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The Secret World: Funcom Confirms Layoffs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that Funcom is the latest development studio to be hit with a round of layoffs. The "cost adjustment initiative" comes just over a month since the launch of The Secret World. Funcom is stating that the layoffs are "temporary" and only one of several cost-cutting initiatives.

Read the full article at the link above.

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Comments

  • marz.at.playmarz.at.play Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member

    What in the world is a "temporary layoff"?!? Will they get re-hired...doubt it. Never heard of that before. It's too bad because TSW is a great game.

     

    P.S. Here come all the F2P threads.

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  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    Not to be cheeky, but GW2 and MoP will make those layoffs permanent.
  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

    It didn't really help this game any that it was linked with Electronic Arts, EA.

     

    Players saw enough proken promises coming from EA with their release of Star Wars.  While Funcom is not a subdivision of EA (yet), whereas BioWare is a bought name filled with EA employees, it was still enough to raise a flag and give players a good reason to stay the hell away.

     

    Many others simply saw combat videos and didn't give this game a 2nd look.  Lacking free trials didn't help either.  In the end I'm not surprised that this game will dwindle and go under or F2P.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
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  • Ambros123Ambros123 Neverneverland, TNPosts: 877Member
    Originally posted by Karteli

    It didn't really help this game any that it was linked with Electronic Arts, EA.

     

    Players saw enough proken promises coming from EA with their release of Star Wars.  While Funcom is not a subdivision of EA (yet), whereas BioWare is a bought name filled with EA employees, it was still enough to raise a flag and give players a good reason to stay the hell away.

     

    Many others simply saw combat videos and didn't give this game a 2nd look.  Lacking free trials didn't help either.  In the end I'm not surprised that this game will dwindle and go under or F2P.

    Was for me.  Not gonna touch another EA product again.  EA, retail price, sub, cash shop... all that combined served as a deterrence of TSW for me.

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Not to be cheeky, but GW2 and MoP will make those layoffs permanent.

    (OT: And another GW2 fan comes in to start a flame war.)

    This is sad news.  More proof that the P2P model is gone and there is only room left for F2P.  I just hope it's only that and not the beginning of the end of the genre.

    Game certainly doesn't deserve this.  There was some real creative stuff in this one.

  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,219Member Uncommon
    This really sucks, best wishes to all of those that lost their jobs. I hope you guys/gals can bounce back with a new opportunity soon.
  • chefdiablochefdiablo Barrie, ONPosts: 202Member

    This is a very tough time for many development houses. The economy is not helping the situation and the consumers are demanding and expecting a great deal more for each dollar spent.

    As a whole gamers need to settle down into their favorite games instead of trying everything out as a buffet before we find ourselves with only a few MMO options to choose from.

    TSW was a fairly long time in development, or at least it seemed that way. The pressure for Funcom to gather higher numbers must be overwhelming from the business side. I think they should work out a more user friendly payment structure in an effort to appeal to more gamers. The cost plus sub concept is a turn off for people on tight budgets. They have to choose which games to play and will trust a more popular developer more often than not. Funcom's trust levels are tarnished and therefore they should attract more flys with honey a la lowered start up cost and more manageable sub fee. If they do not find a way to get the subs through the door then the f2p route will be inevitable.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,734Member Uncommon
         Most people in the software industry understand that when the product is finished a short time later there will msot likely be some layoffs....Also TSW fell short of expectations so that doesn't help either Funcom has its work cut out for them also with MoP and GW2 coming soon.
  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Not to be cheeky, but GW2 and MoP will make those layoffs permanent.


    *pulls out chair and whip*

    Back to the GW2 forums with you! BACK I SAY!!

    Although I actually have to agree with you here. I found the atmosphere of TSW and their take on questing to be excellent. Sadly though once I realised that once you get through the quests there is nothing to do but spin the wheel, and either repeat the lukewarm pvp battlegrounds for black marks of venice or repeat normal or hardmode dungeons for black bullion to use to buy the best gear, which you could then use to  . . . . repeat the lukewarm pvp battlegrounds for black marks of venice or repeat normal or hardmode dungeons for black bullion for the best gear. At which point I canceled my subscription and uninstalled the game.

    image

    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,272Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    It didn't really help this game any that it was linked with Electronic Arts, EA.

     

    Players saw enough proken promises coming from EA with their release of Star Wars.  While Funcom is not a subdivision of EA (yet), whereas BioWare is a bought name filled with EA employees, it was still enough to raise a flag and give players a good reason to stay the hell away.

     

    Many others simply saw combat videos and didn't give this game a 2nd look.  Lacking free trials didn't help either.  In the end I'm not surprised that this game will dwindle and go under or F2P.

    I would expect more from you karteli.

  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    Originally posted by Tardcore
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Not to be cheeky, but GW2 and MoP will make those layoffs permanent.


    *pulls out chair and whip*

    Back to the GW2 forums with you! BACK I SAY!!

