Age of Conan Dev Funcom Confirms Layoffs

Age of Conan developer Funcom today confirmed reports that it has laid off a number of its US employees.

"We did have some staffing cuts at Funcom this week as well as new positions opening in the organization as part of our ongoing cost based efficiency and performance initiatives that are vital to any business," said a Funcom representative to TenTonHammer.

Though the company did not specify the scale of the layoffs, a rumor out of TenTonHammer claims that 70% of Funcom's workforce has been cut, with its customer service and quality service divisions seeing the bulk of the firings.

Funcom reported in June that its MMO Age of Conan had captured a userbase of approximately 700,000 subscribers, but by August that figure had dropped to 415,000. World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has claimed that 68% of Warcraft players who cited Age of Conan as a reason for canceling a subscription have since returned to Blizzard's game.

Age of Conan producer and game director Gaute Godager left the project in September, citing his dissatisfaction with the title. Since then, Funcom has focused on responding to subscriber feedback, releasing a large, free update to the game last week.

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  • reply
    November 24, 2008 1:04 PM

    Ouch :(

    • reply
      November 24, 2008 1:16 PM

      No shit hey, I guess bye bye... bye bye birdie.

      Then again it was so simple was it not? and they well faltered.

      All the company had to do was the following and the story could of been totally different:

      1. Copy WOW exactly (quests, loot, etc) in all aspects and use their new graphics engine for WOW's graphics engine. *of course feel free to improve certain aspects if they feel it will gain a benefit*

      2. Add there selling factor a new innovative combat system which they would replace WOW existing combat system.

      3. Slap on their Conan textures and environments instead of WOW type art, basically mod a Age of Conan look.

      Its so simple yet they tried to be something totally different in too many areas, I mean great you have a pimp combat system why try to change the other proven mmo features that work.

      Its their fault for what happened what else can I say.

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        November 24, 2008 1:22 PM

        that's pointless. you can't steal WoW's audience. it's like putting up another space movie against Star Wars.

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          November 24, 2008 2:07 PM

          Oh really...

          Star Trek

          LOL LOL LOL...

          • reply
            November 24, 2008 2:09 PM

            You'll note that they never went head to head.

          • reply
            November 24, 2008 2:32 PM

            Star Wars is not some movie which kept changing daily and people kept going to see for four years at the expense of other movies.

      • reply
        November 24, 2008 1:25 PM

        Wait, you're saying that instead of doing what they're doing they should have copied WoW even more blatantly? You think that if they had copied WoW that people would have played this game instead of WoW?

        • reply
          November 24, 2008 1:31 PM

          yeah, that idea/post was all kinds of fail.

          • reply
            November 24, 2008 1:35 PM

            Why? So you do not want those things in a fantasy rpg mmo?

            What would you say would be a good path than, perhaps you think wow sucks?

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              November 24, 2008 1:43 PM

              here is a better question:

              if you have two games, WoW and near-exact-WoW-clone, why do you believe that anyone currently playing WoW (and have likely invested hundreds of hours and dollars into it) would STOP playing WoW in favor of the exact same thing theyre already playing (except now they have to start all over)?

              i mean, really, who would do that?

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                November 24, 2008 1:59 PM

                Better graphics, gore, and tits. You know, things that promote deep thought provoking gameplay.

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                  November 24, 2008 2:06 PM

                  Yup, like the new Tomb Raider U.

                  If only companies would start to use physics in their game more.

                  • reply
                    November 25, 2008 6:18 AM

                    To be fair to the new Tomb Raider team (Crystal Dynamics) the controls are massively improved over the older titles. The core game concepts are still intact. I enjoy the new games a lot more than the older ones.

              • reply
                November 24, 2008 2:04 PM

                Yes in a heart beat, playing any game for a year plus is more than enough.

                I see what you are trying to get at, but is that not the whole point of all video games progress?

                Just look at street fighter, halo, call of duty, VF, sega rally, need for speed, and countless other franchises. If you take your mentality I could buy really any game I like, say oblivion and play that game for the rest of my life and never upgrade my PC again or like you said buy wow and play that forever.

                People get board, want better graphics, sound, physics, environments, classes, spells, game play etc.

                I totally understand the time invested in wow and other games but then again I have been buying games since I was 13 on the c64 and now I am gona be 30(thats allot of money).

                But my point was not to dispute a WOW killer and debate making people leave wow but rather say if any buddy plans on making a MMO and it is a fantasy RPG you should at the least copy wow as a standard(or a starting point).

                I really don't see the beef in this unless you think wow sucks? So I take it you will not be getting a XBOX 720 or a PS3 4 for you are just going to be for the most part playing re hashes just made better than last gen and the gen before that and the gen before that………..

