Funcom

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Funcom Productions A/S
Type Public
Traded as OSE: FUNCOM
Industry Interactive entertainment
Computer and video games
Founded 1993
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Key people Ole Schreiner (CEO)
Products The Longest Journey
Anarchy Online
Age of Conan
Dreamfall
The Secret World
Revenue US$20.062 million (FY 2010)
Operating income Decrease US$0.593 million (FY 2010)
Net income US$5.819 million (Q2 2008)
Employees 282
Website www.funcom.com

Funcom Productions A/S (OSE: FUNCOM) is a Norwegian video game developer specializing in online games. It is best known for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) titles Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, The Secret World and The Longest Journey series of adventure games. In addition to their Oslo headquarters, Funcom has offices in the United States, China, Switzerland, and Canada.[1]

History[edit]

Founded in 1993 by Erik Gloersen, Tyr Neilsen, Andre Backen, Gaute Godager and Olav Mørkrid, the company is one of the leading European independent game developers and publishers.[citation needed] They focus mainly on PC games but have also released games on other consoles such as Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES, Sega Saturn and Xbox.

In December 2005, Funcom was the first Norwegian game developer to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

On March 14, 2007, the company abandoned traditional "offline" product distribution (e.g. on optical discs) in favor of digital distribution completely. The main reason for this decision was claimed to be the financial losses due to software piracy.[2]

On August 21, 2008, Funcom laid off half of its Customer Service department located in Durham, North Carolina. On November 22, 2008, third parties reported that Funcom fired additional 70% of the staff in their US workforce, possibly endangering future releases.[3]

On September 17, 2008, Gaute Godager left Funcom, stating he was dissatisfied with certain elements of Age of Conan, which he directed.[4] Craig Morrison took over the direction of Age of Conan.

On February 23, 2009, Funcom reported financial losses of approximately $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The unsuccessful launch of Age of Conan was cited as the reason for such steep decline. The chief analyst of DnB NOR, Fredrik Thoresen, estimated that 100,000 subscribers played the game at the time of the report, far below the publisher's expectations, though these numbers were not confirmed by Funcom itself.[5]

On September 1, 2009, Funcom announced the establishment of a new development studio in Montreal, Canada. The new studio has worked on Funcom's two MMORPG projects: The Secret World and the Age of Conan expansion pack Rise of the Godslayer.[1]

On September 29, 2009, Funcom announced a reduction of 20% of its staff, resulting in "significant delay" for the release of The Secret World.[6]

All the perceived actions were reflected in the 2010 Annual Financial Report. The current[when?] number of employees is 282 (a 19% reduction to 2009). As the result of the new strategy, the operating results came close to a positive value – in 2010 it reached -US$593 thousand compared to -US$10 798 thousand in 2009.[7]

On July 2, 2012, Funcom announced Ole Schreiner as the new CEO of Funcom and as a new member of the Management Board of Funcom. Ole Schreiner comes from the position of COO of the company, a role he has held for several years.[when?] Ole Schreiner is one of Funcom's longest-serving employees and he has been working directly with titles such as Anarchy Online, Age of Conan and The Secret World in several capacities. Trond Arne Aas, long term CEO of Funcom, took on a new role as Strategic Advisor to the Board and Chief Strategy Officer,[8]

On August 22, 2012, Funcom announced that it laid off half of the company as a cost-adjustment initiative due to the poor performance of their MMORPG The Secret World. Some of the lay-offs were temporary. They blamed this poor performance on the Metacritic score of the game and the launch of competing titles like Diablo III.[9]

On January 10, 2013, Funcom announced that they have initiated a process of restructuring the company around its core products and technology. The restructuring involves, among other things, that some of the company's offices will be closed or consolidated with others. Thus Funcom hope to create a stronger and more effective organization.[10] [11] The company announced on January 17, 2013, that it will lay off some of its staff of their Montreal branch as a part of the restructuring process.[12]

On January 29, 2014, Norwegian economic crime unit Økokrim launched an investigation into suspected infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act connected to the 2012 launch of The Secret World.[13]

On April 24th, 2014, the company reported securing NOK 9.7 million (USD 1.6 million) additional equity.[14] The additional cash boost will help the company to fully prepare for the launch of the LEGO Minifigures MMO in summer 2014. [15]

Portfolio[edit]

The Longest Journey was produced by Ragnar Tørnquist and was very well received both by critics and users. The game was published in 8 languages: English, Norwegian, French, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Russian and Spanish. The game was also released in other countries, but mainly in English-speaking ones.

