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ARG: Alternate Reality Game


August 29, 2011 The first phase of the secret war starts, allowing community members to sign up and join a faction using their Facebook account. An option also exists for people who do not wish to use Facebook.
August 26, 2011 The start of the secret war is delayed by the Council of Venice due to a systems malfunction.
August 26, 2011 The subscription model is announced to be traditional monthly payment alongside a micro-transaction in-game store where players are allowed to purchase many things, including cosmetic clothing. This store will be careful balanced with the game in order to
August 16, 2011 Funcom announces that TSW will ship in April 2012. Beta registrations will open up on August 26th, 2011. A fourth CGI trailer was also released.
July 7, 2011 Funcom attends EA showcase where they demo an early dungeon, The Polaris, on Solomon Island.
July 6, 2011 The third CGI cinematic trailer is released.
May 2011 First quarter report was released stating that the game has reached a major milestone and "entered the phase of limited enternal beta testing".
April 28, 2011 A new section is added to the website detailing NPCs that will appear in the game.
April 7, 2011 Reported that the Xbox 360 version of The Secret World has been stalled.
March 10, 2011 GDC information is released, giving the community a new trailer, a redesigned official website, and plenty of new location, character, and monster information.
January 10, 2011 Funcom announces that it will be co-publishing The Secret World with EA.
Janauary 1, 2011 The Fool's Journey event begins, initiated by Apis on behalf of the Sanctuary of Secrets.
August 27, 2010 Press embargo for Gamescom 2010 is lifted, and Developer Diary #1 is released, showcasing the London starter experience and developer interviews is released simultaneously on many news sites.
March 25, 2010 A trailer is released to the public. This is the first time the community gets a clear, albeit short, look at gameplay footage.
March 23, 2010 Embargo on information from GDC is lifted. Many game review sites publish articles on what they were shown. A teaser for an upcoming trailer is also released.
February 22, 2010 Monsters of Maine blog discovered, written by Kingsmouth resident Tyler Freeborn under the alias Cryptoinvestigator.
Janauary 21, 2010 Kingsmouth town website discovered.
January 11, 2010 The Dark Places puzzle event begins.
December 18, 2009 Details concerning the Templar faction are released during an interview with game creator Ragnar Tørnquist.
December 17, 2009 Details concerning the Illuminati faction are released during an interview with game creator Ragnar Tørnquist.
December 16, 2009 Details concerning the Dragon faction are released in an interview with game creator Ragnar Tørnquist.
November 2009 Third Quarter Financial report is released. The report briefly mentions the Quest for the Flag event. It also notes that 200,000 people signed up for the secret societies, and that 90 people are currently working on the project. It states the next milesto
Sepecter 29, 2009 It is announced that Funcom will be laying off 20% of its work force and as a result would likely push back the release of The Secret World by a few months.
September 4, 2009 The second cinematic trailer is released.
September 3, 2009 Three in-game factions are revealed. the Templars. The Illuminati. The Dragon.
September 1, 2009 People begin to see something in the static on the Sanctuary of Secrets website.
September 1, 2009 Funcom opens a new studio in Montreal, Canada. Several "key personnel" are relocated to the new office.
August 22, 2009 Three Are Coming viral marketing campaign begins.
August 2009 Q2 2009 Financial Report released by Funcom. Gives a status on the current progress of The Secret World stating:
1. 100 people working on project
2. In alpha stages of development of various aspects of the game
June 4, 2009 At the Door event begins in a race against time to get answers for Aveline.
May 27, 2009 Clues are found inside the box Aveline recovers at the end of Two Lines Twine.
May 26, 2009 Two lines Twine event begins
May 2009 Funcom releases their Q1 2009 Financial Report. Notes from the presentation include:
1. Positive feedback from journalists and gamers
2. Reveal video viewed by est. 1.000.000 gamers
3. Game tracking positively against competition
4. Higher interest in TSW than in AoC at same stage in development
April 8, 2009 Code Name: Wagtail begins with an e-mail from Aveline Belmont.
April 4, 2009 The ARG Faction, Sanctuary of Secrets is revealed.
April 4, 2009 They Are Coming Back begins after two years of silence.
April 4-6, 2009 Funcom launches a second viral marketing campaign and releases a cinematic teaser for TSW.
October 2007 Some small snippets of info concerning TSW are mentioned on Ragnar's blog. A new piece of TSW concept art is accidentally leaked on Ragnar's blog. Funcom advertising for:
1. Senior Character Artist (Oslo)
2. Concept Artist (Beijing)
3. Environment Artist (Beijing)
4. Lead Graphics Artist (Beijing)
July 2007 The Q2 2007 report has the TSW team at 35 employees and the game is in its first phase of full production. I would assume given the advertised positions that the team will be of an increased size by the next quaterly review.
