Funcom confirms studio closures, layoffs

The Secret World developer initiates restructuring process that includes consolidation of offices and teams across company's global presence.

The Secret World and Age of Conan developer Funcom has begun a restructuring process that includes studio closures, layoffs, and "the streamlining of internal processes," the company announced today. Funcom has offices in Norway, Canada, China, Switzerland, and the United States, though it is not clear which outfits were affected or how deep the staff cuts were.

A Funcom representative was not immediately available to comment. Specific results of the restructuring will be made available once the process is complete.

According to the announcement, Funcom will come out of the restructuring "better equipped to realize the strategy of building high-quality MMO games," including the upcoming Lego MMO in development at the studio's Oslo, Norway outfit.

"Through providing more organizational focus and strengthening the competence of a joint central team that will continue to operate and enhance these games, the company will work towards increasing their profitability and continue to provide exciting experiences for existing, returning and new players of these online worlds," reads a line from the statement.

Funcom said the recent free-to-play relaunch of The Secret World has been especially successful, with "activity levels" in the game rising 400 percent. Additionally, more than 70,000 copies of the game (nearly 30 percent of all previous sales) were sold in the past four weeks.

The Secret World launched in early July 2012, selling 200,000 copies by the end of August and becoming profitable a month later.

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Discussion

43 comments
Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

They shouldn't have focused their time and resources on MMOs in my opinion.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Goodness Christ, I've stuck by your side Funcom and I've been a good sport and have bought just about every game you have made in the hopes you would finally give the resources needed for TLJ to Ragnor Tornquist.  But instead, you keep doing these crazy ambitous ideas which while cute - you are completely ignoring your fan base, and then you slap us in the face with your stubbornness to not give up MMO's which have brought your company to its knees.  Are you people being run by imbeciles? Seriously - how have you not gotten message we don't want you to make MMO's.  Why the fascination?  The only reason I see your interest is the BLATANT cash grab of the MMO business model - which sucks.    Ragnor is still making Dreamfall Chapters with another company from what I understand, anyway - RIP Funcom.

Deugar
Deugar

As long as development on Dreamfall Chapters isn't affected, I could care less. I never understood Funcoms obsession with MMO games.

Matty_gamer
Matty_gamer

the fuck is this shit man? I want me some longest journey!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUNCOM PLHEASEEE!!

KniteWulfe
KniteWulfe

So does this mean that the DX9 graphics update promised over and over (originally scheduled for release in 2008) for Anarchy Online isn't actually coming?  *cries*

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

its okay Funcom, just ask Blizzard how they do it.  better luck next time...

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

I always get Funcom mixed up with the old Funco video game store.

fredwv
fredwv

bummer.  Anarchy Online was my all time favorite mmo.   Miss those days....

MindwalkerX
MindwalkerX

The Secret World is one of the most compelling and interesting mmos i've ever played, wierd enough, it's seems to somehow lead you to play on your own, it could have some instance based missions(if there is, im unaware), where you create the room and people join in then everyone depart to the quest, to reinforce the MP aspect. 

It should've been B2P from the beginning btw, anyway, i think the game has some really good production values, really nice quests and i hope it suceeds as a B2P.

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

i like Funcom alot...

i am sad to hear this...

i wish their employees & company well...

& hope for future success...

i really think if Secret World was sold like Guild Wars 2 at the beginning, it might of done well, that & had a different release date of when it did...

there were a few MMOs that came out right around the time of when it did...

the game still looks beautiful & the story, puzzles, & atmosphere are what make this game unique from other MMOs...

its not for everyone but i am still digging it alot...

