Funcom saw record high 2018 revenue, inks deal for DUNE games including open-world multiplayer title

    
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Would you like a bit of good news for MMOs? Because we’ve got some. It’s from Funcom. Funcom killed it in 2018.

“2018 is our best year to date. A year marked by the full release of Conan Exiles, by the acquisition of 50% of the IP rights for Conan and other properties for games, by the investment from Swedbank Robur to fuel our publishing strategy and by the launch of our first published game under this strategy – Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden,” Funcom CEO Rui Casais told investors. Revenues were up 166% QOQ too, with annual revenues increasing by almost half over 2017, making 2018 the “most profitable year in Funcom history.”

Apparently, the studio’s also picked up a six-year “exclusive partnership” to build “at least three” PC/console games in Frank Herbert’s DUNE universe. Get excited, MMO people:

“This is a six year partnership to release at least three titles on the PC/Console platforms, with one of the games planned to be in the ‘Open World Multiplayer’ genre that will enter into pre-production in Funcom’s Oslo studio during 2019.”

The report also reiterates that Conan Unconquered (the RTS) will land in Q2 2019, as will a new PC/console Halloween title by Rock Pocket “based on a Funcom IP.” That’s in addition to the single-player Conan game underway and the co-op online shooter using a Heroic Signatures IP – both of those are slated for next year.

Secret World Legends, Anarchy Online, and Age of Conan are not mentioned in the fuller report beyond a recap of their fourth quarter activities. There’s no mention of the Secret World TV show backed by Johnny Depp, either.

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MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Hmph. Went to post in this thread nearly a month ago, and they’d shut off FB’s access to Massively, so I haven’t even been checking back. Wanted to add a comment here because I would love to have access to a Dune based MMO if it was well made. Not sure how you could build something in that storyline for our genre though…

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Rottenrotny

Open world, multiplayer Dune game you say????

/rubs hands together greedily

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Tamanous

As long as expectations are kept in check. They avoided the use of the word “Massively”. This is on purpose.

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Dean Greenhoe

The worms will be massively enough for me. :)

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Fisty

Just give me a DUNE survival first to hold me over for all the other games I dream about, but they’ll probably never make (MMO).

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psytic

Whhaaaaat a Dune game now they have my interest!

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GamingSF

I love, love Dune deeply as a series of novels. The strategy game back in the day was good fun too. I’d love a new game to play if it handles the IP sensitively. Nice to have something to be hyped about for a change! Please let it be something other than a Battle Royale / Survival gankbox though? Pretty please?

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Rottenrotny

I played the shit out of that RTS.

and I’m AWFUL at RTS.

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John Kiser

It might be survival, but like conan exiles will probably also allow for pve gameplay…

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Feyd Darkholme

Dune in my favorite sci-fi franchise… I’ve been in love with it since I read the first novel in the early ’80s. I’ve loved everything that’s been released so far. I’m really hoping that FunCom does this license justice! I am SO there… count me in!

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firelily

I would love to see a proper Dune MMO but I doubt it’s happening from Funcom, and I doubt they are going to commit to it in the long term. They have a record of straight up abandoning stuff (Age of Conan, for example).

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

They have a record of straight up abandoning stuff:

Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, SWL all beg to differ. As all are still running. Anarchy Online is almost 20 years old and still running. Any other studio would have shuttered the game by now.

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firelily

Ok, just because they are still running a game doesn’t mean that it’s not pretty much abandoned. AoC has needed work for years, it hasn’t even had significant texture facelifts like other games (LOTRO, for example), and don’t get me started on the mechanics and UI overhaul it has sorely needed for a long time. It was also plagued by game-breaking bugs for years (remember the constant CTD memory leak?). The last expansion was released almost *nine* years ago.
TSWL was basically the abandonment of TSW and repurposing of its assets into another game, a game that is basically still a lesser copy of TSW. South Africa was great, but it’s also been almost a whole year since it has had a content update. TSWL is not abandoned but it’s not being given top priority by any means.
Anarchy I haven’t played as much as the other games, but it had its last expansion in 2009 so just because it’s running doesn’t mean it’s not basically abandoned. The original Everquest has had more attention put into it than Anarchy.
So my point stands. Funcom has great ideas and is great at making new games but its track record of supporting those games consistently beyond launch is not very good.

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Baron von Munchausen

I think we’re not agreeing what ‘abandoned’ means. I consider Funcom games a safe bet because they’ll be around, even in maintenance mode. Unlike, say, NCSoft which has been shown to happily obliterate games that aren’t showing a good profit.

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Paragon Lost

(sigh) No. I so don’t want this coming from them. I’m done with Funcom and don’t want anything to do with them. I love Dune, but I won’t play it if Funcom is developing it.

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xpsync

I would love a Dune mmo.

Funcom’s… well “they’ve gone to plaid” so i’m not getting my hopes up that’s for sure, look how they handled one of the best game come backs of all time out side ffxiv ofc. Rocketing success, meh let it die, WOW still blows me away at the idiocy which takes place at times.

If they can focus on making it original and not copy a pre-exsisting engine or game framework, i mean Conan Exiles yes it’s probably a great game and that’s cool but it’s really a heavy modified Ark, the latest real time strategy Conan Unconquered is basically a reskinned Age of Empires.

Bank on Dune being a reskinned Exiles, and if they put one out of the park on this, all is forgiven.

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PanagiotisLial1

If you check however all their games, they were original – they never have done a reskin before so I doubt that, Ark and Conan Exiles are very different really. They are good at making original games – they arent good at keeping the update pace for long – probably they need more personnel to be efficient and they dont want to make the investment

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John Kiser

By that logic no game is original after the first one of that type comes out. Conan Exiles plays differently than ark. They have some similar mechanics, but if that is your criteria for playing a game go back to playing everything before 2000 and leave everything else alone, because something now is a rehash still

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Mattias Berg

Swedbank just been in the news here in Sweden. Lots of funky money shenanigans possibly going all the way to the top. Going to take em years to sort out obviously but never fun seeing money laundry in the same context as companies you’re rooting for

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Kevin McCaughey

I’m struggling to understand the relevance of your comment? What has Swedbank got to do with the price of bread? ;)

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Crowe

Read the second paragraph of the article:
“A year marked by the full release of Conan Exiles, by the acquisition of 50% of the IP rights for Conan and other properties for games, by the investment from Swedbank Robur to fuel our publishing strategy and by the launch of our first published game under this strategy…”
So if Swedbank’s financing is potentially in question, stuff can change.

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Koshelkin

Guys, don’t get your hopes up for a Dune MMO, it’s not very likely that that’s going to happen.

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Armsbend

I’d be happy with a slam dunk survival game to fund a large scale MMORPG. I can and will dream.

They don’t have to do a one off – they have the license for a few years. They could start an MMORPG today and have it done in 6 years – when it expires.