[Source] Norwegian developer Funcom, maker of Age of Conan and the recently launched The Secret World, was hit with layoffs today that are speculated to affect about half of the studio’s worldwide staff, part of previously announced “cost-adjustment initiatives.”
A Funcom representative confirmed to Polygon that the developer is in the process of laying off staff, but would not confirm the extent of the cutbacks.
“As we announced in the stock notice that went out on August 10th, Funcom is in the process of reducing operational costs and this process includes temporary layoffs as well as other initiatives,” reads a statement from the company. “As we are currently in the middle of this process we can not provide any further comment at the present time. Rest assured however that we have long-term plans for the company and that we remain fully committed to all of our games.”
Funcom declined to clarify the number of employees affected, citing the ongoing nature of the cutbacks.
On August 10th, the company announced in an investor update that Funcom was “currently implementing several cost-adjustment initiatives due to the expected lower initial revenues from The Secret World to secure future positive cash flows.” At the time, Funcom lamented The Secret World‘s lower-than-expected review scores and financial expectations for the massively multiplayer online game co-published with EA. Polygon‘s review of The Secret World awarded it a 6.5 out of 10 — slightly lower than its 72 Metacritic average — calling it “unique and powerful” but “underdeveloped.”
cinderboy’s note: Massively also confirmed via Funcom’s executive that The Secret World’s revenue model will continue as planned, which is buy to play with an additional monthly fee. I have no idea why employees are being deemed redundant “temporarily”, it basically means leave with no pay according to my understanding. I said The Secret World will not work out, and I still stand by my prediction (I guess most of the folks also predicted this outcome).