November 15, 2008

Funcom's Q3 2008 Financial Report

Funcom's financial report for the third quarter of 2008 has been released, and it contains a lot of interesting information about company's financial situation, their plans for Age of Conan (such as introduction to Russian, Polish and Korean markets), and the status of the upcoming MMORPG title, The Secret World. I'll just outline a few things I found interesting.

First of all, Funcom reported an $18 million revenue this quarter. Their EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Tax) and EAT (Earnings After Tax) were positive ($5.3 and $2.7 million respectively), as opposed to the Q2 2008 figures. Now, I'm no financial expert - it would be fair to say that I'm pretty much clueless - but I as far as I understand, if Funcom made millions of dollars in net earnings during past 3 months things must be going decently for them despite all the doomsayers on the forums. Too bad they didn't reveal Age of Conan's subscriber count this time, and I can't really guess it from the figures given, since box sales and income from Anarchy Online are also counted into that $18 million revenue. They do say that "Increase in Funcom revenues is mainly due to subscription revenues from the Age of Conan game", however.

But let's return to Age of Conan now. Here's a very cool picture of the status of AoC; apparently the game is only one checkmark away from having all MMO success criteria achieved! :) The only thing that separates AoC from global MMORPG market domination is "An RPG rule set that keeps the majority of players engaged for hundreds of hours"; of course that simply means that Age of Conan doesn't keep the players interested for as long as Funcom would like it to.

And here we have the focus areas for the game and the Age of Conan roadmap all the way up to the expansion coming out in Q4 2009. In another page, they promise the loyalty rewards system in Q1 2009; basically the same thing as Powerpoints, only they aren't called powerpoints anymore.

Finally, just before the dry financial figures start, we have this status report and a piece of concept art from company's upcoming MMO game, The Secret World. They have 70 people working on it apparently, and they will start hyping it up in early 2009. TSW will still use DreamWorld, the same graphics engine that AoC and Anarchy Online runs on. I have mixed feelings about this fact, and I hope they can polish the technical side enough since it's no secret that both games had a lot of performance problems.

I must say I'm particularly interested in what they mean by the "MMO gaming combined with Alternate Reality Gaming and social networking" statement. At any rate, TSW seems like it's going to be an original and unique MMORPG, although I'm going to be very careful about any "amazing" features that Funcom promises.

You can download the full report in .pdf format here.


NaturalChaos said...

It's too bad that last check mark didn't ready "Sufficient COMPELLING content for hundreds of hours of game play". Also, I don't see DirectX 10 on their roadmap.

After they way they handled this game do they really think people will buy their next MMO???

Taur said...

While i still play AoC, I think they are overly optimistic if they assume the current playerbase will pay for an expansion next year.

They are going to struggle to keep hold of my subscription, and i am pretty sure i'm not alone there. As it stands, my server population has dropped dramatically... if they don't start thinking about server merges people are going to lose interest. With no-one around there really isn't much to do.


Allan Anderson said...

I'm glad they have good plans, and I hope they execute them well. We'll see.

(NaturalChaos, DirectX 10 is supposed to be on Test-Live servers in a week or two, according to the letter from the director.)

I'm particularly interested in what they do with The Secret World, since I know that Ragnar Tornquist is working on it, and his work in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall are what got me interested in Funcom in the first place. Those two games really showcased the company's talents in storytelling, writing, music, art, and voice acting. Some of the "near future" science fiction aspects of Dreamfall especially seem like they'd fit very well in the sort of disturbing Secret World they are making.

Andrew said...

I got Dreamfall and played it for a bit but haven't finished it yet. I'm in the part where Zoey gets transported to another world. The atmosphere and design of that calm and sunny town where the game starts, and of the medieval Arcadia are really awesome and beautiful. But I didn't like the awkward combat system and those annoying loading screens which pop-up like every 50 meters. I guess you can't have a Funcom game without loading screens :)

I hope TSW will have a fun gameplay and PvP system and not just great storyline (we have single player games for that IMHO).

Yasmina (Allan) said...

Yeah, Dreamfall had its problems: the attempts to wedge in a little hybrid gameplay sort of fell flat for me too, but at least it was kept as just an avoidable side distraction. I blame the constant loading screens and small areas on the Xbox version. It also has a stronger feeling than The Longest Journey did of putting your on rails in service of the cinematic sensibilities of the game, I feel. But the ride is totally worth taking.

I completely agree with you that a multiplayer game has to involve people together. Solo questing after a great storyline...ugh, that's better served in a single player game. Wasn't Funcom supposed to have originally intended to have Tortage be single player, then mix it in with others afterwards?

Sometimes I wish Funcom hadn't realized that MMOs brought in more money, so they could stick to making amazing single-player games. But hey, at least we've got Conan out of it.

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