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GamesIndustry.biz is featuring a pair of articles about Funcom and The Secret World. The first is an interview with new CEO Ole Schreiner who speaks about Funcom's financial issues, the possibility of TSW going F2P and about the future of MMOs in general. The second deals with alleged insider stock trading by former CEO Trond Arne Aas.
With regard to The Secret World's possible future as either a hybrid-subscription model or a full on free to play title, Schreiner said:
That said we definitely have the tools to turn The Secret World into a free-to-play game - or even hybrid - should we decide to do that somewhere down the line. We did that with Age of Conan with significant success. We all know that trends and expectations in the gaming business, and perhaps particularly the MMO genre, is evolving quickly, and we're regularly re-evaluating our business model against the changing currents of the marketplace and our own player base as well. Not only in terms of The Secret World, but also our future games.
According to Norwegian financial sources, Aas is being investigated for possible insider trading violations:
In doing so, he was struck from Funcom's "primary insider list", which allowed him to trade his stock without reporting it publicly on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE). Citing an anonymous insider "familiar with the situation," The Escapist claims that Aas then attempted to sell 1.5 million shares, though he only successfully sold around 650,000.
"His sale was discovered by another shareholder that subscribes to other shareholder lists, and when Trond's sales became public, Funcom's stock price tanked," the source said.