    Whaaaat?  It was an honest observation based on projected sales numbers!  I totally didn't mean to.... OW!  OW!  YES MASTER, RIGHT AWAY MASTER!

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,912Member Uncommon

    Averting a financial crisis is a wise move.  I just hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot by getting greedy in the cash shop.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • unknown769unknown769 buford, GAPosts: 45Member

    tsw smell like f2p very soon

     

  • itsneoitsneo HAMILTON, ONPosts: 18Member

    Indeed, and if one understands the life cycle of the developer world, there is a moderate sized team working on a project, as it nears release teams are enlarged, or hours extended to meet deadlines, and once published, released, and working fine, layoffs happen, there is no need for larger or even moderate sized teams, a small dedicated team is all you need to maintain patches and content given the right set of tools and talents.

     

    I'm not worried in the slightest.  It's common place in our world.   And yes, I presume they will be hired back, as FC also stated there there is a Prohect X in the works..   I wonder what it is?

  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Originally posted by Tardcore
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    Not to be cheeky, but GW2 and MoP will make those layoffs permanent.


    *pulls out chair and whip*

    Back to the GW2 forums with you! BACK I SAY!!

    Whaaaat?  It was an honest observation based on projected sales numbers!  I totally didn't mean to.... OW!  OW!  YES MASTER, RIGHT AWAY MASTER!

    image

    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    As I understand it, layoffs shortly after a game launches is standard practice in the industry. But it's never fun and I hope it's very temporary for most of these folks. TSW is a great game.
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    Sorry to hear this as TSW is a good game with promise, I think bad timing on the launch didnt help with GW2 just around the corner and 2-3 major game expansions imminent. TSW was always going to be niche by design, it was never going to appeal to everyone and be the next big thing, Funcom should have known this.
  • IsaneIsane EnglandPosts: 2,629Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jaedor
    As I understand it, layoffs shortly after a game launches is standard practice in the industry. But it's never fun and I hope it's very temporary for most of these folks. TSW is a great game.

    Stating the obvious will , ruin all the conspiracy theories I was about to point out the same not that anyone here cares. They will just use anything to trash a hate rush.

    Good job some of us have live and don't have to by into all the hate here however ammusing and sad it is.

    TSW is a good Game.

    ________________________________________________________
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  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    Originally posted by Coolit
    Sorry to hear this as TSW is a good game with promise, I think bad timing on the launch didnt help with GW2 just around the corner and 2-3 major game expansions imminent. TSW was always going to be niche by design, it was never going to appeal to everyone and be the next big thing, Funcom should have known this.

    What I'm wondering is if this spells out the future for sci-fi or modern setting games.  It's probably just been bad luck between this and SWTOR, but the fantasy genre has alway sold better in this genre.  I guess that's another topic though.

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    Never fun to hear about layoffs in any industry.
  • LydarSynnLydarSynn Jonestown, ALPosts: 182Member

    The mediocre success of TSW has nothing to do with setting IMO. I think that what is being shown here is that themeparks have reached their limit as far as audience goes. I played TSW beta and tried to play the free weekend. I simply could not get into it becuase I am tired to go here, kill that etc. over and over again. Themeparks are boring for me anymore and I don't care what flavor they come in.

    If you are a thempark fan, there is little reason to play any other game other than the big ones- WoW and GW2 because in reality you are always playing the same game with a different skin.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    To bad I was going to post a youtube video of Willie Nelson singing

    but this holds true. "Turn off the light's the Party's over"

    Sad but true.  My sub just renewed I am going to give it another 30 days just to see, but right now I am not that all very impressed.

     

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Sad day for those employees and I wish them the best. Why isn't it the lead designers and systems guys who get laid off first for thinking a 2004 game would work in 2012? Fire top down not bottom up - that's fair.
  • StellusStellus Phoenix, AZPosts: 261Member

    I really don't understand why people get so surprised when positions are retired after a title is launched. MMO's generally require a very large staff to develop the game from the ground up. Once it's released, you mainly only need half the staff to maintain and update it.

     

    This is the nature of the industry, especially for MMO's. It has happened to every title and will continue to do so for every future title.

     

    I've worked in the industry for companies like THQ and independent studios. The employees facing the layoffs are well aware of the ups and downs of working in the gaming industry. The difference between a good gaming company and a bad gaming company is that a good company gives these employees enough heads up that it will be happening. A smart employee knows it is inevitable.

     
     
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,981Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Isane
    Originally posted by Jaedor
    As I understand it, layoffs shortly after a game launches is standard practice in the industry. But it's never fun and I hope it's very temporary for most of these folks. TSW is a great game.

    Stating the obvious will , ruin all the conspiracy theories I was about to point out the same not that anyone here cares. They will just use anything to trash a hate rush.

    Good job some of us have live and don't have to by into all the hate here however ammusing and sad it is.

    TSW is a good Game.

    Because its not obvious, if a game does well and thrives after launch (which few outside of WOW/EVE have) then they don't have layoffs. Don't equate the general failure of the industry the past 8 years as an inevitable trend.

     

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