The countdown timer
on The Secret World Website
has reached zero, so presumably beta signups for Funcom's upcoming conspiratorial MMOG are now underway. Also, Massively
has word on the game's business model, saying it will feature both subscriptions and a cash shop, as noted in this forum post
, which reads:
At the presentation we revealed that The Secret World will feature a traditional paid subscription model combined with micro-transactions through an in-game store. This information was provided as part of Funcom's financial forecast going forward, and no further details were given due to the fact that we are still working on finalizing the model.
We are very excited about introducing an in-game store already from launch. Being able to integrate the store into the actual design of the game pre-launch gives us opportunities you do not normally get when introducing a store after you have launched a game.
We will be revealing more information about the store at a later date, but what we can say for now is that it will focus mostly on convenience item and character customization items such as clothing - of which The Secret World will offer a ton of variety! As developers we are being very careful in making sure that items purchased through the store does not give players any unfair advantage against those who do not use the in-game store.
Character power in The Secret World will be determined by how well you play the game, not how much money you are willing to put into it. Funcom already has considerable experience with in-game stores such as these and we have previously implemented these systems without damaging game balance in our other games, and as such we are confident the same will be true for The Secret World.