Secret World studio CEO steps down on eve of game's release

Trond Arne Aas marks the launch of Funcom's modern-day MMO game by taking on new chief strategy officer and advisory role with Norway-based developer.

This week Funcom marks two milestones: the launch of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Secret World and the stepping down of CEO Trond Arne Aas.

The Secret World launches this week and marks an end to Aas' tenure as Funcom CEO.

Aas will remain with the company as a strategic advisor to the board of directors, as well as chief strategy officer. He will be actively working on the developer's recently announced Lego MMO game, among other duties. Replacing him in the CEO seat will be the company's COO, Ole Schreiner.

"The company's financial position is strong and the foundation of the company's long-term product and technology strategy is in place," Aas said. "It feels like a very natural point in time for me to make the transition to a new and freer role in the company, but I will remain committed to the Company both as a major shareholder and as an employee."

For more on The Secret World, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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180 comments
GetafixOz
GetafixOz

Rats often anticipate the sea-worthiness of a vessel, many decide to seek alternative modes of transport.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

TSW is only good for lore nuts, the rest of the game is meh at best, sloppy animations ,dull combat, awful pvp. No thnx I pass.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

Isn't the captain supposed to go down with the ship?

clqtte
clqtte

Because this game is digital only?

floydshayvious
floydshayvious

Pre-release: "This game is going to be awesome."

After-release: "This game is not so awesome."

/story of every game since the start of 2012?

CageFury
CageFury

.Unique story aside, this game looks horrible. Some of the worst animations I've seen in a while, even by MMO standards.

desauce
desauce

I had fun with the beta but I can't see paying $15 bucks a month for it. If it goes free to play I'll pick it up. 

nanosphere
nanosphere

This is how MMOs are made now.  Hype, Hype, Hype, push $60 boxes off store shelves, abandon game servers to skeleton crew.  These publishers have zero interest in maintaining and developing a persistent online world.  They just want your $60 for the box so they can go hype their next product.  MMO worlds are disposable now, don't expect any love from the company after it goes live.

chimpdaddy
chimpdaddy

if anyone sees my posts i normally bash on gamers this generation fot being little brats and being 2faced, to me, ive played the 4 beta weekends and playin early access, in all fairness ive seen more bugs in skyrim on pc than i have in TSW, it feels fresh and new, WoW bored the poo out of me, dungeon running bores me, TSW has a good story and quests, to me people bashing TSW i dont bother researching other games but the hype for GW is the same as me3, look how thar turned out, just relax people,

Lucius_Scipio
Lucius_Scipio

Didn't the CEO for Age of Conan also step down soon after the game was launched?  Let's hope that this isn't an omen and that history repeats itself with this company.  I'll be disappointed if I read how they released a new MMO with little to no high level content (re: AOC) and/or with a ton of bugs (re: AO).  Hopefully, they have learned their lessons.  Till then, I'll hold off from trying this game until I get some feedback.

archiasif
archiasif

This MMO definitely got style : )

TheSecretUser80
TheSecretUser80

Funny thing...I don't like Justin Bieber or David Guetta but I'll never lose a minute of my time going on comment sections or forums related to those artists to bash them. 

 

If you are considering purchasing this game just try it. If you don't like it at least you've experienced it on your own. Don't listen to trolls, they are GW2 raging fanboys who believe that game will solve global warming and bring back Jesus. 

TheMarziman
TheMarziman

I'm just gonna keep playing AO. Not quite done with Alien Invasion, and I can't wait for the graphics overhaul. To me TSW was certainly entertaining to play through for the first while during the beta, but I don't really know if I can justify the price as it stands.

jessie82
jessie82

step one before going F2P

 

: head CEO leaves

Matty_gamer
Matty_gamer

seriously WHAT THE FU*K is up with the comments section? It looks like representatives from two different companies are fighting? So EA and who ever makes Guild wars has deployed there troopers here?? AMMIRITE?

Caldrin
Caldrin

Best themepark MMO out there cant get enough of this game at the moment :)

 

nord1c
nord1c

LoL, Mr. Aas is seeking a "freer role". Did the EA chains become heavy?Also, the position as a "strategic advisor" is a euphemism, nothing short of: he is still on the payrole, but basically fired.EA is the worst company in the industry, with Funcom being a terribly untalented studio. I won't waste my money on this crap.

nord1c
nord1c

LOL, Mr. Aas is seeking a "...freer role...". Did the EA chains become heavy?Btw, the role of a strategic officer is a euphemism and nothing short of: he is still on the pay-role with no influence. So he basically got fired.I can only recommend not to waste money on an EA or Funcom product - Don't do it and you can thank me later.

airshocker
airshocker

Funcom honestly is one of the worst developers of MMORPGs. You have to be INSANE to buy one of their MMOs when they first launch.

infinity_
infinity_

man people are dumb to pay a monthly fee for this low quality game. You're only fooling yourself and your wallet. 

