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The Secret World

The Secret World 

General Discussion  » Quick and Dirty Analysis: Quarter 2, 2012 Report

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21 posts found
  gamesrfun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 130

 
OP  8/28/12 3:10:46 PM#1

Edit #2:  Okay, 3 private messages later, I get it.  People want to know what this means for subscription numbers.  Funcom was very specific with their retention model:  Their TSW retention scenario over 1 year was 35-40%.  Their AoC retention number was 22.5% year over year.  They made it perfectly clear that TSW is currently in between this.

Therefore, without additional sales, they are projecting (in essence) something between 25-30% retention, or of those first 200,000 subscribers (or so):  50,000-60,000 subscriptions by July 1, 2013.  Of course, they are going to try and bring in new subscribers to replace the churn.  I have never been privy to actual churn numbers, but let's just follow the numbers and simply pro-rate it based on medians:

Median Scenario #1:  212,500 initial purchasers/subscribers:  Retention Rate 30% year after year:  Expected churn:  12,000 subscribers per month: 

MOST LIKELY SUBSCRIPTION NUMBER FOR TSW AT THIS TIME:  175,000 SUBSCRIBERS

 

Beyond what is obvious to anyone from reading their presentation, my review of the financial report (and previous ones) has shown the following:

 

1)  Sales:  Unless they are using different metrics, sales are between 200,001-224,999.  Funcom had previously used 25k increments as the "cutoff" for listing in previous disclosure (see earlier Funcom reports);

2)  Future of the Company:  The memo is out without expressly saying it:  No more large scale MMOs.   The Secret World will be the last.

3)  Future Games:  The only thing that succeeded for The Secret World was the in-game revenue margins.  They are averaging around $5.00 per subscriber;

4)  AoC and AO:  Bleeding income slowly (as to be expected);

5)  Beyond the impairment charge:  Funcom before the employee massacre and before TSW's failure was needing $12.4 million dollars to stay afloat per quarter

6)  How Funcom values its assets:  AoC, TSW, AO, Fashion Week, Pets vs. Monsters, all other IPs:  19 million dollars.  Translation?  Before the impairment charge, some buffoon thought that TSW was worth 45-50 million dollars.  LOL.

7)  Debt:  18 million dollars in shorter term loans, 14 million dollars in other assorted packaged debt, of which no doubt the remaining 4.4 million in convertible bonds will be cashed in sometime soon;

8)  Cash Crunch:  AFTER issuing 10.1 million dollars in shares Q2/2012 and AFTER converting 8.258 million dollars of bonds, Funcom is left with 16.928 million dollars in cash.  Meaning that without issuing shares and without converting high interest bonds, Funcom would have been out of money sometime in May. 

9)  Asset valuation part two:  Apparently Pets vs. Monsters, the "cash-flow" positive monster that it is, managed to still have its asset value reduced by 1 million dollars.  In other words, they slashed its value by over 70%. 

10)  Further risks:  Apparently one of their "credit facilities", a.k.a. line of credit, requires that the main holding bank for Funcom most hold 2.5 million USD.  Since this is essentially tapped, that 2.5 million USD cannot be used to fund the company, reducing free cash to 14.428 million dollars (other restrictions not disclosed likely apply at other institutions in Norway, etc.)

11)  F2P failure:  Outside Ao, AoC, and TSW, F2P barely making $150,000.00 per month.

Conclusion:  Given AoC's lack of change in impairment and the consistent revenues brought in both by AO and AoC, and given Funcom's pretty strict guidance when it came to in-game cash shop margins, Q4-2012 (sorry, not Q3-2012) will provide a VERY accurate subscription base for TSW.   It is also safe to say that unless Funcom completely strips TSW to its barebones and reduces staff even further, Funcom will go bankrupt next year.  Even 150 staff (worst case scenario given their guidance of approximately 50% layoffs), given their bloated compensation packages on the BoD (see year end report) and sense of financial entitlement, will blow through the available 20-21 million dollars in remaining cash very fast.

