2018 was the best year financially for Funcom. The developer of Anarchy Online, The Secret World, Age of Conan, and most recently the survival game Conan Exiles reported revenue up 166% QOQ.
The company acquired 50% of the IP rights for Conan, originally a novel written by Robert E. Howard that became an iconic low fantasy film of the 80’s starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2019 has been a year of rocky MMO news. With layoffs at Blizzard and NCSoft, this news of a thriving Funcom and a new IP in the form of Dune’s online game offers a brighter outlook of the online gaming world.
Dune, originally written by Frank Herbert and popularized by the 1984 film by David Lynch, will be both a popular and controversial topic in the gaming world. As a bastion of geek culture, Funcom has a lot to prove in an age of withering trust in developers from the gaming community.
Funcom also reports that their Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game Conan Unconquered should be arriving in Q2 of 2019. A Halloween-themed game “based on a Funcom IP” will be arriving as well, along with single-player Conan adventures and a co-op multiplayer shooter as part of the Heroic Signatures franchise.
Funcom is best known for Anarchy Online as its signature online game, but gained significant following for the Age of Conan Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). Age of Conan released during a time where World of Warcraft was becoming the clear victor in the mid-2000’s online gaming world. Age of Conan’s May 2008 release happened before the release of WoW’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which saw the peak of subscription online gaming at 12 million subscribers.
This is notable because of Funcom’s staying power through a competitive and often tumultuous market. Their next notable MMORPG The Secret World was spearheaded by an alternate reality game (ARG) called The Secret War. The ARG reached beyond the gaming world with conspiracy theories, ghost stories, and mysteries that attracted cyber sleuths across the world.
Leading Funcom’s current financial success, the Survival and Battle Royale game Conan Exiles follows the trend of survival games such as Rust, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Fortnite. Conan Exiles reached $1.4 million in sales in 2018.
This places the Oslo, Norway and Raleigh, NC offices in a position to make waves in the current online gaming market. With World of Warcraft’s player satisfaction stagnating and Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn filling a familiar–potentially temporary–substitute role for dissatisfied gamers, 2019 is a year ripe with opportunities for online games with performance polish.