The Park repackages The Secret World’s amusement park — and I am 100% OK with that


Yesterday Funcom announced the secret project it’s been working on — no, not another MMO, but instead a single-player horror game called The Park coming in October. A single-player horror game that is set in what looks like The Secret World’s haunted Atlantic Island Park.

It’s not my imagination, either. The page and video shows the exact same ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and “octotron” that TSW players know so very well. However, the park also looks different, more fleshed out and with a slightly different layout (a ring of water around the Octotron, for example).

The official description is definitely giving off a Silent Hill vibe: “Funcom is thrilled to announce ‘The Park’, a unique horror story and the company’s first single-player experience since its award-winning adventure ‘Dreamfall: The Longest Journey’. Releasing on the PC in October this year, ‘The Park’ puts you in the shoes of a mother whose son goes missing. When night falls and the lights go out, what follows is a short, but intense horror story set against the backdrop of an amusement park where a dark and sinister secret is just waiting to be uncovered.”

The studio said that it’s creating this game as an experiment to see what it can do with its existing properties and churning out non-MMO titles: “The Park is an experimental project meant to gauge the market and to develop the team’s ability to create different types of games, and as such the Company does not expect this game to generate significant revenues.”

Another quote from the report: “Funcom has built The Park around The Secret World IP, utilizing a location as well as characters and story elements from the MMO. Funcom’s ambition is to further explore how the Company’s established universes can be drawn upon in other projects outside the MMO space.”

I really did not expect to see any sort of TSW spin-off, ever, but I’m actually kind of excited over this. It’s funny — just a week ago I asked the MOP community if they’d like to see The Secret World preserved as a single-player game, especially in light of Funcom’s dire financial situation. My feeling was that (1) I love TSW’s unique setting and story so much that anything to preserve it in the case of a studio shutdown would be welcome and (2) TSW’s adventure game nature lends itself better to a theoretical single-player conversion than most MMOs.

And more TSW, even as a spin-off, is welcome. I think the choice of the haunted amusement park is a good one, as it’s one of the most memorable settings from the game (and that is saying something, especially for Kingsmouth). There was a lot of potential left in that area, and I would be excited to see an expanded version of the park.

Now I’m thinking that this is most likely a prequel to the events of the MMO. The description makes it sound as though the park is in active operation — after all, the mom brought her son there for a fun day — and the screenshots do not show it as decrepit as it’s become in TSW with the decades’ long shutdown and the influence of the Fog.

Another thought is the possible connection of the Bogeyman and the park’s attacks on children. Anyway, pleasantly surprised to see this coming and I can’t wait to try it out!

6 thoughts on “The Park repackages The Secret World’s amusement park — and I am 100% OK with that

  1. jameshateswordpress August 27, 2015 / 9:39 am

    This is going to be AWESOME! The Atlantic Island Park is absolutely my favourite place in TSW. I log in sometimes just to ride the roller coaster. 🙂

  2. Tyler F.M. Edwards August 27, 2015 / 10:43 am

    Normally a singe-player horror game wouldn’t be on my radar, but I love TSW, so I’ll definitely pick this up.

    I’m more curious about what this will mean for Funcom, though. I hope they can start to improve things for them financially and maybe give TSW some extra exposure.

    It’s also interesting to consider what other TSW spin-offs there might be. Moose’s time in Baton Rouge, Nassir’s missions with the “special” Special Forces. I’d love to see a prequel setting up the Facility and Halina Ilyushin. Someone on the official forums was asking for an Innsmouth Academy dating sim.

    TSW is such a deep setting that the possibilities are pretty much endless.

  3. Sylow August 27, 2015 / 10:57 am

    While i disagree with the notion of making TSW single player (its community is second to none, it would be a shame to loose it), i will certainly buy the park.

    A single player game bringing “extra lore” for TSW is just too attractive to skip and i very much hope that this spin-off also turns out to be lucrative. After all, no matter who buys into Funcom, (and somebody hopefully will), the connections should be visible even to a manager (yea, i don’t have sympathy for them) and thus allow to further develop both the main game and it’s spin-offs.

  4. Gamera977 August 27, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    That’s awesome! I don’t really like MMOs (I originally came here for Syp’s Retro Gaming column) but he’s really piqued my curiosity about TSW. Looking forward to this, it may end up my gateway drug to the MMO though!

  5. wolfyseyes August 27, 2015 / 12:46 pm

    If they can maybe put together little adventure games with the TSW IP a la Telltale Games, these guys could see their fortunes improve drastically. Especially with the writing team they have.

  6. kevinbrill August 27, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    I’d be interested on the ROI. I’m not into adventure games but “…short, but intense” to me reads not that many hours of gameplay. Are adventure games even a thing that can command more than $20?

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