And by dance move, I of course mean "tectonic shift in creative management affixed to a phrase that happens to sound like it could be a dance move in a universe where things like layoffs and sadness don't exist." Given recent events, however, I imagine that actually adding a dance animation titled "The Internal Shakeup" to The Secret World would elicit a chorus of "too soons" powerful enough to wake the dead just so they could add, "Yeah guys, that's sort of not-cool" before returning to their grim slumber. Anyway! Longest Journey mastermind Ragnar Tornquist is stepping down from his role as senior producer and slipping into some striking new creative director pants, while Joel Bylos is moving up from lead content designer to game director. Join me in reading way too far into it after the break.
First up, here are some words from Ragnar, who further explained how he'll be involved in his gargantuan baby's development going forward.
"As creative director, I will continue to be involved with the story and universe and overall direction, but I will also take a few steps back and let Joel lead the team and maintain the vision and direction for the game, together with the very talented Scott Junior, who takes over my duties as producer."
"For now, I just want you all to know that I've treasured and appreciated my time managing The Secret World. Interacting with you guys - our passionate and loyal community - has been a joy and a privilege, and I will continue to be involved on a daily basis. But with a new management team in charge of the game, I'm also finally going to be able to enjoy The Secret World as a fan and a player."
Meanwhile, Funcom noted that Secret World's Issue #3 update is in the process of being "wrapped up," and Issue #4 - which includes the Adam-approved New York raid - is already deep in development. Hopefully, that means no more Issue #2-style slips, but time will tell.
As for the changes themselves, I'm not entirely sure how to feel. I mean, world design and writing are easily the stars of Secret World's show, so I'm happy to hear that Ragnar will get to give them his full attention. But it also sounds like he's stepping back in terms of overall involvement, and - in conjunction with press release statements about a "bold, new future" - it's hard not to read this as a reaction to less-than-optimal responses to the game as it is now. Then again, some aspects of TSW - combat, for instance - could use a bit of freshening up, so it's certainly possible that this is a change for the better. And of course, F2P stands as an eventual possibility. That'd also probably require some design revamps.
At this point, it's tough to tell exactly what's on the horizon. If nothing else, though, The Secret World has one. That, in my opinion, is excellent news.