How many subscribers does The Secret World really have?

Subscriber numbers in an MMO can be a closely guarded secret, particularly when that MMO’s not doing very well. So will we ever know how many subscriptions The Secret World currently has?

Well, it looks like the answer is “yes”. We don’t often see proper investigative reporting in the blogosphere – but today Azuriel’s done as well or better than any financial reporter I’m aware of, as he pieces together clues from official statements, stockholder presentations and more, to find out just how many subscribers The Secret World probably has

“Companies are always pretty eager to belt off “250k/500k/1 million subs!” press releases, and as of the time of writing, Funcom has… well, not said much of anything. The launch day press release awkwardly mentions:

“[…] as of now several of the game’s dimensions – which can hold tens of thousands of gamers playing at the same time – have started filling up due to the ever-increasing number of players coming into the game.”

I cannot help but note that “several tens of thousands” is not, say, 100,000. I am not even sure if I can fault Funcom for their hesitant confusion here, as it mentions that over 1.5 million people signed up for the TSW beta. I am no MMO economist, but I imagine a less-than 7% sale rate from people willing to sign up for a beta for your game is a mite unusual.

Then again, isn’t that near the approximate rate of people who buy stuff in F2P games?

But let us dig deeper. According to, TSW has sold… 0.05m copies. Um, wow. I only recently started using VGChartz though, so maybe they are not all that reliable. How often is it actually updated, anyway?”

I won’t spoil the thrilling conclusion, but suffice it to say that Azuriel has unearthed a figure that looks pretty damn accurate, correlated from several – obscure – sources.

This is very cool, interesting stuff – albeit worrying for anyone who’s enjoying The Secret World. But nonetheless, if you’re interested in peaking inside a game studio’s secrets – or are just a fan of two-fisted reporting – this post is worth a read.

Someone get that man some multicoloured sunglasses and a Filthy Assistant, stat!

Do you think Azuriel’s right?