The Secret World Sold More than 200,000 Copies. Press Ratings Low, Player Ratings High.

Funcom just released the Q2 2012 financial report, showing that The Secret World is, for now, definitely a niche MMORPG, selling “more than 200,000 copies” since release, a figure below expectations.

The lower than expected revenue prompted the developer to enact a cost-reduction operation across the board, laying off about 50% of its employees in all offices.

The company blamed the lower than expected performance on mixed reviews, with some major press outlets in the US having rated the game as low as 50 %, contrasting with other publications a very high average (Metacritic) user rating of 8.4 (Personally, I’m quite proud that my own review score is very near to the user rating. Apparently someone doesn’t have a very clear idea on the actual quality of the game, and that someone isn’t me). Almost concurrent release date announcements of Mists of Pandaria and Guild Wars 2 were also pointed out as possible causes.

Funcom plans to launch several initiatives in order to increase the number of players in the upcoming months, as player retention is strong in contrast with the lower than expected initial sales.

Creative Director Ragnar Tørnquist (that I recently interviewed) took to his twitter account to let users know that The Secret World is still on track:

Funcom aren’t giving up on #TSW. Quite the contrary, it’s the company’s main focus. The team will continue to work as planned!

Funcom’s Director of Operations Ørjan Mathis Tvedt also chimed in:

I think many of the players want to hear if our vision has changed for #TSW. Short version; No.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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