Funcom Q4 2019: DUNE takes priority, Conan Exiles confirms paid expansion, Tencent buyout continues

    
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Funcom Q4 2019: DUNE takes priority, Conan Exiles confirms paid expansion, Tencent buyout continues

It’s been an interesting financial period for Funcom, what with the Tencent buyout and investors pushing for accelerated production on the DUNE survivalbox. The Norwegian studio posted its Q4 2019 financials today, showing a drop in overall revenue compared to Q4 2018 as well as a drop in overall revenue for all of 2019 compared to 2018. However, the studio points to improving revenues and a growing playerbase for Conan Exiles, it touts the last three years of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), and it suggests that 2019 was an investment year with “strong [December 2019] sales to be received in [2020].”

Notably, the investor slides appear to confirm that the Conan Exiles is indeed getting a normal DLC in the first half of 2020, with a “paid expansion” in the latter half of 2020.

As for that DUNE game? Funcom is now categorizing it as an “open world multiplayer” title still in pre-production, with a “premium games as a service” business model and an investment budget of 30 to 50 million USD.

Perhaps more importantly, the Mutant Chronicles shooter that was in production last year has apparently been delayed somewhat, as now its timeline says it’ll release after DUNE instead of before. MMO players will recall that this was a move Funcom’s shareholders were previously pushing so hard for that they posted a public message urging it.

The company says that with the ongoing Tencent share buy-up, which closes on March 16th, it now has 10 active projects: five new and five existing.

More on Funcom’s recent happenings:

Source: Press release, report

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Koshelkin

Conan Exiles is great, really. Funcom did an excellent job with it so far but releasing *another* survival game? Thanks for killing my hype. I hope it works out for them but considering how oversaturated the survival market is, they’ll probably recruit most of their new players for Dune from their own playerbase in Conan.

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Neurotic

If Dune ends up anything like Conan Exiles, I’ll be all over it like spice on worms. Or something.

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Crowe

And I, as a huge fan of the IP, won’t go anywhere near it. To each, their own.

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EmberStar

If the Dune game has a single player, offline mode I might take a look. I have enough experience with survival games to know that I like them in that format. But having to log in every day to stop my stuff from getting destroyed by the “building decay” mechanics, and hoping someone with way more free time than me doesn’t burn everything I own to the ground for laughs while I have to play “Real Life?” Yeah, not interested.

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Nathan Aldana

“Games as a Service”

right, so lootboxes, a whole heaping helping of pay to win, and minimal content in favor of “the other players are the content”

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Koshelkin

Conan Exiles is also a “Servicegame” and they’re doing none of this there. “Games as a service” is a live game(i.e. online) with regular paid DLC(Conan’s DLC has been strictly cosmetic so far). That’s basically it, the whole definition. You could call ESO a servicegame, too, e.g..

Alyn
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Alyn

How many survival games have we had since since 2010? Feels like every other year we’re announcing yet another-

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IronSalamander8 .

These open world multiplayer games end up being pretty boring for the most part (with some exceptions such as Minecraft). We had started playing Exiles again but after the weird bugs the game still has and the idea of the purges and other issues, I can’t imagine spending any more time in Exiles again.

As an IP, Dune has a significant fanbase but the idea of surviving on a planet that is all desert (with some rocks, but to my knowledge, no other terrain), is going to be monotonous, even with the obvious Sand Worm hazards.

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Armsbend

I think someone suggested on another earlier article they go with God-Emperor timeline Arrakis. Hardly any desert there. And rife with all types of people. It would be confusing for any fans new to the story (coming from the movie) but would probably make for a better game setting for some people. Not me – but some people.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Arrakis has polar ice caps.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

That’s a proper MMO budget for the Dune survival game; perhaps, just perhaps it will have servers big enough for real MMO populations.

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Armsbend

If you are looking for a release date on Dune it has to come out this December or close to it. Unless they are bad enough to not capture the movie tie-in.