Funcom: Layoffs less than half of Oslo studio

Secret World developer contests depth of temporary staff cuts at Norwegian shop

Last month, Funcom confirmed that it was instituting temporary layoffs after the disappointing launch sales of its latest MMO, Secret World. Today the company gave its first comment on the depth of the cuts, telling Develop that the cuts affected fewer than half of the employees at its Oslo studio.

The clarification came in reaction to comments from former Secret World lead designer Martin Bruusgaard, who posted on Twitter this week that he was no longer with Funcom. In an exchange spanning several posts, Bruusgaard said he believed Funcom as a whole was laying off 50 percent of its workforce, but added, "The Oslo office got hit much much harder." He added that the Oslo studio is an expensive operation, making it "cheaper to hire someone abroad."

Secret World launched in June, and has sold just 200,000 copies, according to the company's most recent financial report. The company blamed the disappointing sales on low review scores in the press, and its proximity to the lauches of Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 launches.

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Latest comments (3)

Attila Olas IT- security consultant 5 years ago
No wonder, Funcom destroyed the fan base of AoC, so why some one would buy the new hip product?
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Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike5 years ago
I'm curious how other people feel about this; but I feel that Funcom is an example of a company that really turned (an almost pompous) deaf ear on to what their fan base wanted from them. I'm all for companies going outside of their comfort zone, and attempting to innovate, but it's good to be conscious and respectful of how you got to the point you are at. Funcom was a fantastic story telling, and world building company. They are responsible for some of my all time favorite games. It breaks my heart to see them fall from grace like they are, but I'm also frustrated at their (continuing) need to pursue these MMO type games. How many times do they need to get burned before they learn to not touch the stove burner? And their PR blasts lately of "refusing to play it safe" and continue (belligerently) down the path of dedicating resources and time to these concepts that are not returning for them, it just makes you wonder what the hell they are smoking. I just read recently (on here), that they are going to continue making "more focused and smaller online games." Seriously, WTH? As other people on here have noted, it's ridiculous the amount of finger pointing that has been coming out of Funcom in terms of why their products have been failing. It's no ones fault but their own. They are making games no one wanted, or asked for. The Secret World would of made a brilliant, and compelling single player game - it almost pains me to think what they could of done with that concept outside of an MMO setting. I'm not going to waste time on all the minutiae that I think is wrong with it; The game is cool, has some good ideas, but the "MMO" part feels tacked on and not realized in so many ways. Do you guys think Funcom is going to recover from this? Or did we just witness a great company fall from grace to become an iPhone game developer. What a waste...
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Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
I don't mind if they make iPad/iPhone games as long as they are story driven. I also feel they need to move away from the MMO genre. It's such an all or nothing genre.
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