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Funcom Loses Cash, CFO

Gamesindustry.biz has a story in Funcom's fourth quarter financial reporting, saying the company had operating losses of $23.3 million, said to be caused by underperformance by Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, their fantasy-themed MMORPG, which made an initial splash, but suffered "shorter average subscription periods than anticipated." Additional word is Olav Sandnes, the company's CFO, has resigned the company, offering an optimistic quote about the mess: "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."
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14. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 21:36 Cutter
 
And saying that Wow charges 14.95 a month so everyone can charge that is rubbish. Other MMO's would be wise to charge less than Wow because nothing approaches it's success. It's an insult to charge as much as WoW does when you're in Conan's state. Warhammer did the same thing, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't worth 14.95 a month either.

That's exactly right. WoW is the 800lb gorilla and people will willingly pay it. Every other MOG is charging way too much. I'd go so far to as to say $5 would be even more reasonable than $10, nevermind $15. Most MOGs don't have near the content, nor quality of content, that WoW does either. That or forgo the cost of the client. Most MOGs shouldn't be charging for a client if they want to get new customers.

Some like EQ2 do, but SOE's major problem - and it's the real reason EQ2 has done better - is that it nickels and dimes everyone to death. Every few months there's another overpriced expansion that should be released as content to justify the monthly fee. If they ever come to grasp that simple fact they'd be able to regain some of their former glory.

When any other business is failing or starting or trying to attract new business, they agressively cut pricing. This is something that we haven't really ever seen in gaming, and certainly not with MOGs. Which is absolutely ridiculous when you consider it. But, if these companies can't even grasp those simple business fundamentals, then they deserve to fail.
 
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13. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 17:23 Ventura
 
It's not really the amount of the monthly fee that bothered me. It's that the game was incomplete, and that the further you got, the less content there was to keep you going.

I made it to about mid 40's, early 50's, and by that time I remember being in the one zone that you pretty much had to be in if you wanted to gain any more experience. To say it was packed was an understatement.

That's about the time I unsubscribed, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. You can't complain about losing money if the games you're releasing aren't finished.
 
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12. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 15:37 Kxmode
 
WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2

??? Confused
 
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11. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 15:35 Kxmode
 
Well at least they have the balls to accept responsibility for their financial situation and not blame the economy like other companies *ahem* EA *ahem*.  
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William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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10. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 14:57 Tumbler
 
Let me put it another way: No one is saying "If only AOC had cost 3 or 5 less dollars per month I would have kept playing." They quit because it wasn't fun. No one is going to give up a fun enjoyable game over literally a couple of dollars.

I was willing to give Conan a month paid subscription if they charged 9.95. Instead I closed my account before the first billing period so after buying the game, I was a person who never converted to a paying customer. I knew that things were going to improve, but at 14.95 a month there wasn't anyway I was going to pay while I waited.

And saying that Wow charges 14.95 a month so everyone can charge that is rubbish. Other MMO's would be wise to charge less than Wow because nothing approaches it's success. It's an insult to charge as much as WoW does when you're in Conan's state. Warhammer did the same thing, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't worth 14.95 a month either.

What other MMO's charge 14.95 a month and have been successful at doing it? Maybe I'm just behind the times, I haven't paid much attention to MMO's besides Conan and Warhammer.
 
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9. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 13:33 Theo
 
if i worked for funcom i would repeat... WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2 WHY DIDNT WE DO AO2

idiots.


 
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8. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 12:53 Zanthar
 
Maybe with this news and the demise of tabula rasa, other upcoming MMO devs will think twice b4 releasing an unfinished, unbalanced, buggy, POS game.

Nahhh

 
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7. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 12:31 NKD
 

They could have launched this game a lot better. A lot of potential. But it seemed like the people calling the shots didn't recognize how fragile your subscription base was early. They never should have gone with the 14.95 a month price point.

Charging $14.95 a month was not AOCs problem. WoW has millions paying that much. $14.95 is what people just assume an MMO is going to cost these days.

Let me put it another way: No one is saying "If only AOC had cost 3 or 5 less dollars per month I would have kept playing." They quit because it wasn't fun. No one is going to give up a fun enjoyable game over literally a couple of dollars.

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2009, 12:33.
 
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6. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 12:04 Narf2029
 
Why not? A "certain other" MMO charges that much and they do fine. For a shareholder or a guy in a suit, that is all the justification they need. Then later, or now, the failure is becoming plain to see and none of those people can comprehend it.  



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5. Re: Great graphics, boring gameplay Feb 23, 2009, 12:03 Techie714
 
I played Age of Conan for a few months, I love the setting & the graphics are by far still the best of any "fantasy" based MMO. I just lost interest in the game & stopped playing it. I wish there were some more Sci-Fi based MMO's out with graphics as good as Conan's.  
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4. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 11:33 Tumbler
 
which made an initial splash, but suffered "shorter average subscription periods than anticipated.

I think if you wanted to go month to month it was going to cost 14.95 which was a crazy price in my mind for the game at that time. I wanted to keep playing it, off and on, but not for 14.95 a month. It was a fun game in many respects, lots of features were on the horizon but I don't believe they ever offered a way for me, a returning player, to come in and see the changes (with my character I'd used before) and see the updates. They did offer trial periods that you could use but it forced you to do that starter area all over again before you even got to the real game.

They could have launched this game a lot better. A lot of potential. But it seemed like the people calling the shots didn't recognize how fragile your subscription base was early. They never should have gone with the 14.95 a month price point.
 
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3. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 10:33 InBlack
 
Heheh!  
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2. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 10:31 The Magician
 
They lost only twenty-three dollars and thirty cents? I'd consider that a win, in this era.
 
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1. Re: Funcom Loses Cash, CFO Feb 23, 2009, 10:25 LittleMe
 
Yeah because AoC was about 2/3 finished, at most. Screw your customers over with an unfinished game with lots of issues and pawn it off as finished, we'll remember that.  
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