Anarchy Online is a critically acclaimed online game, more specifically a MMORPG, with 20 international awards. Funcom issued several expansions; The Notum Wars, Shadowlands, Alien Invasion, Lost Eden and Legacy of The Xan. Founder Gaute Godager was the first Game Director, before Marius Enge released Alien Invasion and took over at the release of Shadowlands. However, shortly after the release of Alien Invasion, Morten Byom took over. Later, near the release of the Lost Eden expansion, Byom moved on to the Age of Conan team, and was succeeded as Game Director by Craig Morrison, also known as "Silirrion". Following the game, a book about the pre-history of the planet and a CD with music from the game were released.

In the spring of 2006, the company released the sequel to The Longest Journey for the Xbox and PC, entitled Dreamfall.

Funcom has also developed an online action role-playing video game for PC and console entitled Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. This product utilizes the Conan the Cimmerian franchise license. The PC version of this game was released on May 20, 2008, and the Xbox 360 version was cancelled. As of 2011, the subscription model of the game has been altered to a hybrid one game is marketed as Age of Conan: Unchained. Funcom released an expansion pack for the game called Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer.

The development of their next MMO called The Secret World was announced on May 11, 2007.[16] The game was released on July 3, 2012.

Future[edit]

Funcom has earned a license from the Lego Company to develop a new MMO game for the company, titled Lego Minifigures Online. The game will be child friendly and will be free-to-play.

Developed games[edit]

Title Release Genre Platforms Notes
Lego Minifigures Online 2014 MMORPG PC, Android, iOS
Pets vs. Monsters 2012 MMORPG PC, Mac OS X
Fashion Week Live 2012 Facebook Game Facebook Fashion based social game
The Secret World 2012 MMORPG PC
Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer 2010 MMORPG PC The first expansion pack for Age of Conan
Age of Conan: Unchained 2008 MMORPG PC
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2006 Adventure PC, Xbox
Anarchy Online 2001 MMORPG PC
No Escape 2000 Shooter PC
CMX 1999 Racing PlayStation Developed by Funcom Dublin
The Longest Journey 1999 Adventure PC
Speed Freaks 1999 Racing PlayStation Developed by Funcom Dublin
NBA Hangtime 1997 Sports Mega Drive/Genesis
Casper 1996 Puzzle Adventure Sega Saturn
Impact Racing 1996 Racing PlayStation, Sega Saturn Developed by Funcom Dublin
Dragonheart: Fire & Steel 1996 Action PC, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
Winter Gold 1996 Sports SNES
Nightmare Circus 1996 Action Mega Drive/Genesis
Disney's Pocahontas 1996 Adventure Mega Drive/Genesis
Samurai Shodown 1995 Fighting Mega-CD Ported by Funcom
Fatal Fury Special 1995 Fighting Mega-CD Ported by Funcom
Daze Before Christmas 1994 Action Mega Drive/Genesis, SNES
A Dinosaur's Tale 1994 Adventure Mega Drive/Genesis
World Heroes CD Cancelled Fighting Mega-CD
Steel Rebellion Cancelled Strategy PC
Midgard Cancelled MMORPG PC

Published games[edit]

Title Release Genre Platforms Notes
Bloodline Champions 2011 Action PC Developed by Stunlock Studios

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Funcom establishes new development studio in Montréal". Funcom. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  2. ^ Hagerup, Eivind (2007-03-14). "Funcom drops "offline" PC games". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Funcom Fires 70% of Their U.S. Staff This Morning". TenTonHammer.com. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  4. ^ Purchese, Rob (2008-09-17). "Age of Conan director leaves Funcom". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  5. ^ Tor Øyvind Andersen, Sindre Heyerdahl (2009-02-23). "4. KVARTAL: Blodrødt for Funcom" (in Norwegian). E24 Næringsliv. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  6. ^ "Secret World gets significant delay as Funcom drops 20% of staff". VG247. 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  7. ^ "2010 Annual Financial Report". Funcom. 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Funcom N.V. announces Ole Schreiner as new CEO for the company". Funcom. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  9. ^ Reilly, Jim (2012-08-22). "Funcom Lays Off Half The Company". Game Informer. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  10. ^ "Funcom announces restructuring of the company". Newsweb. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  11. ^ Froholt, Joachim (2013-01-10). "Nye nedbemanninger hos funcom". Gamer. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  12. ^ Heinrich, Jeff (2013-01-17). "Funcom planning ‘significant’ layoffs in Montreal". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  13. ^ Fahey, Mike (29 January 2014). "Investigators Raid Norwegian Game Studio". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.funcom.com/news/funcom_secures_additional_equity
  15. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/216335/Funcom_secures_16M_in_runup_to_LEGO_MMO_launch.php
  16. ^ "The Secret World Revealed". IGN. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 

External links[edit]