Sneaky little Funcom has quietly announced that its unique, but struggling, MMO The Secret World is ditching its monthly subscription.
On a post on the game's official site, Funcom reveals the game is going free-to-play - after initial purchase that is.
This means that after buying the game you can play all of the heralded story-line and all content available right now without a paying a monthly fee.
With four major updates released, which introduce much new content such as a Raid in New York, Auxiliary Weapons and many new missions, the game is better than ever.
Buy the game before December the 31st and all the content in Issue #5, which will be released shortly, will also be included and you will receive the Initiate Pack, which includes strong starter weapons, a Blood Raven pet and extra social clothing.
It's a pretty good deal for a game that is remarkably solid. In fact, the move pretty much negates the biggest issue most people had with the game - that it didn't quite justify a monthly sub. Those who do want to keep up there $US15 a month debit can do so, and get access to more content, and a host of other bonuses.
Going forward, Funcom's planning on releasing less content patches, and charging a nominal amount for them. This means new content can be consumed by players at their pace.
There's no doubting that World of Warcraft will continue to get away with a subscription model, but it's very likely going to be the only game capable of pulling it off. It looks like models like Funcom's - and competitor MMO, Guild Wars 2 - are the way of the MMO future.