June 2007 Funcom advertises for people to work on TSW. Positions include:
1. Gameplay Programmer
2. Project Manager Art
3. 3D Programmer
4. Tools Programmer
5. Location Artist
6. Associate Producer
7. Character Artist
May 21, 2007 Ragnar Tørnquist heads to Beijing for meetings with the Chinese section of the TSW team.
May 16, 2006 Funcom presents their 2007 Quarter 1 financial presentation. The presentation includes details of the viral marketing campaign, other details include:
1. Over 100 key gaming people are informed of the launch
2. There are partnerships with key me
May 16, 2007 The Dark Days Are Coming website is updated with The Countdown in Sanskrit.
May 16, 2007 Aveline Belmont contacts the community for the first time expressing her anger in falling for an obvious con.
May 15, 2007 A friend sends a message congratulating the community on cracking the code of The Photo and bids farewell.
May 14, 2007 Scan of letter on the back of the photo was found.
May 11, 2007 A friend makes a post about The Photo he received and asks for help figuring out specific details about the photograph.
May 11, 2007 According to A friend in a post he makes, A.B. sends a scan of The Photo to him.
May 11, 2007 Ragnar Tørnquist discuss the launch of the viral marketing campaign for TSW. Funcom releases an official press release about TSW.
May 10, 2007 A friend sends a letter congratulating the community on cracking the Cities and Symbols puzzle and brings the information learned to "powerful friends"
May 7, 2007 Dark Days are Coming website found, with Cities and Symbols puzzle.
May 7, 2007 The Poem was found
May 7, 2007 First letter to various gaming communities from A friend, also first time "A friend" can be identified as "Hide Seek."
May 7-16, 2007 Funcom begins viral marketing strategy as initial advertisement for TSW.
March 2007 Funcom is rumoured to be showing off a new MMO at the Game Developers Conference (GDC).
February 2007 UK gaming magazine Edge carries an a job advert for an unknown Funcom MMO. The picture of the girl later turns out to be related to TSW, as the same picture appears in a Funcom presentation in a section on TSW.
2007 Funcom officially announces The Secret World (formally known as Cabal and The World Online) as its next MMO.
November 2006 Two screenshots of The World Online made using an early version of the graphics engine that will power TSW are leaked to Wikipedia. The age of these screenshots is unknown. Ragnar Tørnquist hints in his blog that they are from an old and early prototype of TSW.
2006 A number of domain names are registered:,,,,, Ragnar Tørnquist first mentions The Secret World in his blog on June 10th. Funcom's third quarterly report for 2006 states that “The World Online was approved for entry into the first phase of full production”. The team is known to be composed of 20 people with Ragnar Tørnquist heading the project (Source). The quarter 4 report states that the team working on The World Online has expanded to 33 people.
2005 Funcom announces in the Quarter 3 2005 Financial Statement that Funcom has initiated development of a new MMO known as The World. The World will become TSW. Funcom files the name The Secret World as a Trademark on November 14 2005.
2003 A playable demo of Cabal, which will one day become TSW, was made ready for E3 ’03. This version was using a different engine from the current version of TSW. The demo/movie was shown at E3 2003. The demo was refered to as The Next Big Thing. Later, in his blog, Ragnar Tørnquist confirms that The Next Big Thing = Cabal = The World Online = TSW. We know the engine will have changed since this early demo, there may also have been gameplay/story changes as well.
2002 Preproduction of the game that will become TSW began sometime in 2002, but the team were moved to Dreamfall in mid-2003.
1999 The Longest Journey is completed and Ragnar Tørnquist is pitching ideas, including one that will eventually become TSW.
1997 Ragnar Tørnquist has the original concept idea for the game that will become The Secret World (TSW).
June 20,1928 The Misery arrives in Svalbard, sailing past the port of Longyearbyen. They continue on, sailing through the Scarab Trail and arriving at the Russian mining town of Pyramiden
June 18, 1928 The Misery sails past Bear Island
June 18, 1928 Nicolas Belmont makes his first journal entry and receives a secret signal from Amundsen while waiting with a chartered vessel, the Misery, in a bay. The Latham arrives later that day with Amundsen. They then depart westward into the Arctic Ocean.
June 18, 1928 Amundsen disappears while taking part in a rescue mission.
June 18, 1925 SS Bergensfjord arrives at Halifax.
1924 Nicolas Belmont writes a letter in French on the back of The Photo while in Paris.
December 21, 1921 At 8:12 PM,Nicolas Belmont takes The Photo of the 'gate' and proceeds inside.
December 21, 1921 Nicolas Belmont heads to the Antarctic in a expedition following in Amundsen's footsteps.
1911 Roald Amundsen's expedition to the Antarctic.