|The Longest Journey|
Age of Conan
|Computer and video game industry|
|Trond Arne Aas, CEO|
Funcom Productions A/S is a Norwegian video game developer specializing in online games. It is best known for the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) titles Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, and its The Longest Journey series of adventure games. In addition to their Oslo headquarters, Funcom has offices in the United States, China, Switzerland, and Canada.
Founded in 1993 by Erik Gloersen, Ian Neil, Andre Backen, Gaute Godager and Olav Mørkrid, the company is one of the leading European independent game developers and publishers. They focus mainly on PC games but have also released games on other consoles such as Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES, Sega Saturn and Xbox.
In December 2005, Funcom was the first Norwegian game developer to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
On March 14, 2007, the company abandoned traditional "offline" product distribution (e.g. on optical discs) in favor of digital distribution completely. The main reason for this decision was admittedly the financial losses due to software piracy.
On August 21, 2008, Funcom laid off half of its Customer Service department located in Durham, North Carolina. On November 22, 2008, third parties reported that Funcom fired additional 70% of the staff in their US workforce, possibly endangering future releases.
In September 17, 2008, Gaute Godager left Funcom, stating he was dissatisfied with certain elements of Age of Conan, which he directed. Craig Morrison took over the direction of AoC.
On February 23, 2009, Funcom reported financial losses of approximately $23 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The unsuccessful launch of Age of Conan was cited as the reason for such steep decline. The chief analyst of DnB NOR, Fredrik Thoresen, estimated that 100,000 subscribers played the game at the time of the report, far below the publisher's expectations, though this numbers were not confirmed by Funcom itself.
On September 1, 2009, Funcom announced the establishment of a new development studio in Montreal, Canada. The new studio will work on Funcom's two current MMORPG projects: The Secret World and the Age of Conan expansion pack Rise of the Godslayer.
On September 29, 2009, Funcom announced a reduction of 20% of its staff, resulting in "significant delay" for the release of The Secret World.
The Longest Journey was produced by Ragnar Tørnquist and was very well received both by critics and users. The game was published in 8 languages: English, Norwegian, French, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Russian and Spanish. The game was also released in other countries, but mainly in English-speaking ones.
Anarchy Online is a critically acclaimed online game, more specifically a MMORPG, with 20 international awards. Funcom issued several expansions; The Notum Wars, Shadowlands, Alien Invasion, Lost Eden and Legacy of The Xan. Founder Gaute Godager was the first Game Director, before Marius Enge released Alien Invasion and took over at the release of Shadowlands. However, shortly after the release of Alien Invasion, Morten Byom took over. Later, near the release of the Lost Eden expansion, Byom moved on to the Age of Conan team, and was succeeded as Game Director by Craig Morrison, also known as "Silirrion". Following the game, a book about the pre-history of the planet and a CD with music from the game were released.
In the spring of 2006, the company released the sequel to The Longest Journey for the Xbox and PC, entitled Dreamfall.
Funcom has also developed an online action RPG for PC and console entitled Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. This product utilizes the Conan the Cimmerian franchise license. The PC version of this game was released on May 20, 2008, and the Xbox 360 version is scheduled to be released in 2010.
- Funcom establishes new development studio in Montréal. Funcom (2009-09-01). Retrieved on 2009-09-02
- Hagerup, Eivind (2007-03-14). Funcom drops "offline" PC games. Adventure Gamers. Retrieved on 2007-03-15
- Funcom Fires 70% of Their U.S. Staff This Morning. TenTonHammer.com (2008-11-22). Retrieved on 2008-11-28
- Purchese, Rob (2008-09-17). Age of Conan director leaves Funcom. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2009-03-01
- Tor Øyvind Andersen, Sindre Heyerdahl (2009-02-23). 4. KVARTAL: Blodrødt for Funcom (Norwegian). E24 Næringsliv. Retrieved on 2009-02-23
- Secret World gets significant delay as Funcom drops 20% of staff. VG247 (2009-09-29). Retrieved on 2009-09-29