Funcom’s latest MMORPG didn’t have the greatest start in the MMO world. Launching alongside hugely popular titles such as Guild Wars 2, the developers had to play their cards early, offering a free to play weekend just weeks after launch.

Since that time the game has come under heavy scrutiny from the media following multiple layoffs and more recently, a change in the lead developer. Disgruntled fans, disappointed players and media critics grabbed pitchforks and torches within a month of the games launch, with many expecting it to hit the free to play market within 12 weeks.

A recent announcement may not have proven them right completely, but it does represent a change in The Secret World’s subscription model. Joining popular titles like Guild Wars 2, Funcom has adopted the subscription free model that allows players to experience The Secret World after purchasing the game via a digital download. Some new content updates will be free but Funcom have announced that certain DLC content will be restricted to premium players.

The Secret World was arguably one of the most hyped MMORPG games releases of 2012 and despite a number of innovative features and high-quality graphics, the game failed to impress the masses. Will this latest announcement bring in more players or are Funcom simply placing a band aid on a bullet wound?