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Funcom financials reveal Secret World disappointment

Funcom financials reveal Secret World disappointment

Wed 29 Aug 2012 7:45am GMT / 3:45am EDT / 12:45am PDT
Financial

Revenues fall, press reaction and MMO rivals blamed

Funcom's financial reports for Q2 2012 showed falling revenue, falling profit and a disappointing sales for its big subscription MMO The Secret World.

The game has sold just 200,000 copies since its launch on June 29, despite more than double that number of gamers signing up for the beta.

Funcom saw revenue drop to $2.6m, compared to $3.1m for the same period last year. In terms of profits the company actually saw a loss of $49m, compared to $3 million the previous year.

"Initial sales of The Secret World have been below expectations, as communicated in the stock notice of August 10," said Funcom.

"The Company still considers it likely that sales for the 12 months period following launch of the game will be less than half of what was presented in the Conan-like scenario in 1Q presentation."

It blamed low scores in the press, and the proximity and popularity of the Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 launches for the disappointing sales.

It's currently starting development on a LEGO Minifigures free-to-play MMO.

"Funcom will concentrate it's new development on more focused, systems-driven games that have a high degree of community and player interaction. These games require less time and development cost to bring to market."

It will also be making cost-cutting measures, including staff cuts. Just last week it confirmed job losses at the company.

"The Company are working towards ensuring that all of the live games as well as the company are cash-flow positive."

9 Comments

Simon Marks
Director

2 1 0.5
Having tried the free weekend recently it just drove home why subscription MMOs are a tough sell. When there are plenty of good quality Free-to-play MMOs out there (GW2, WoT, LoL, etc.) it feels onerous to shell out once for a game and then again for the pleasure of playing it.

I know that Funcom said that they are going to stick with the subscription model - but it seems like the equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'I can't hear you' to the reality that is all around them.

It's a pity - the game is actually a lot of fun to play - just not enough to warrant a subscription fee. CF SWTOR, etc.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Hugo Dubs
Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
I know that Funcom said that they are going to stick with the subscription model
How to shoot you a bullet in the foot.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I see Funcom are still pointing the finger of blame for the game's failure at everyone else.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
I don't totally disagree with pointing the finger at those games... the problem is that those games are a much better proposition. Sorry, Funcom, I'm sure The Secret World is fun, but is it $15 a month more fun? Especially than Guild Wars 2. No, absolutely not. I'd argue it's not more fun at all, but then we're getting into more subjective stuff.

The sad truth is, if your game was better and a better value proposition, you wouldn't be in this situation. But it's not, and it isn't, and Guild Wars 2 will eat you alive.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Pablo Santos
Developer

23 18 0.8
One thing I heard many times among the community is that many players did not buy the game because Funcom promised features in the Age of Conan back when it was not yet free-to-play, dragged the subscriptions in order to implement them and in the end did not deliver.

@Nicholas: This is a subjective matter indeed. [gamer_opinion on] I am the kind of player that is fed up with the generic-medieval-fantastic-setting MMOs around. To people like me, TSW is a refreshing choice. [gamer_opinion off]

I think The Secret World is a game that has the potential to hit a specific niche, much like the way Eve-online did (and still does).

Posted:A year ago

#5

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
@ Pablo I can certainly see how it might fill a niche, but it was considerably more expensive to develop (and probably maintain) than EVE Online was, and they were expecting it to compete with the big dogs, even if they didn't expect it to beat them out. I don't think The Secret World will exist as a P2P game for more than another 6 months, if that, and I think even after going F2P it will struggle against more robust games that were developed on a much higher budget like Guild Wars 2 and the newly F2P SWTOR.

PS: Just FYI, there's some pretty neat, unique, non-standard medieval fantasy stuff in GW2. You should look into it some. ;-)

Posted:A year ago

#6

Eric Leisy
VR Production Designer

116 125 1.1
I have been a fan of Funcom since the late 90's - they've made some fantastic games. Their current fascination with online games I simply just don't get. They are in some ways giving a big middle finger to their fans. They need to stop messing around with these damn MMO's and they should go back to what they are GOOD at: And that's making single player adventure games. They use to be one of the top studios in the world for this. If they actually made the game that we've been waiting for them to make for the last 6 years, I think they could actually sell some copies - And that is the sequel to Dreamfall. I bought both Conan and TSW, simply as pity purchases in hopes that they would finally finish the dreamfall series. At this point, they are going to run their company into the ground creating games no one asked for. TSW might of actually made a decent single player game, and there are a lot of great things it does... but I just don't really see how they were expecting a blockbuster to come out of that game.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Simon Marks
Director

2 1 0.5
And that's making single player adventure games
Personally I would happily have TSW as a single-player game. I like the setting, the gameplay, etc. - didn't see much reason to group up with anyone.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,017 1,463 1.4
I too, would kill for a sequel to Dreamfall. If they kickstarted that they could have my money!

Posted:A year ago

#9

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