Edit #1:  Sorry, I mixed up Bloodline Champions with Pets vs.  Monsters.  Some brainiac at Funcom decided to give Pets vs. Monsters an asset value over 1 million dollars before it even started turning cash flow positive (and note, cash flow positive for a quarter does not include impairment charges, development costs, or future development costs).  WTF Funcom rofl.

 

 

 

  Rawiz

Novice Member

Joined: 9/19/08
Posts: 472

8/28/12 4:46:12 PM#2
Originally posted by gamesrfun   It is also safe to say that unless Funcom completely strips TSW to its barebones and reduces staff even further, Funcom will go bankrupt next year.

Hope it happens. I'll pray every day.

Time to pay for the lies and deceit, baby!

  MMOwanderer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 417

8/29/12 7:13:17 AM#3
Originally posted by Rawiz
Originally posted by gamesrfun  

Hope it happens. I'll pray every day.

Time to pay for the lies and deceit, baby!

You do realize that, most likely, the majority of the people losing their jobs have nothing to do with what ever Funcom did to you, right? Whatever they did in the first place. They're already facing alot of problems, there's nothing good in hundreds of people losing their money making soruce, specially in these times.

That's really sad to hear. While i always found FC to lack in the implementation element, they've always had some good ideas in there. TSW defenatly brought some innovative stuff (and other stuff i didn't like myself).

Their idea of an ever changing world and continous story, permanet alterations to the game world and general lore made me interested in following TSW. I hope tehy stay alright so they finish the game and story one day.

  Chtuga

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/09
Posts: 111

8/29/12 4:13:40 PM#4

Funcom is by far the most innovative and daring mmo developer.

Sadly they and probably every other MMO studio have now learned that while mmo gamers asks for different games, its still classic fantasy games with orcs and elfs that sells. 

 

So goodbye innovation, hello GW2/wow2/Rift2/

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3342

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

8/29/12 4:16:24 PM#5


Originally posted by Rawiz

Originally posted by gamesrfun   It is also safe to say that unless Funcom completely strips TSW to its barebones and reduces staff even further, Funcom will go bankrupt next year.
Hope it happens. I'll pray every day.

Time to pay for the lies and deceit, baby!


Such as?


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  Adiaris

Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/08
Posts: 386

8/29/12 4:20:36 PM#6
Originally posted by Chtuga

Funcom is by far the most innovative and daring mmo developer.

Sadly they and probably every other MMO studio have now learned that while mmo gamers asks for different games, its still classic fantasy games with orcs and elfs that sells. 

 

So goodbye innovation, hello GW2/wow2/Rift2/

I will never understand what setting has to do with innovation in gaming beyond the skin the game mechanics exist in but, oh well! 

  Mors-Subita

Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/04
Posts: 463

8/29/12 4:42:58 PM#7
Originally posted by Chtuga

Funcom is by far the most innovative and daring mmo developer.

Sadly they and probably every other MMO studio have now learned that while mmo gamers asks for different games, its still classic fantasy games with orcs and elfs that sells. 

 

So goodbye innovation, hello GW2/wow2/Rift2/

It has nothing to do with fantasy, sci-fi, or other... It has to do with crap game or not crap game. They had tons of potential and squandered it shamelessly.

  Melieza

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/11/09
Posts: 271

8/29/12 5:04:00 PM#8
Originally posted by gamesrfun

2)  Future of the Company:  The memo is out without expressly saying it:  No more large scale MMOs.   The Secret World will be the last. 

Oh really?  Then what's this from their report?

"Project A Large scale MMO Concept phase, Investment phase"

[mod edit]

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

8/29/12 5:23:01 PM#9
Originally posted by Melieza
Originally posted by gamesrfun

2)  Future of the Company:  The memo is out without expressly saying it:  No more large scale MMOs.   The Secret World will be the last. 

Oh really?  Then what's this from their report?

"Project A Large scale MMO Concept phase, Investment phase"

[mod edit]

You mean "Project A Large Scale MMO Concept and negotiation phase"

Not investment. 

This project given it is in concept phase and given Funcom's financials - will either be canned or will be 'large scale' just from name.  Funcom just does not have money atm to invest into it. Besides it is sitting there since Q4 2011.

