When we last peeked in on The Secret World, it was on the up and up. Rocket launchers and surgery were right around the corner, and - and in spite of that sentence sounding like some kind of homicidal plastic surgeon super villain trap - it was quite an exciting time. But things have changed a bit since then - mainly, things of the layoff variety. And with some reports saying that up-to-half of Funcom's employees have gone the way of Kingsmouth residents (that is to say they disappeared - not that they turned into wildly gyrating fish monsters), it's not too surprising that the remaining staffers would need a bit of extra time to get things back in working order.
Originally set to launch on August 29th, Issue Two - titled "Digging Deeper" - is now coming out on September 11th. Here's Funcom's stance on the matter:
"As you may know, this week has been a challenging one for everyone at Funcom. We initiated a process of reducing costs after the launch of The Secret World and this has naturally affected the production schedule as we work on readjusting the team and our internal development processes."
"We will also continue to push out regular content like announced before. This small delay is merely due to the re-organization and assessment of processes that has been initiated. We are working hard to get back on track as soon as possible."
Even so, I can't help but have my doubts about that last point. If Funcom really has lost a major chunk of its staff, I imagine it'll be pretty difficult to churn out monthly content of the same scope it was planning previously. Granted, Funcom has multiple offices, so it's entirely possible that most of Secret World's team dodged the bullet while the company took bigger hits in other places.
While I doubt I'll receive an answer, I've nonetheless mailed Funcom about that particular sticking point. Regardless, here's hoping for the best. The Secret World is clearly a labor of love and - in a few areas - fundamentally different from anything else on the market. If it can't succeed in at least some small, consistent way, then... well, I suppose there's always free-to-play. But I have no idea how that'd impact the monthly story content, and without that, I'm not sure TSW could really stand out from the rest of the pack for long.