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Ragnar Tornquist on The Secret World's "turbulent couple of weeks", and the future

"We're not going to play it safe."

After "a turbulent couple of weeks", The Secret World boss Ragnar Tornquist has addressed players, in an open letter declaring "a bright future" for his MMO.

Those turbulent couple of weeks included disappointing sales for The Secret World (~200,000) and the announcement of lay-offs at developer Funcom.

Nevertheless, Tornquist had a brave and optimistic message to share.

"We're not going to play it safe," he pledged. "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.

"Fact is, this is more than bullet-points on the back of a box: 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."

The scaled down, "more cost-efficient live team" will stick to the monthly Secret World content release schedule. The second major update - here known as Issues - has been delayed by two weeks because of all that has gone on, Tornquist revealed. But Issue #3 will be released on time, he promised. Issue #3 will have cats in it and have something to do with Halloween, Tornquist teased.

"Five years ago, we set out to revolutionise the genre, and the revolution has just begun."

Ragnar Tornquist, creative director, Funcom

Other content on the horizon includes a 10-person New York raid that's "not like any raid you've ever played before". There's also more auxiliary weapons coming, and more character customisation.

"We have a huge and exciting new feature pencilled in for Christmas," Tornquist wrote, "which ties into the achievement system and gives a lot more meaning to the usual 'Kill 1000 Vampires' goals. (After all, who hasn't wondered what it would be like to have some vampiric abilities to play around with?)"

The team is making more intermediary decks with new clothing rewards, and there are "a tonne" of new missions and storylines being made. There's a "huge" new adventure zone planned for next spring, "bringing players back to Tokyo's Ground Zero".

On top of that, The Secret World team will polish and tweak. "We won't mess with the core game," promised Tornquist, "but we will continue to improve the experience - visually and mechanically - and this will certainly benefit players both new and old."

The Secret World is an MMO set in the modern day, and in a world that looks like ours but hides another - one filled with magic and monsters. For now, The Secret World charges a monthly subscription fee.

Our Oli Welsh reviewed The Secret World.

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