Funcom announced today that over half a million people have registered to participate in the ongoing beta testing of ‘The Secret World’, a game that will be published by Electronic Arts. Almost everyone joining the community has chosen to affiliate themselves with one of the game’s three secret societies – the Illuminati, the Dragon, and the Templars – fueling the conflict that is already emerging on forums and social media channels everywhere.
Funcom’s CEO Trond Arne Aas said:
“We are thrilled to see the amount of interest ‘The Secret World’ is generating among gamers and the press, and exceeding half a million beta registrations six months before release is definitely something we are proud of. The gamer interest in ‘The Secret World’ and the community size for the game is even greater than we experienced with ‘Age of Conan’ at the same stage of development. We expect the community size to keep on expanding at an ever faster pace in the coming months as we approach Open Beta and launch.”
‘Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures’ proved to be a major sales success for Funcom, with over one million copies sold in the first twelve months after release in May, 2008. This made ‘Age of Conan’ one of the best-selling PC games of 2008, and the game has now sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide.
Crowned the ‘Most Anticipated MMO’ at PAX 2011 by genre-leading website MMORPG.com, ‘The Secret World’ is scheduled to launch for the PC in April 2012 and is currently undergoing thorough beta testing in parallel with development. Funcom continues to invite more testers over time, and will be initiating several different phases of beta leading up to release in order to secure the smoothest possible launch. Beta testers are actively contributing to the development of the game by providing input on game design, mechanics, balance and more.
‘The Secret World’ invites players into a modern-day, real-world setting where secret societies pull the strings of kings and presidents, and where the player will break free from the confinements of classes and levels using a freeform progression system. The game is being brought to life by the experienced MMO developers at Funcom, led by the award-winning game designer Ragnar Tørnquist.