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TheDonDude

…Kreia is in The Secret World?

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Melissa McDonald

There was only one thing I ever disliked about TSW and that was the avatar / character models. They’ve promised enhancements but the screens I’ve seen so far, they look like same models, maybe a couple new ‘faces’.
If there are real updates I would be interested in giving this a spin. if it’s just “TSW Lite”, nah. I would have preferred that they added those new faces to the “real” game.

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Leiloni

Agreed, character models and combat both needed big changes and from what I can tell, they didn’t get much if any.

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Nathan Aldana

“we’ll publish our roadmap at a time after we determine if our shitty idea for an aprg makes a cent”

Crow
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Crow

Without addressing the cost of content, why do we think previous unprofitable content dev work will suddenly be profitable? If anything, just like cosmetic holiday bags they’ll find a new cash-cow and use that as an excuse to ignore new content.

TSW is a content-focused game. It is driven by story. Take that away, which they did, and then what gets left behind?

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Nathan Aldana

I think theyve convinced themselves theres this vast crowd of people who will flock from games like neverwinter or warframe to them, I guess.

Crow
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Crow

Likely. They’re looking for that transient playerbase.

And that’s one of the bits of difference in models. The f2p-cashshop model does not require player investment nor even long-term play. It just requires people to feel restricted enough that they open their wallets regardless of if they stuck with the game over the long-term or not.

They’ll get a BIG bump in revenue for this. It’ll be a short-term success. Maybe it’ll even stick around and stay profitable, which isn’t at all out of the question with this model.

Unless they can talk about how they’re going to monetize content in the green, don’t hold your breath for anything new. They’ll likely stretch out Tokyo beyond year one and then we’ll end up exactly where TSW was at the end: stuck because content creation doesn’t pay.

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Nathan Aldana

Yep. and thats why I’m sticking with sub mmos like wow or ff14, or fairer f2p models like hearthstone or hots

Crow
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Crow

I’ve come to the (tough) self-understanding that I’m just not into MMOs that much anymore (hence me not commenting around here as much over the last few weeks).

The sandboxes are too cutthroat and the themeparks end up boring and super-grindy. I don’t have the same joy in progression as I used to find, and overall I’m just sick of how it isn’t sustainable to create worlds… you have to sell-sell-sell which just wasn’t a big element of earlier MMORPGs at all.

Which is probably why I’m playing tons of Elite/FSX/Project Cars. It gives me that “yeah, this is mostly real-ish in intent” which tends to be the biggest challenge, technically, for play.

Elite has taught me that shared worlds don’t need to be actually shared all the time and that having huge, open spaces full of mostly-nothing isn’t a bad design when you’re giving people the incentive to play an actual role and not be first-and-foremost a badass fighter. This was a mistake, I think, with BDO which could have really created a better “living world” by upping command-style, top-down player influence systems for things like trading, etc..

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Nathan Aldana

see, for me, the joy in wow and ff14 isnt in any of that. its in my guilds and roleplay and costuming options. Also in that I’ve never found a scifi mmo that didnt ultimately disappoint me and games like elite just arent my thing.

Crow
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Crow

I loved my time in FFXIV. I think it is a grand game! It was a part of my two+ years of severe RSI… so I have nasty, physically painful memories that pretty much keep me away :/

I love astronomy and astrophysics… The black void of space is one of the few areas of human knowledge we still know so little about (and the ocean floor… but that shit creeps me out like woah… I don’t even swim in the ocean). Space is one of the few things I still have a sense of child-like wonder about… almost 35 years later :) I’ve learned to cherish anything that makes me feel so full of possibility and amazement!

And Elite is a game by space-nerds FOR space-nerds :)

Sci-fi is super tough to pull of well.

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Nathan Aldana

Oh I get it. I love science, I love the concept of space.

I also hate space sims because I want my scifi games to be more akin to star wars or gundam than “fly about the universe having to steer a semi-realistic ship” I’m a space nerd who prefers the space of extremely fictioney scifi

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kidwithknife

Kinda wish there were a transcript of this, I much prefer reading interviews over watching video of them. Still, more info on SWL is welcome. I’m very unpleasantly surprised that creating content had stopped being profitable, but I suppose it is what it is.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean, unsuprising given the costs of voice acted cutscenes compared to what little subscriber base they had left. Still, the fact it looks to be all in on “lets make this every generic korean action rpg with lockboxes ever” means I doubt its going to be the wild success they hope for, and I certainly aint giving them money.

Crow
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Crow

A good friend who isn’t an old-school MMORPG player says his whole SWTOR guild is wicked excited for SWL. I’m trying to let him down gently about where this is going and how pay-to-do-anything it’ll be, but would also encourage him to play for the story.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean . if he plays swtor he;s intimately familiar with pay to unlock everything.

Crow
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Crow

From all reports, this will be absolutely worse. Like the f2p cashshop model puts a lot of Korean p2w efforts to shame.

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Zen Dadaist

Lockboxes, you say? Well that’s settled that then.

Nope. RIP TSW.

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Armsbend

sweet I can’t wait to watch this later tonight! More youtube interviews please!

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silverlock

Thematically TSW has always interested me I just didn’t find the game play compelling. So I will be giving the reboot a look but I won’t be to disappointed if it doesn’t appeal to me.

Oh and their is no way I’m buying lockboxes ever.

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