The Secret World Developer Lays Off ‘Around Half’ Its Staff

The Secret World Developer Lays Off ‘Around Half’ Its Staff

Modern-day MMO The Secret World has a great deal going for it. The world is interesting, there are clear plans for regular content updates, and their new raid looks lovely. It even has a free trial now. But unfortunately, what it doesn’t have going for it is subscribers.

Developer Funcom, based in Norway, had announced earlier this month that due to poorer than projected sales and subscriptions “cost-cutting measures” would be coming. And, sadly, they have. Yesterday, rumours were floating around of up to a 50 per cent reduction in staff. Today, Funcom confirmed that estimate, saying:

Around half of the company’s personnel have been affected, with some departments being more affected than others. To make sure Funcom is in the best possible position to realise its plans for both existing games as well as future projects, the company is focusing on retaining as many as possible on the production teams.

Funcom also stressed the “temporary” nature of some, though not all, of the layoffs. Offices in Montreal, Beijing, Oslo and Durham were hit.

Funcom reduces operational costs following ‘The Secret World’ launch [Funcom]


  • shame… not surprised though… they tried to do things differently… secret world is good though

    they also have a very broken accounts system… i got sent a 24 hour trial from a friend and it i s still active and working over a month later

    • I hope so. I’d like to try it.

      Anyone that tries to make a fee-based MMO nowadays is either stupid or had his head in hole for the last 10 years.

  • not a hard call man, game is pretty terrible.

    One thing that Funcom have ALWAYS looked over is the importance of fluid and satisfying animations of your avatar. It’s one of the key things for immersion when you hit a button to do an ability it needs to feel responsive and satisfying.

    Only recent MMO that has been able to do this since WoW is Guild Wars 2, and GW2 imo is going to be very successful!

    • Dunno what game you’ve been playing mate but the motions are fluid and its more fun than any MMO in 10 years, game look sgreat, runs great, sure it has some bugs EVERY new game released does.

      Maybe you need to upgrade your system and stop trying to play the game with a min spec machine.

      running around with a Pistol/shotty build, when i press an attack it happens with a nice fluid animation, and even with the 250 ping theres no visible lag between my pressing the key and the action on screen.

      It’s Sad really, this is game looks like it will unfortunatly go the way of that other GREAT MMO Tabula Rasa, great game, great concept, great changes to the way of traditional MMO’s, fails due to layoffs, mostly due to not enough adverising or due to people expecting to play another WOW clone. (which is hilarious cos when it is WOW clone people complain about that too)

  • So much for MMOs that don’t have elves and orcs. Its a read shame. This is probably one of the best and most original MMOs released in years. Kudos for trying. It’s a crying shame it hasn’t done better.

    • I think the fact that it launched with a whisper didn’t help things.

      The free form leveling system is nice too. But it allows idiotic players to pick skills that dont gel with one another and then they bitch that the game is broken as a result.

  • WOW and Guild wars are kids game requiring the attention span of a goldfish

    I like TSW , its more of an adult game and frankly bloody more intresting. So i will be ignoring kiddie panda expansion which is designed to satisfy the chinese and guild wars 2 (which after playing beta is crap)

  • Top game with awesome world, but yeah, it has come at the end of P2P era of MMOs, just like SW:TOR (although this game had a lot more problems than just timing). It has a fast combat pace, a whole pile of interesting synergistic builds, and looks awesome on a GTX580.

  • Everyone, get educated. You always have more staff during the development of a game. After the game is released, you only need staff to maintain the service and some others to create extra content.

  • Here’s a bit of advice for all gaming developers.

    WoW will always win, no matter what game you make, no matter how much money and time you spend developing it







    • WOW is rubbish and just designed for children stealing their parents credit cards. It’s a low brow clickfest. The shame of it is FC makes good games but their marketing and strategy sucks bigtime. They have Age of Conan which had good subscription numbers but then they sabeotaged that with TSW. Taking subscribers from one of their own games and splitting the subscription numbers between 2 of their own games is robbing peter to pay paul – it’s really really really stupid.

  • For every MMO that goes free to play, WoW loses another million subscribers. You might fail miserably secret world, but at least you can kick a dying dog while its down.

  • I heard nothing but negatives about this game. I bought it after watching a gameplay video and I have to say, it’s amazing! You actually have to think to solve some puzzles (some people have difficulty there no doubt). The world is immersive and atmospheric, quests are fun and interesting, and the combat has better action than WoW or SWTOR.

    Some people will never be happy. As evidenced in some of the posts here, some people see MMO and hate it no matter what. This game is a refreshing change of pace when it comes to MMO’s. I was just going to play til Guild Wars 2 came out but I am keeping my sub . I have played both games (GW2 beta) and I like TSW better. GW2 is story lite while TSW is like living in a mix of the Cthuluverse, Supernatural and Buffy. I can’t wait to get to Transylvania!

  • I swear to God , I have been desperately looking for a demo version of this ever since it released. You’ve got it now? At the same time you’re laying off staff? I may as well give it as miss, as you’ve already decided your game is a loss.

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