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.

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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.

Discussion

181 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.

number1nick123
number1nick123

 @nanosphere This man speaks the truth. EA isn't exactly known for publishing good MMO's and Funcom isn't known for creating large and lasting experiences. (Anarchy Online is garbage, 11 years strong with 1 server of 50 chinese gold farmers left)

Olgark
Olgark

 @nanosphere

Ragnor is the main drive behind the game he is the same guy who wrote and developed Dreamfall Longest Journey. As long as he and his team remain to give input into the game then I can't see a problem.

Undietaker
Undietaker

 @nanosphere

 You clearly know nothing about Funcom. Anarchy Online just celebrated it's 11th birthday and is still actively developed. Do some research before making yourself look stupid....

ebonized
ebonized

 @nanosphere you can't be serious, can you? First of all, the CEO didn't leave the company. Secondly, they have an immediate replacement. How is this in ANY WAY going to affect the development of the game? You know absolutely nothing about how this works but spew out this nonsense as if you do

dre256x
dre256x

 @chimpdaddy Only thing i fear for TSW is that its too unique for mass acceptance, and as such i hope its doesn't need a large sub base to stay open..

 

Yes it feels like a big investigation game with mmo elements tacked on but that i can live with, but so far its a cool and quite launch..

digressions
digressions

 @Lucius_Scipio  As far as I know that was the game director for AoC, Gaute Godager. He stepped down admitting he wasn't satisfied with the result of the game. This time it doesn't seemed to be linked. Perhaps they thought it would harm TSW more if the CEO decided to wait it out for a few weeks or months.

Shadowtheninja
Shadowtheninja

 @Lucius_Scipio That would be the second time a CEO stepped down from the same company, then. "Age of Conan" and "The Secret World" are both from Funcom.

Enundr
Enundr

 @TheSecretUser80 there are trolls and there are ppl that are tired of being burned by any game EA puts their logo on ;-P

eimaipaokafou
eimaipaokafou

 @TheSecretUser80 Bro u play the freaking game or u just shit here at gamespot and making smart comments to anyone that doesn't like ur game ? sup not so good ? pity.

pinching_perry
pinching_perry

 @TheSecretUser80 "they are GW2 raging fanboys who believe that game will solve global warming and bring back Jesus." Bahahah! I am super stoked for GW2 just saying, but this part made me laugh so damn hard.

bruno321
bruno321

 @TheMarziman I miss AO. It's still the best MMO I ever played, I think. The graphics overhaul seems like it's taking forever. Also, I did get tired of killing hecklers or finding an NT to kite them around for XP. Maybe things are different now?

Enundr
Enundr

 @kakotan eh , GW2 might still be good and run well , GW1 went good enough till ppl found solo builds to farm stuff ;-P. but GW2 does show promise.  but as far as TOR and this game? all i can say is look at the EA logo on it. all you need to know =P

number1nick123
number1nick123

 @dre256x I agree. The only people who know about this game are the ones on gaming websites. Everyone else couldn't care less.

chimpdaddy
chimpdaddy

cDsolow5 cheers dude, needed them :)

Kenuty
Kenuty

 @pinching_perry I've played the beta for tsw i thought it was alright, Instant fan of gw2 beta though after playing, too bad it can't bring back an imaginary character and no, global warming will have to be solved another way. I just don't trust funcom that's all based on experience. 

TheSecretUser80
TheSecretUser80

 @pinching_perry Haha I'm also looking forward to GW2 (although im sick of the fantasy-theme) but it is the most overhyped game I've ever seen, even more than GTAV. 

TheMarziman
TheMarziman

@Kickable Yea, I would assume so. I mean, going that long and that strong as f2p already, they're pretty well of with the micro transactions and keeping them away from pay to win and just pay to party. Getting people to suddenly start paying for the notum wars would loose them more then they would gain.

TheMarziman
TheMarziman

 @bruno321 Well, even though the graphics have taken a long time, they're actually really starting to do something concrete now in their updates, and not just giving vague predictions, so I'm pretty confident. The game has for sure been made to be a lot less harsh on new players, but in terms of the higher level stuff, not too much has changed. I mostly play with a bunch of my good friends in a well balanced group, with others occasionally joining in, so I never really had those kinds of problems as much. 

misterbanks87
misterbanks87

 @mrboone01 Um the new graphical engine is IN the game, and there are WAY more t han 50 people playing,that game stays packed in the popular zones...

Enundr
Enundr

 @Kenuty yep , after playing AoC funcom games are meh.  add to that the EA factor and thats a recipe for a stay as far away from it as possible. EA already shuts down servers for non mmos fast as it is ,  their mmos wont have that much of a life span either.

Kickable
Kickable

 @Dsolow5 yea i'm talking about people who haven't actually played GW2 and just go by previews.  like some dismissing TSW before playing.

dorandil
dorandil

 @TheSecretUser80 And this is why it's awesome that GW2 doesn't have a sub fee.  I can play TSW and GW2 and not feel like I'm wasting money trying to play two MMO's.  They're both interesting in their own rights.  I wish people would stop trying to compare every MMO and say X is better than Y.  That's what got us into this same-y MMO genre that we're just on the cusp of crawling out of.

pinching_perry
pinching_perry

 @TheSecretUser80  @Kickable  See for me I don't play many MMOs so guns and whatnot are more of the same, the Fantasy Aspect is what is appealing :) I like the art style quite a bit as well. TSW DOES look awesome though. I want a review for it before I decide on it.

 

This is true though, most people do know what to expect from GTAV, but that is a good thing for this specific game.

TheSecretUser80
TheSecretUser80

 @Kickable  @pinching_perry Same for TSW. I enjoy the different settting, the ability wheel, the interface, investigative quests, Lovecraftian monsters...GW2 looks cool but its still swords and shields and bows and arrows. I will probably play it if I have the time but TSW is a breath of fresh air. 

Kickable
Kickable

 @TheSecretUser80  @pinching_perry people more or less know what to expect from GTA5, I think alot are clueless about GW2 when you think about how it can still easily suffer from the same old MMO trappings that people are whining about

pinching_perry
pinching_perry

 @TheSecretUser80Oh I can agree that it is extremely hyped (which I did not expect when I heard about it in 2010), but for good reason hopefully.It looks more interesting and immersive than most MMOs coming out. And I played GW1 and enjoyed everything the dev did throughout the years. They have a great honest business model too which is awesome.