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The Secret World no longer requires a subscription

The Secret World no longer requires users to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the game, Funcom announced today.

Users who purchase the title online or through retail stores can start playing the MMO immediately without subscribing.

"With this recent change there is no reason not to join and take part in 'The Secret World,'" said Game Director Joel Bylos in a prepared statement. "Most players end up having a ton of fun once they delve into the myths and legends of 'The Secret World,' and we believe the game has the potential to be even more successful without the subscription entry barrier. It is an ambitious and very exciting move for us."

While paid subscription is removed from the game, Funcom introduces a Membership option that provides users with bonuses such as a Time Accelerator item that grants players double experience for one hour each day, $10 worth of bonus points handed out monthly and a fixed 10 percent discount on all items within the title's in-game store, among other perks. This option is available for a monthly fee of $15.

In addition, Grand Master Lifetime members receive all of the above as well an increased 20 percent discount in the Item Store. "Optional" paid DLC packs will also become available for $5. The first, which is expected to arrive in January, is free to anyone who registers by Dec. 30. Free issue updates are also available for those who purchase the game before the end of December.

The Secret World launched this year with a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 in North America. The Funcom MMO received a 6.5 out of 10 review from Polygon which said: "The Secret World's successes have little to do with the MMO essentials, and though its trappings are unique and sometimes powerful, its core is undeveloped."

Full details on these new changes are available on the official Secret World website.