Mr_BillGates
Mr_BillGates

Let this be a lesson to developers. Stop making MMORPG. It's a crappy genre that's only passable as a free software.

k_h_a_n
k_h_a_n

don't shut down before releasing the next installment of DREAMFALL...DREAMFALL CHAPTERS, I suppose..waited for many years and the wait is still on

monson21502
monson21502

its all fun and games till some1 gets laidoff

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

:( sad news..... I feel sorry for the people who are trying to make it in the video game world tuff      buisness to get into.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Secret World should have been a single-player or co-op game, not an MMO. Just because World of Warcraft turns a massive profit does not mean everything in the genre will magically do the same. Getting in prior to 2004 is the only way to guarantee a success, and good luck doing that now...

Akozz888
Akozz888

Sad news, Anarchy Online is the best MMORPG ever made and one of the most influential IMO. It's older than WoW and still alive, that mean something today.

Elann2008
Elann2008

Gosh.. it's like all I read in news articles today are lay-offs.  So much uncertainty in the world. Well, The Secret World is a very unique MMO and it's a blast to play.  With today's gaming market, the majority flock to the popular, "it" games, and they don't bother with games that deserve a chance.  

nurnberg
nurnberg

The Secret World was quite a flop, so it's no surprise that they have financial difficulties.

Stedmister
Stedmister

@pip3dreamHis using his own company Red Thread Games with permission from Funcom, they hold the IP and will be publishing it. I can't wait.

thorn3000
thorn3000

@bongsyas_23 you mean like steal others ideas, incorporate them all in one game and sell that as an ultimate mmo product without bringing anything truly new and with each expansions just incorporating ideas that other developers had? yeah, way to earn cash, activison-blizzard rules once more...

surrealme
surrealme

@k_h_a_n A sequel is currently in development at a new studio founded by Ragnar Tornquist with the support of Funcom.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@TheCyborgNinja EVE Online started in 2003, but it's a world of its own and its success seems to be an anti-WoW approach. It's doing so good because it's not beginner friendly, but rather as deep as to discourage new players (probably the community does that too). Though there are several successful MMO's around, it's just that no one is even close to overthrowing WoW and few are subscription based anymore.

Undietaker
Undietaker

@Akozz888 You couldn't be more right, AO is the top dog.

Funcom need to put all their efforts back into it, finally push out the new engine, rebalance, new starter zones and the steam release that the player base as been waiting way too long for and get to work advertising it again.

It's still to this day the most unique MMO on the market and deserves another day in the spotlight.

Khasym
Khasym

@Elann2008 I disagree Elann. TSW had a lot of ambition, but it felt like it was a woefully unfinished project that got pushed out the door. The problem the industry faces, is pretty much what you said about the majority. The majority of money lenders and overseers, want to BE in on the next "it" IP. But they want it when it's the most profit to them, not the studios that work like dogs to make em. So IP's like TSW, Tera, and a few others that really showed promise of something different, are getting shoved out before some polish could've really helped them.

megakick
megakick

@King9999 @megakick Sort of is. Anarchy Online was their only good innovative game and that wasn't the greatest.

pip3dream
pip3dream

@surrealme @k_h_a_n I have to say, without the backing of a  major studio with major $$$ - I worry about the quality of the next dreamfall game.  Dreamfall had crazy high production values - the focus on the story, acting, music was made that game what it was.

midgar
midgar

@mindpurge

I for one will definitely resub when the new engine launches, even if the game will be completely new to me after having been gone for some time. There is SO much to do in that game, it's a bit much for new players, and even old ones such as myself who have been gone since around LE.

What I really wish they'd do is either a sequel, or a reboot of AO classic + NW with the new engine. I'd give anything for a vanilla server, or just a new game entirely. AO is literally the only MMO I've ever enjoyed for more than a year (8+ in fact...)

mindpurge
mindpurge

@megakick @King9999 Anarchy Online is an awesome game, it's just complicated to get into once you start using Nanos and Transplants and tweaking armor in order to equip other armor.


And I think once the new graphic engine is finally implemented it's going to breath new life into it. It truly is a very good game.

King9999
King9999

@megakick @King9999 Devs can make a great game but still not do well financially.  These things happen.  You don't have to make a bad game to go under.