Age of Conan creator axes staff

Funcom confirms "cost efficiency and reorganization of certain teams" has led to an unspecified number of layoffs.

The Hyborian Age was a turbulent time in Robert E. Howard's fantasy universe, and much the same holds true for the massively multiplayer online game created in its honor. Over the weekend, MMOG enthusiast site Ten Ton Hammer reported that Age of Conan developer Funcom had laid off up to 70 percent of its US workforce as of last week, with the cuts primarily coming from the customer-service and quality-assurance teams.

Funcom's towering ogre department also saw cutbacks.

In a post to Age of Conan's official message boards yesterday, Funcom corroborated in part TTH's report, noting that though some staff cuts had been made, the developer had also filled an undisclosed number of vacant positions.

"As some of you probably already have read on various websites over the weekend, Funcom has cut some of its staff," reads the post. "The reasons being cost efficiency and reorganization of certain teams and departments. This also includes hiring new people for opening positions in the organization. Such changes due to efficiency and performance initiatives are vital to any business and is to make sure that Funcom as a business stays on course. So this process was to re-adjust our cost base in some areas while increasing investment in others. This is a natural part of adjusting to the changing markets."

The Norwegian developer did not quantify its restructuring efforts in terms of head count, and had not returned request for further comment as of press time.

Since launching to solid reviews and commendable sales in May, Age of Conan has since hit turbulent winds. Notably, Funcom cofounder and Age of Conan game director Gaute Godager resigned his position in September, saying, "I have done my very best making this fabulous game, but I have concluded there are elements which I am dissatisfied with." Later that month, Funcom revealed plans to consolidate its North American and European servers to create "more healthy populations on each and every server."

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Discussion

94 comments
stianrin
stianrin

Simply love this game. Been playing for a month now. Will be playing for many many more. Only problem is it takes up all my gaming time. Almost too good=)

dantcm
dantcm

Great game, way better than WOW.Superior graphics, sound, more realistic gameplay and the story itself make this game a winner.By the time i bought the game, the patches allready came and had fixed things up...I hope they will do something about those - 70% - we need all the support we can get...

HeavyMetalBard
HeavyMetalBard

This game had so much potential. They made it too easy with too many instances.

HeavyMetalBard
HeavyMetalBard

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mortalsting
mortalsting

Finally AoC gets decent content and a lot of fun! Worth of coming back! Good job FC!

sirkel28
sirkel28

This game is the biggest rip off I have ever played. Good example of advertising and deception selling a complete pile of crap. Hope Funcom goes out of business.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

This is all just smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that (and stay with me now): Age of Conan is NOT doing well. It's failing. Fast.

Rhubarb9
Rhubarb9

"with the cuts primarily coming from the customer-service and quality-assurance teams." yeah Age of Conan definitely need less of that stuff!

juggalo
juggalo

only just picked it up....will be gutted if it goes offline!

bornej
bornej

This is a great game. I hope it stays around.

duckduden
duckduden

An other great game on its way down. It was over yped and that was its downfall.

jimkirk
jimkirk

maybe if they paid me $15 bux a month i may may come back nah never mind its boring

Ngeldu5t
Ngeldu5t

The game is what it should have been at release,so I`m giving it a try...if there's still players around :( There's no need to powerlevel my toon.

dpunch
dpunch

WOW, people really have no idea how great this game is. Yes it had a troubled beginning but it is SO MUCH different now. The game is where it should have been at launch, stable, polished, and LOADS OF FUN! I'm sure Funcom will give out a free month to those of you that currently own the game in the near future. I URGE YOU TO TRY IT THE GAME IS AMAZING!

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

hmm... i've looked up something the other day and you know what? the most next played MMO is only 3 million away from wow ;) and what was the with lineage 1 and 2 is only 50%? i think lineage 1 and 2 have 7 million gamers, so that is no 50% come again people, don't be tards. you should really look stuff up before you just say a lot of crap.

Sanchez
Sanchez

The game is fantastic and working well.. For those that spam hate based on playing a MMO for the first 2 months.. Learn to know what a MMO is .. A ever changing game. It's totally different to the release version now and is exactly what it should be.. very fun to play.

