Through various news sources it was already rumored something big was going to happen for the game The Secret World. Recently Funcom finally announced their plans. This spring The Secret World will go Free-to-Play. The game will be reimagined though; it will no longer be a MMORPG but a ‘shared-world action-RPG’ Called Secret World Legends. Apart from that Funcom stated they have redesigned the combat system, created more intuitive systems to interact with, enhanced visuals and an improved flow of the quests as well as the structure of the early game for new players.
All the “issues” add-ons will be free from the start as well. So, new players don’t have to worry about any possible pay wall when it comes to experiencing the full story and lore. In fact, everything will be free of charge. (though I think you obviously are going to have to pay for things like customization items with the in-game currency. The micro transactions situation has not been detailed yet.)
People worried about their old character do not have to worry. The old game will stay up and running allowing you to return and play in that version. The new version will be using a separate client. While you do have to start over and create a new character you will be able to transfer the Vanity items such as mounts, pets, vehicles and other customizations that have been purchased through TSW‘s item store from your old character to your new character. They haven’t forgotten about the people with a membership or the Grand Masters either. These will be able to convert their membership into Patron time or if they are a Grand Master; they can be a Patron for life in Secret World Legends.
If you want more information regarding this big change or like to sign up for their closed beta check out their website.