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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Story of the Day - 1/29/2014 - Funcom Under Investigation

Posted by SBFord Wednesday January 29 2014 at 7:53PM
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A huge story broke earlier today when multiple sources began reporting of a then-current "raid" on the Funcom offices in Oslo, Norway. Reportedly, charges have been filed against the company for stock irregularities. The charges are serious enough that Funcom's stock has been removed from the Norwegian exchange pending the outcome of the investigation. Reports further indicate that Funcom is actively and cooperatively working with authorities to secure the needed documentation.

The official statement from the Norwegian Stock Exchange is as follows:

Økokrim (the Norwegian National authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) has charged Funcom N.V. based on suspicion of infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act with regards to the financial information given to the market regarding The Secret World from August 2011 until the launch of the game in July 2012 and the two months following the launch. In the view of Økokrim, there also exists a probability that the company has not maintained the required log of information within the company during that time.

The Company is fully cooperating with Økokrim.

Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands, 29 January 2014 Funcom N.V.

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements acc. to § 5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)

At this point, the investigation seems to be focused on the lack of stock documentation provided by Funcom to the Norwegian Stock Exchange since Q3 2013. The story is developing, something that we will be keeping a close eye on over the coming days.

What must be kept in mind is that, at this point, there is no evidence that Anarchy Online, Age of Conan or The Secret World will be impacted in any way. Barring catastrophic findings by the authorities, there should be no cessation in game continuity.

Secondarily, and as is often so in cases like this, there seems to be an element that takes some sort of pleasure at the plight of Funcom. What can be forgotten in the headlines of the day is that these are currently allegations, not proven fact. That Funcom is fully cooperating with authorities speaks well for them.

As the story unfolds, it is worth remembering those who count on Funcom for employment and hope that all works out to keep the company viable and productive for years to come.

 

Volgore writes:

"Secondarily, and as is often so in cases like this, there seems to be an element that takes some sort of pleasure at the plight of Funcom."

I assume by that you mean the postings that got deleted in your news thread? You know, those in which people who got burned with AoC said that they have no problem seeing Funcom going down the drain...

Wed Jan 29 2014 8:07PM Report
Kevyne-Shandris writes: @ Volgore -- this is why to create your own offsite blog, so not to have to deal with people/sites censoring content to pay the bills. Wed Jan 29 2014 11:02PM Report
lahnmir writes:

Really? A company might be in severe problems and all  some oeople can post is some sad comment on how they hated a previous game by said company and then wishing for them to go down the drain?

 

by all means, delete those posts, childish selfish behaviour by whining kids not understanding there could be lots of peoples jobs on the line. No no no, the game didn't deliver, they didn't keep their promise so lets hate on them a bit more. And talking about censoring because of adverts? You mean deleting posts that contribute nothing but whining because of a personal grudge, they get deleted because they have absolutely nothing to do with the topic. And playing the censoring card is really beyond sad, you have zero evidence for this and discredit both the article and website without anything to back up this claim /golfclap

on topic, if the company has done something wrong, by all means punish them according to the law. If not, good for them. I do wonder what is going on though...

 

/Cheers,

lahnmir

Thu Jan 30 2014 2:43AM Report
xpiher writes:

I wouldn't be surprised if their investigation was triggered by more employees selling off bonus stock when it was at high (like it was with the release of AoC) in order to make profit before a crash in prices (like AoC). 

If anyone wants to make a quick buck with a publically traded company, MMOs are the easiest. 

Thu Jan 30 2014 2:54AM Report
xpiher writes:

I wouldn't be surprised if their investigation was triggered by more employees selling off bonus stock when it was at high (like it was with the release of AoC) in order to make profit before a crash in prices (like AoC). 

If anyone wants to make a quick buck with a publically traded company, MMOs are the easiest. 

Thu Jan 30 2014 2:54AM Report
Azaron_Nightblade writes:

Here's to hoping it'll turn out to be nothing, just like most people think it will.

I'm sure Funcom's made their fair share of mistakes over the years (or perceived mistakes that triggered uncontrollable nerdrage in some), but they certainly don't deserve to go "down the drain" for them.

Thu Jan 30 2014 4:33AM Report
aspekx writes: sounds like someone in accounting or finance forgot to turn in some paperwork. or that one of those dept's laid off employees and forgot to ensure the tasks they were doing got covered by someone. Thu Jan 30 2014 5:26AM Report
Wizardry writes:

Wekk even MMorpg's opinion is a little skewed,there is in FACT some sort of irregular activity that forced this action to be taken,otherwise they would not bother Funcom.

There might not be a FINAL decision laid out but no question Funcom did not and is not doing something by the books.

It sounds to me that they were MISLEADING stock holders or potential buyers on the value of their games.The term misleading has been bantered around a lot lately in the game industry,seems developers rather than working hard and delivering a solid product are constantly looking for ways to make extra cash via other methods be it cash shop or misleading stock values or trying to mislead people on game ideas.

What i have seen over the years is this,the root of all evil is money,it can make something appear out of nowhere,then make it disappear just as fast.

What i would like to know is who's money warranted this invasion of the Funcom offices and who's money will be used in court?See how it all works,the people paying taxes that are not even involved end up paying in the long run.

I can only speculate that Funcom hid those two important months for good reason.Perhaps too much pre hype ,promising huge pre-sales and large profits,then when reality hit,they chose to hide it from investors and stock holders.

Thu Jan 30 2014 3:08PM Report
Wizardry writes: Someone with a lot of time ..lol,should post the stock value of Funcom pre-sales and months there after.would give a better picture on why the law stepped in. Thu Jan 30 2014 3:11PM Report
Fendel84M writes: Ragnar Tornquist did seem to bolt pretty quick right after the launch of his game he supposedly loved oh so much... hmmm... wonder if he had something to do with this. Thu Jan 30 2014 8:47PM Report

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