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Funcom CFO resigns following $23.3m loss

Estimates put Age of Conan subscribers at below 100,000

Funcom has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter, revealing an operating loss of USD 23.3 million, caused by a depreciation of USD 22.8 million due to the lagging performance of Age of Conan.

The poor performance is compounded by the announcement that the company's chief financial officer, Olav Sandnes, has resigned from the position.

"Funcom is a company with a substantial potential based on a unique combination of skill sets in a fast growing global market. I wish Trond Aas and the rest of the organisation all the best in realising the full potential of the company," commented Sandnes.

While Funcom's cash position remains robust at USD 39.4 million, the company reported a full-year net loss of USD 33.8 million. According to estimates by DnB NOR Markets, subscriber levels for Age of Conan are below 100,000, reports E24.

However, revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 rose to USD 8.7 million, up from USD 1.2 million year-on-year, due to subscription revenues from the MMO.

Shortly after Age of Conan launched, Funcom saw subscriber levels of 400,000, which rocketed up to 700,000 within a few months.

"Age of Conan was the third best-selling PC game in 2008 in the US market, after World of Warcraft and Spore," the company explained, saying it was hampered by "shorter average subscription periods than anticipated".

"The company's current sales and marketing initiatives focus on launches in new territories, as well as revitalising Age of Conan in existing core markets."

Earlier this year, Funcom announced that it would be closing over half of its servers for the MMO, reducing the number from 49 to 18. This followed the resignation of Funcom's co-founder, Gaute Godager, who said he was "dissatisfied" with Age of Conan.

The company predicts that the first quarter of 2009 will see revenues between USD 6 million and 8 million, stemming from Age of Conan subscriptions.

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