I somehow managed to miss this interesting piece of information which was released 4 days ago. While it mostly contains financial... stuff that will only be of interest to the investors, it does have some very interesting information about Age of Conan playerbase and Funcom's future plans. The best part is that since it's aimed at the shareholders, there's very little marketing fluff. Let's dig in:
Point #1: as of August 14th, 800,000 copies of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures had been sold and the game had 415,000 active players. 'Active' meaning they either are still playing their free month, or paying for a subscription. Uh oh! That basically means that more than 48% of the customers who bought AoC stopped playing. Things don't look too good here, but maybe 415,000 subscribers (and that's provided those still on their first month will continue playing & paying) are enough to cover Funcom's expenses?
Point #2: Funcom reported a revenue of $13 million in the second quarter of 2008, which was about $1m higher than expected due to bigger AoC box sales. However, the company also reported an operating loss of $5.7 million, which is mostly related to launch costs. Now, they do expect higher revenues in Q3 (between $16m and $20m) but that will depend on whether they can keep existing subscribers or not. And Funcom seems to be trying hard to do just that, Powerpoints and all...
The rest of the report outlines Funcom's plans to enter the market of casual MMORPGs (such as Java-based Runescape which you can play in your browser) in year 2009, and the work on their new large scale MMO, The Secret World. Rest assured Age of Conan and Anarchy Online won't be forgotten either. I know because Funcom's Fancy Chart says so:
Speaking of The Secret World, there were two screenshots from the game in said report:
That reminds me. Someone on the official Age of Conan forums posted a conspiracy theory that AoC was only meant to be a cash cow in order to get enough money for TSW development. That cannot be true, now, can it? Of course not.
Read the report here (it's in .pdf, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat for that... Lagrobat I call it).