Ragnar Tornquist on what's to come for the modern-day MMO.
Troubled MMO The Secret World, which recorded lower than expected sales of 200,000, absolutely has a future, senior producer and creative director Ragnar Tornquist has told fans.
"Most of you probably know, The Secret World team has been through a turbulent couple of weeks. We've had to let some people go, and we're in the process of reshuffling and reorganising ourselves around the remaining staff. This is never fun, but it's the way of things: we need to scale down from a full development team to a more cost-efficient live team.
"So what does this mean for The Secret World? How will a smaller team affect the delivery of upcoming content? And most importantly, does TSW have a future?
"That last one is an easy one: of course it does! The Secret World has a bright future ahead of it and the team remains dedicated to delivering monthly content updates."
Tornquist believes his game can offer something others can't.
"I can safely say that no other game offers what The Secret World offers. Freedom from classes and levels; a modern-day setting with real world locations; a critically acclaimed storyline and an atmosphere second to none; fully voiced characters that you can empathise with and believe in; a deep and unique character progression system, with boundless opportunities for experimentation and character development.
"The list goes on and on. I think it's fair to say that TSW is an original and ground-breaking game, and our players agree."
Even after a poor start, Tornquist says he and the team at FunCom aren't about to change The Secret World into something else.
"We're not going to play it safe. We won't be introducing classes or levels, elves or centaurs, and regardless of the competition, we won't back down from our original vision. We're going to keep doing what we're good at. We'll continue to push the boundaries, and we'll keep reinventing the wheel (quite literally). Five years ago, we set out to revolutionise the genre, and the revolution has just begun."
Even if players go off to try another MMO, Tornquist says The Secret World has enough about it to entice players back.
"The Secret World is actually unique and different, and even if our players go off to dabble in a bit of high fantasy, we'll still be here when they come back, doing what we've been doing since launch, offering a deeper and more complex experience, a game that's truly original, mature and challenging. A game for gamers."
Regarding content update, Tornquist says that plans for monthly releases remain even with a smaller team now in place.
"Like we've said before, we feel it's important to give our paying customers new content and features every single month. Our second issue - Digging Deeper - has unfortunately been delayed by two weeks, due to the restructuring of the team, but issue #3 (title to be announced, but there are cats and it ties in with our Halloween event) will be released on time."
And whilst the team will continue to polish and streamline the experience, Tornquist promises they won't be messing with the core game.
He concluded: "The Secret World is far from done: in fact, we're just getting started. (Actually, we're pretty far along, but you know what I mean.)
"This game will continue to grow and evolve in the months and years ahead, and I hope to see you all along for the ride!"