Gamesindustry.biz reports today that Olav Sandes, CFO of Funcom, has resigned. The reason? Age of Conan, of course.
Funcom has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter, revealing an operating loss of USD 23.3 million, caused by a depreciation of USD 22.8 million due to the lagging performance of Age of Conan.
There has been a lot of stormy weather around Age of Conan, ever since it was released. Personally I enjoyed it a lot during the first couple of weeks after launch, even though I reacted against the use of instanced content (as in multiple instances of a given zone, not as instances work in World of Warcraft or Guild Wars). I haven’t played it since then, but generally the media, bloggers and players haven’t been very kind to the game. To say the least.
I don’t think Funcom is about to give up on Age of Conan yet, like NCsoft did with Tabula Rasa. GI.biz quotes the company saying “[Funcom's] current sales and marketing initiatives focus on launches in new territories, as well as revitalising Age of Conan in existing core markets.” And they are predicting that they will make somewhere between $6 – $8 million from subs during Q1 2009, which is good even though the game has been heavily depreciated.
But with another official setback, is Age of Conan still due for Xbox 360? I doubt it, but weirder things have happened. Instead, I’m hoping that Funcom learns from the obvious mistakes they made with AoC and put all their strength and newfound and hard bought knowledge behind The Secret World. And, perhaps, even give us that single player game so many of us are waiting for?
(The wikipedia links above are for people who had never heard the word “depreciation” before reading the coverage of Sandes’ resignation, like me. I wonder if everyone who covered it today actually know what it meant or bothered to look it up. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to start using that term in every conversation I have from now on.)