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                  November 24, 2008 2:32 PM

                  you obviously define "progress" differently than i do. making a game that is substantially the same as the game it seeks to replace doesnt sound like progress to me, it sounds like "sameness"...

                  my arguement has nothing to do with whether or not i think WoW sucks... it has everything to do with why you believe "more of the same" is a good way to make a game that has a strong player-base. new players wont play it (obviously if they wanted what your game was selling, theyd ALREADY be playing the game it is copying) and players of the old game wont play it because theyve already GOT what youre selling.

                  and although it isnt relevant to the discussion, no, i dont have any of the current-gen consoles. and no, i dont intend to get any of the consoles in the next generation...

                  • reply
                    November 24, 2008 2:46 PM


                    "and although it isnt relevant to the discussion, no, i dont have any of the current-gen consoles. and no, i dont intend to get any of the consoles in the next generation..."

                    I knew it, case closed.

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          November 24, 2008 1:32 PM

          Ya thats right.

          If you could play a game that was exactly like wow but had the follwoing:

          - Better graphics (state of the art)
          - Mature theme
          - Gore / tits
          - Cool new lore and world
          - New intresting classes
          - and does certain core things in WOW better

          You are telling me you wouldn't want to play it?

          That is what I thaught Age of C would be but it was not, thats why I am play WOLTK instead.

          My bottom line is if you can not be at least a "blatant copy" of wow and do somthing better than why even bother release it.

          There is nothing wrong in copying WOW I am really not sure why more devs don't do a better job of copying it for people will always compare WOW (that is in the mmo genra). All game generas copy each other its not new.

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            November 24, 2008 2:31 PM

            WoW has this interesting "network effect" in that one of its biggest selling point is the sheer number of people on it. By making an improved WoW analogue you won't be able to lure people over without that critical mass of people.

          • reply
            November 25, 2008 5:28 AM

            - Better graphics (state of the art)
            - Mature theme
            - Gore / tits
            - Cool new lore and world
            - New intresting classes
            - and does certain core things in WOW better

            All of the above are not valid unless the gameplay is good. The fact of the matter is, wow combat mechanics and min/maxing stats is what the players really come back for. Everything else takes a back seat.

            Btw, Call of Duty 4 was basically an enchanced version of all parts before it. The graphics, gore, new world is all there, but it would all mean nothing if they didn't get the shooting as well as they did.

            The most important thing to any game is measuring how fun it's repetativeness the most, you know, shooting, killing, combat, conflic. Anything else is just bells and wistles.

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        November 24, 2008 2:20 PM

        The hard part of making an exact WoW copy is having a 4-year headstart.

        But for the most part I agree with you.
        It's sad, but blatantly obvious that every little bit of a new MMO that is NOT exactly like WoW gets ripped to shreds, because it can not match the perfection of its counterpart.

        I wonder if even Blizzard themselves could "replace" WoW, and how long it would take them to do so.

        • reply
          November 24, 2008 2:32 PM

          I sense great power, the force is strong in this one, well said and I agree.

          I am really looking forward to their so called next gen MMO, bets it will be exactly like wow with insane graphics and a bunch of extra cool stuff that is fresh. I really wonder what it will be like?

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        November 24, 2008 6:16 PM

        dumbest post of the year

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          November 24, 2008 7:26 PM

          Pretty much. Then again, valcan_s posts a lot. :-P

      • reply
        November 24, 2008 8:18 PM

        If people want WoW, they will play WoW.

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          November 24, 2008 9:06 PM

          you win.

          It's like this Valcan, If I buy a car and invest a lot in it (in game case it's time not money) and the next year they release a newer version of the car with changed headlights rims and bumpers (and maybe a new cup holder) am I going to go trade up for a new one and lose a portion of my investment?

          No. Because the new version of the car isn't different enough. It's the exact same car with some minor changes.

          Same w/ MMOs. If they're all the same, why would you want to move from WoW and lose all of that time and effort spent in building your character for only minor improvements? That's not to say WoW sucks. I beta tested it for a long time, and played for about a year and a half before I got sick of it and quit.

          What people that bought AoC were looking for was a more mature, and more diverse gameplay. Not exactly like wow. For the most part they got it, but there were so many problems with development, and Gaute Godger was ineffectual as a leader in determining what needed to be done first.
          IMHO, if AoC had another 6 months in development, it would have actually been a contender. But once you release a game... well, you never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.

    • reply
      November 24, 2008 3:19 PM

      As subscriber numbers decreased by roughly 50% there is also less personnel necessary in billing and CS departments, thus 40 - 60 % after such a big launch is not really surprising.

    • reply
      November 24, 2008 3:31 PM

      70%? Whoa.

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      November 24, 2008 3:49 PM

      That's rough. I'm honestly wondering how they got the capital to get into a second MMO. From my understanding, the Anarchy Online user base isn't large as they had to release a free version just to get people to continue playing.

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