 

Combat is dull, gameplay is dull and story is not at good as people say it is.

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

I really like the concept of this game...as in the story. I think this could have made a cool single player game. Maybe a third or first person shooter. As an MMO of any type, especially one made by EA (I'm thinking ToRtanic at this point), I think its just wasted potential. I think regardless of how well it does at launch or even post launch it will probably be F2P within a few months. So I guess I'll just wait and pick it up when it's F2P and make my judgement then.

Vambran
Vambran

On Average 4 Major MMO's are released each year. The average gamer only spends money on 1 MMO per year. Something has to give sooner or later.

 

Oh and CEO leaving before game comes out is obvious bad PR.

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

TSW would have been an interesting single player game. Correction: It is an interesting single player game. The multi player content feels completely tacked on to justify a monthly fee.

 

IMO they should have spent their time polishing and tweaking single player and completely dropping the superfluous multi player. That would have made it an instant buy for me. Now, I might spend some time with it when it inevitably goes f2p in a few months, but it's not really worth a sub.

TheSecretUser80
TheSecretUser80

Everyone complains about how "evil" EA is but without it there would be no Mass Effect and I had a wonderful time with Commander Shepard, thank you. 

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

TSW is more dark/gritty and entertaining than D3... And since GW2 is too cartoony. TSW will be my new MMO of choice.

CeasdRedemption
CeasdRedemption

This guy reminds me of the kid that is the first to bolt out of a house when the cops show up...

FiveStarHacker
FiveStarHacker

These comments made my day.  But in all seriousness, I do agree that EA has its hand in TSW's business model. F2P is really the way things are going along. As far as TSW is concerned though, I beta tested for a few months and I was pleased to see they were listening to feedback. Funcom isn't trying to be like anyone else, and I respect that much. I had fun with it, but it's not for everyone. The game bashing isn't really respectful though =X Just saying.

Dsolow5
Dsolow5

TSW has some good stuff, but it's just not worth a subscription. GW2 gameplay makes TSW look like a web browser game, and GW2 doesn't have a subscription. 

 

If Funcom were smarter, they would have made TSW totally free, but offered clothing/content for a fee.

IgotEpixx
IgotEpixx

Ehh, at least he doesn't seem to be getting the boot.

 

My issue with TSW is that it's clearly designed for F2P, yet trying to ring out a Subscription model along side its Cash Shop. The questing system would work great in a "Buy to Play" model (ALA GW2) in that you pick it up, play for a few days, put it down, pick it up again, then buy the new content they add on, and if you feel like it buy some fancy clothes on the Cash Shop.

 

The problem is it doesn't work like that. You pay a sub, you burn through the content, you THEN need to spend £10 if you want that fancy looking longcoat and hope the game doesn't die before your new content arrives.

stailcookie
stailcookie

It's going to be a failure, best thing is to jump-ship before the numbers come in and get a new job...

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Maybe he knows something that we don't? 8-\

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

Rage of adults easily happen :c

hadlee73
hadlee73

This is what happens when you mess with the Templars :P

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

He.... didn't care for success???

Vayngell
Vayngell

Forget TSW/AoC, give me my damn Dreamfall: Chapters, please!

eoj
eoj

This might actually do better swtor. The game brings new things to the table.

Kickable
Kickable

watch the Lego MMO actually be good.  the one I don't want to play lol

Scarab83
Scarab83

The Age of the MMO is coming to a close.

bobsob2
bobsob2

Smart move by him, step down before the game fails.

MarcusVOG
MarcusVOG

Seen the gameplay. Ain't attractive.

Jaxith
Jaxith

Maybe I'm just not a cynical as alot of other people?  I just see this as, "Well, I did some good work, and with the last big project I've worked on ready to head out the door, I think I'll head out too and settle into an easier, quieter life."  I could be wrong.  I don't know what the situation is.  But I don't instantly jump to the most negative possible conclusion either.

Elann2008
Elann2008

what's going on with so many top devs quitting.. the apocalypse must be really coming.

TheSecretUser80
TheSecretUser80

God you internet trolls are getting worse every day. Pre-ordered the game and so far is awesome. So glad I'll never have to go to Azeroth again (unless they release a WOW2, of course). 

jmmijo
jmmijo

Sorry but they lost me with Conan.

Oakenshield603
Oakenshield603

Where the hell are you guys getting your omniscience vitamins? I want some!

 

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

The Secret World should've stayed a secret...

nurnberg
nurnberg

Stop with the conspiracies theories...  We don't know the real reason for this.  The game was just released.  We don't even know if it's a success or not yet.  Please stop with all this negative stuff.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Secret World looks like a bait and switch if I ever saw one.....

IDK, actually sitting there playing it things might seem better than they look but I doubt it. The game looks worse that some of the worst PSX games and they want money for it every month?? I don't think so......

I think maybe it's time for the industry to give up on the whole MMO thing, it's clear nobody can make an engaging experience in the genre......