Petros957
Petros957

When I was young the Conan novels were my favorites. So when this MMO was announced I was so stoked. I wasn't chosen for beta participation, but I still bought the game when it was released. Then reality set in... 1. The game wouldn't install correctly (I eventually got it to run, but I suspect that my DVD had serious errors). 2. As part of this process I had to download 15GB of content. (Which was truely tedious given it took 3 attempts to get the game installed so that I could play it.) 3. Then I was faced with the fact that Customer/Technical support was non-existent! Every attempt to contact them in the first 6 weeks failed. After which they were apologetic, but the Devs had begun their NERF fest. 4. The game eventually became unplayable. Each new patch increased my ping times to the server. And they weren't even trying to fix quest bugs. So after 8 weeks I quit. My experience was so negative that doubt I will ever play a Funcom title in the future. So despite this game having nice graphics, and a lot of cool ideas, it wasn't ready for release. Gaute Godager only confirmed this with his resignation. And I have no confidence that the rest of their "team" will ever turn this game around. They should just save themselves the time and money and Shut the Servers Down.

BloodMist
BloodMist

This game was just another one of those countless games that had huge hype, but didn't really deliver anything.Especially facing a juggernaut like WoW, you gotta really do some new and interesting stuff to differentiate, and other than really nice graphics , AoC simply didn't do that.Personally, i wasn't surprised, i always played a believe when i see approach.Certainly never saw anything special.

DPhunkT
DPhunkT

... I could care a less about any Conan game, but you have to admit...that was a GOOD PUN!

BikerPunk
BikerPunk

this game had serious POTENTIAL, however, it just didnt reach that level. I think they had something very good here. Even with the lack of races, the concept was excellent. for those who thing more races are better....not everyone loves fantasy. I enjoyed the human on human wars. the Guild Battles...it was epic....until your PC crashed due to mem leaks, and you fell through the ground....and died....or when you fell through the ground and DIDNT DIE!!! then spent 3 horus running around trying to find a point low enough to jump back into the world...which happened to me.....GM response was horrid as well. i don think the game was bad. i think the support teams where bad. and to cut them, just means less support, less repairs/fixes/attention to user requests/demands. good game + horrid support = epic fail.

Scullyy
Scullyy

how will this affect tlj :( ?

Prosercunus
Prosercunus

The game was really great looking, it had a really cool concept with an awesome story and a great looking world. To bad the Gameplay sucked and the bugs were adherently apparent. Its really to bad, the Conan universe has some of the best lore to play around with and these guys turned into a polished turd.

Warchief_Zuljin
Warchief_Zuljin

I predicted it would fail, and I was right. Aiming it at "mature" audiences and only letting players be humans guaranteed it's downfall. All the bugs just sped up it's demise.

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

@ -Celeste-: Why does everyone think you can get balance is a PVP game with 8-10 classes? You cant. *cough* Guild Wars *cough*

TheFarwind
TheFarwind

Dang, I actuallly liked this game. The only reason i dont play it is the monthly subscription. other than that i think that the gameplay and story far outclass WoW.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

people seriously need to stop comparing games to wow. Wow is never going to die. Ever. Aside from WoW, the next biggest subscriber base was from Korean based Lineage 1 and Lineage 2 and even at the pinnacle combined from both don't even come close to 50% of what WoW has now.

yuri19
yuri19

...and another MMO withers away

Foggel
Foggel

In my honest opinion I liked AoC. I cancelled my subscription because of all the bugs. The memory leaks was a digital trigger for my stress hormones. But as I read earlier in comments: to use Funcom as a scale of how weak a game is, is just wrong. Maybe a "disapointment-scale." But I've played far worse. I, for one, am giving The Secret World a chance. I think it will turn out to be a nice surprise.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

The game was sold on a 'adult' theme and nothing else. A successful MMO does not lay off the people who work to improve it. Don't waste your time with this game as it's only a matter of time before the servers are turned off.

-Celeste-
-Celeste-

Why does everyone think you can get balance is a PVP game with 8-10 classes? You cant. There are wayyyyyy to many variables to try and account for in balancing those classes 1v1 that get compounded to extremes once you go 2v2 or 3v3 or higher. You will NEVER see balance in MMO's so long as there is gear with stats, different class, and different specs. Face up to it. If you want balanced PvP games, go play FPS or something were everyone is the same.

