You can view the 89 page Funcom Annual Report for 2008 in .pdf form. We’ll run down some highlights for you.
- Age of Conan pre-sold more than any original PC game launch in history, with 1.2 million copies of the game shipped to retailers.
- Anarchy Online will celebrate its eight year anniversary in June 2009.
- A new Game Director for Anarchy Online was appointed, and his team spearheaded the development of the new booster pack, Legacy of Xan.
- By the end of 2008 over 300 full-time employees were working with Funcom, located in offices in Switzerland, Norway, USA and China.
- Some operations were scaled back after the launch of Age of Conan, including Customer Service and Quality Assurance, while other teams saw growth, most notably in China.
- In 2008 Funcom started development of two Free-To-Play MMOs, with continued development on The Secret World and Anarchy Online.
- In addition to developing two F2P MMOs, Funcom has begun the research phase on a third.
- Funcom aims to emerge as a leading independent developer of F2P games.
- Funcom continues to invest in Age of Conan and expect the next 6-9 months to show whether they can once again enter a growth phase with the game.
- Funcom’s next large scale MMO, The Secret World, has started PR.
- Free-To-Play MMOs in beta testing.
- Funcom continues to develop their DreamWorld Engine, and have about 30 programmers working on it.
- In 2008 Funcom sold its interest in Plutolife, which concluded its involvement in the mobile gaming sector.
- In January and February 2009 the Group launched localized versions of Age of Conan in Poland and Russia with positive gamer and press recentpion.
- On February 23, 2009 Olav Sandnes gave notice of resignation as CFO. Mr. Sandnes left the company to take up a new position in a different industry.
- On March 5, 2009 options to acquire shares were granted to key personnel in Funcom.
Financial Calendar for 2009
Monday, 23 February – Q4 2008
Friday, 15 May – Q1 2009
Wednesday, 26 August – Q2 2009
Thursday, 12 November – Q3 2009
All financial bits have been left out to avoid putting anyone to sleep.
Rock Paper Shotgun interviews Funcom’s Ragnar Tørnquist. They talk about Tørnquist’s involvement with Anarchy Online, storyline, learning from other MMOs, TSW class progression, the world for The Secret World and more. Here’s a little snip on guilds:
RPS: Any plans for guilds, player-built objects?
Tørnquist: We’ll have something called cabals, which is our version of guilds, and there will be something tied to that which allows players to make a permanent stamp on the world. I can’t say too much about it, but there are mechanics for creating networks and allowing people to feel like they are part of something bigger.
Quest for the Flag is a new site dedicated to bringing people together to raise $15,000 and win an auction for Roald Amundsen’s Expedition Flag. Roald Amundsen led the first Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole and is also the first person to reach both the North and South Poles. Amundsen was a central figure in the initial reveal and story for Funcom’s upcoming MMORPG, The Secret World. The auction is taking place on May 7th, and if the group wins the flag they will return it to Norway and present is to Funcom’s Ragnar Tørnquist, producer of TSW. You can read more about the community venture at Quest for the Flag.
MMOSite features a new Secret World interview with Ragnar Tornquist. They talk about the awesome trailer footage we saw from GDC, the demon, the no-level system, the game’s setting, quests and the state of development. Give it a read!
Durham, USA – April 7th, 2009 – Dark days are coming. The words are now everywhere. After deciding to make the development its next massively multiplayer online game a little less secret, Funcom have now released information, artworks and the first ever trailer video for ‘The Secret World’. Journalists across the world recently had the chance to sit down and talk to game director Ragnar Tørnquist about the new game and hear his vision, thus generating reports on websites everywhere such as Eurogamer, GameTrailers, and MMORPG.com.
“It is great to finally be able to talk about The Secret World, after several years in the dark,” says senior producer and director Ragnar Tørnquist. “The real world is such a rich and fascinating setting for an MMO, and we are able to draw inspiration from ancient history, stories of lost cities and forgotten civilizations, folktales, urban legends, conspiracy theories and pop culture. We are building a game that mixes modern day Earth with terrifying monsters, dark and occult magic, cool weapons and awesome powers – and it’s unlike anything you have ever seen before in an MMO.”
‘The Secret World’ takes place in our own, modern-day world. Players can explore locations such as New York, London, and Seoul, as they unravel the mysteries, legends and myths that make up our world and its history. But the real and realistic will clash with the unreal and fantastical, as the darkness of the secret world approaches. Not only will ‘The Secret World’ offer a setting never before experienced in an MMO, Funcom is also expanding on the genre standards by introducing gameplay that is not based on classes or levels. Players will have the freedom to become whatever they want to be and play however they want to play, allowing them to explore the world at will and master anything from voodoo and black magic to martial arts and modern firearms.
By following this link you can download a fact sheet, artworks, and the first ever trailer video for ‘The Secret World’. These assets are meant to capture the spirit and vision of the game and its world, giving the viewer a small, but significant glimpse into what can be expected when the game is launched. Funcom have also made updates to the official website – www.darkdaysarecoming.com – and gamers are now invited to leave their name and e-mail. In the future, exclusive information will be provided to those who choose to sign up.
IGN is the latest site to show up with a preview for The Secret World. In their preview they confirm that there are other videos which have not been seen by the public yet. There is a longer version of the HD trailer that was released today, which we will have to wait to see.
“The gist of the videos goes something like this: a normal human in the real world is going about everyday tasks when they suddenly encounter something completely supernatural or paranormal. Then the gloves come off. This is a game that’s going to be centered heavily on combat. It’s also interesting because it’s an MMO that will not have rigid classes or even experience levels. Instead, you can amass different abilities into you character and, if you want, you can respec your character at any time. Instead of creating a new character from scratch, just take your existing character and modify abilities as needed.”
Here’s another little bit on budget and voice actors:
“This is also a big budget project. Ragnar said that the game currently has a voice cast of more than 100 actors, and that they’ve recorded in cities around the globe, including New York and London. This sounds similar to Funcom’s adventure game Dreamfall, which had a stellar voice cast that was also assembled from around the globe.”
CryGaia has posted the fact sheet for The Secret World. The poster covers the very basics of the game. You can also find links to the trailers and screenshots in the forum here.
Nyte of CryGaia has started a thread in the official TSW Forum for fans of the upcoming game to post potential interview questions. Ragnar Tornquist will be fielding the questions for this community Q&A.
MMO Hub takes their first look at The Secret World, along with the rest of the GDC 2009 press. Here’s a snip on the subject of platforms.
Right now, “The Secret World” is planned for 360 and PC, and both versions will remain unique; so no playing on a PC with your 360 pals. The developers are trying to keep the games basically the same, but obviously issues of control, chat, etc. will differ. One thing that they did make clear is that, since some people will prefer to use controllers given the realtime, skill-oriented combat, the PC version will offer full Xbox 360 controller support, and settings to make it play just fine with one.
As for a PS3 or Mac version? Those are in the air until they see how other titles do with their launches on the two consoles.
The GDC 2009 The Secret World trailer kicks serious butt. And I do mean SERIOUS! So if you haven’t seen it yet, stop by VE3D for a look! This should get everyone’s blood pumping for TSW pretty good.