Conan 360, The Secret World still on track, says Funcom
Developer staffing up for new projects in 2009, but Conan PC remains priority
Developer Funcom has told GamesIndustry.biz that the console version of MMO Age of Conan and its next online project, The Secret World, are both still on track.
The company laid off support staff in the US last month, but CEO Trond Arne Aas is confident there are no redundancies on the cards for Europe, as it begins recruitment for studios in Oslo and Beijing.
"The need for QA is normally reduced when the first six months of a live product is over and this is the case for Funcom as well," said the CEO, in an interview published today.
"The changes in the US Customer Service operations are partly a result of certain functions being moved to Europe as well as adjustments to reflect the current subscriber levels. Improvements in the game have also led to less demand for Customer Service personnel, something we are of course very happy about."
While Age of Conan on PC remains a priority for the firm, the developer is also beginning projects in the casual market, as well as continuing to push Age of Conan on the Xbox 360 and develop its next ambitious MMO title, The Secret World.
"We had high expectations when we first set out to do a console version of Age of Conan, and these remain high," said Arne Aas. "Even though Age of Conan is an MMO that is especially suited to the console platform, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of tailoring it for the Xbox 360 console.
"The Xbox 360 game will also contain most, if not all of the content and improvements that have been made to the PC version of the game," he added.
The evolution of Age of Conan since launch has been useful for the team working on The Secret World, influencing design and providing improved technical assistance, said Arne Aas.
"The development of The Secret World continues and we are expanding the development team at a steady pace.
"This is a very exciting project for us, and the team working on it has been able to draw on the innovations of Age of Conan for quite some time now – especially from a technological standpoint."
But for the immediate future, the expansion to Age of Conan is the number one priority for Funcom.
"The work with improving and expanding Age of Conan continues with relentless force, and we look forward to introducing a number of great updates in the months ahead," he said. "We are also putting a lot of effort into our launches in Russia and Poland, and we look forward to working more with the Asian markets."
The full interview with Trond Arne Aas, where he discusses Age of Conan, The Secret World, and more, can be read here.