NemesisLives
NemesisLives

That's it! Who just asked about a 360 version of this game? Do you really need this crappy game on a 360? That's if it would even be able to run it. Some people just need a slap /slap

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

Lack of content and horrendous PvP balance killed this game for me. For a PvP focused game, you had better get balance right or pack your bags. Barbarian vs. my Demonologist? I might as well just sit there and watch him kill me, because there was absolutely nothing I could do. Demonologists were a joke, as were Necromancers, and Barbarians were so insanely OP it was ridiculous. Will never give AoC or Funcom a second chance, no matter how many bugs they fix because at it's core, the game is fundamentally flawed.

Targzissian
Targzissian

I bought the game, but I'm not installing it until they get DX10 up and running. As it stands now it is still not what was promised during development. This game had better not go the way of Tabula Rasa, which I also bought but will wait until after Dec. 10 to register, so that I can play through Feb. 28 for free.

rodhrp
rodhrp

This game is dead.....don't touch it with a 10 ft pole

racerx719
racerx719

This game just needs to lay down and die.. and I will take WAR or EQ2 over WoW Anyday of the week..

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

70% of the work force!? That's like keeping the cleaner and the guy who makes coffé and firing everyone else. I like the fact that they tried to shake up the MMORPG genre by making it a little more action based. But let's be honest. Funcom didn't really deliver on the rest of the game and it felt rushed, which resulted in people canceling their account. A logical explanation. Also now with WoW and Warhammer on the market. The MMORPG genre won't open up for a new title just because it has some boobs and blood in it. The game itself has to be good too.

kid-poker1973
kid-poker1973

Two years from now people will be saying "Remember that game with the Boobies and Beheadings?"....and the reply will be...."eeeeeh vaguely" But when you mention the name Funcom...People will shudder. AoC was a WONDERFUL idea poorly...let me repeat that POORLY executed. As WoW is associated with the very BEST in the business....Funcom will be the point of reference to gauge the losers. "Yeah that game was weak, but it was no Funcom game."

magusat999
magusat999

Should not have scrapped singleplayer mode. Now as the online community dries up there will be no reason whatsoever to buy it! What a bone-head move...

BlisteringDDj
BlisteringDDj

This game is pretty damn good, but it just fails with all the bugs. Everybody know that all mmorpgs have come with a lot of bugs though, so by the next years it will probably live up to more than the standards of mmorpgs. If Funcom just focused on expanding the game after you've leveled up, I'm sure people will give it a second chance,

Shadowhawk000
Shadowhawk000

Nothing can beat WOW I have seen so many new MMO's like AOC and Warhammer online try to but just end up failing.. Oh well..

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

I think they really shot themselves with the engine they used. Back at launch it was hard to play at a med steady framerate even with an sli setup. That and the fact that they had to cut or delay a lot of high end content. That alienated the remaining people by not giving them anything to do at cap. But it did look GOOD, and I had fun with it. More fun than I had playing WoW. But then again, I'm really slow to lvl.

Zweikin
Zweikin

Creating a good MMO is much like creating a good sandbox game. As soon as you pop one out you're compared to GTA, or in this case WoW. Unfortunately, WoW seems to be perfect. Granted, we WoW players complain about everything, but then again that's human nature. Look at politics. Do you know how to make a perfect MMO? You don't. They don't exist. I'm sorry. Instead, make one which is NOT based entirely around one flashy new device like arrow buttons to attack. Instead, build a decent game with plenty of instances, raid content, PvP areas, and everything else which makes a casual and hardcore players heart flutter. /shakes fist...

Sw0rDMaN
Sw0rDMaN

Ya well this game sucks and nobody cares about it

bawathegamer
bawathegamer

I want another Longest JOurney. I have never played and will probably never play an mmo ,especialy ones that cost 15 buks a month. I loved the first Longest JOurney. It in my top 3 adventure games ever. The 2nd one was great 2. I heard they were gonna make episodes or somthing. I would totally buy that. But i dont want monthly episodes.6 monthly is fine. I want them to be chunkier in content.

lev_six
lev_six

This game was released a year too early. They ripped off a lot of people. You reap what you sow. GOOD LUCK, FUNCOM! HA ha ha!!!!

Vambran
Vambran

Man there are too many MMORPGS out there. With normal Games people can rent or buy a bunch each month beat them and move on. But with These you have to make a commitment and pay per month so not many people are having two or more MMORPGS on the go.

hazeropeth
hazeropeth

from the way the game has been since launch i hadn't even realised they had a customer service or quality assurance teams