 

===========

 

Anyway whole situation is start of something that should have started long time ago.

Mmorpg market is HUGELY OVERSATURATED.

 

There is just no space in western mmorpg market for more mmorpg's atm.  Especially for story-based themeparks.   Mmorpg playerbase is decreasing in west.

 

It is drifitng to LoL, Dota 2, World of Tanks, PoE, etc and also to other online games.

+ I know personally ex-long-years mmorpg fans who are even coming back to single-player games as main video gaming playing field, cause they are just too tired of looking for 'next UO, SWG, Vanilla WoW, etc'.

Mmofps, mmorts, social games will also take it's tool.

 

Funcom is just fist victim.

  Rawiz

Novice Member

Joined: 9/19/08
Posts: 472

8/29/12 5:29:23 PM#10
Originally posted by fenistil
Funcom is just fist victim.

Agreed.

  gamesrfun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 130

 
OP  8/30/12 12:00:54 AM#11
Originally posted by Melieza
Originally posted by gamesrfun

2)  Future of the Company:  The memo is out without expressly saying it:  No more large scale MMOs.   The Secret World will be the last. 

Oh really?  Then what's this from their report?

"Project A Large scale MMO Concept phase, Investment phase"

[mod edit]

I'll give you credit for noting that.

The general language in their report says "no more large scale MMOs".

That one single component of the report contradicts this.  My hunch?  They are going to ultimately can it.  They have lost nearly 100 million dollars in the MMO business. 

Hard to stay in when your last two large scale MMOs sunk.  They might simply be wanting to license out their engine.

What are your thoughts?

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3616

8/30/12 12:14:12 AM#12
     I know AoC had alot of problems, but did Funcom actually lsoe money on it??...I figured they sold enough boxes to at least break even unless the costs were astronomical......AO has had very little financial requirements for years but probably doesn't make anything either.....TSW, on the other hand, has fallen wayyyyy short of where FUncom thought it would be at this point and probably is consdering its next move with it.
  Thorqemada

Elite Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1219

8/30/12 5:53:44 AM#13

It seems the norwegian authoritys start a financial investigation of Funcom (link only as source reference):
http://e24.no/finanstilsynet-og-oslo-boers-gransker-funcom-aksjen/20268603

I think the only thing helping Funcom is the sale of the company and a rebranding.

"Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

MWO Music Video - What does the Mech say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF6HYNqCDLI
The Very Model of a Modern Major General (Grievous): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoiQw7kPqf8

  Bad.dog

Elite Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 1081

8/30/12 9:14:08 AM#14
Originally posted by Nitth

 


Originally posted by Rawiz

Originally posted by gamesrfun   It is also safe to say that unless Funcom completely strips TSW to its barebones and reduces staff even further, Funcom will go bankrupt next year.
Hope it happens. I'll pray every day.

 

Time to pay for the lies and deceit, baby!

 


 

Such as?

1)  monthly content

  User Deleted
8/30/12 11:27:22 AM#15

I remember when some guy picked apart funcoms financials and declared they would shut their doors in 2002, and then again in 2004, and then again in 2007 and then again in 2008, and then in 2009...well really every month after 2008.

As someone who spends his non gaming life in the world of finance these posters are terrible at finance and making predictions.

 

Anyway...im sure people would be dancing in the stree if funcom bit the dust...another victory for EA/Activision/SOE! Bring on the wow clones for life!!

  CasualMaker

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/10/06
Posts: 864

Spelling and grammar do matter.I find your lack of real-life skills disturbing.

8/30/12 12:07:54 PM#16
Originally posted by fenistil

There is just no space in western mmorpg market for more mmorpg's atm.  Especially for story-based themeparks.


+ I know personally ex-long-years mmorpg fans who are even coming back to single-player games as main video gaming playing field, cause they are just too tired of looking for 'next UO, SWG, Vanilla WoW, etc'.

If that market is overstuffed with story-based themeparks, how about going back to story-based stories? I'm busy enough playing other MMOs that I'm not about to start on TSW. My principle interest in all this is hoping that FunCom stays afloat long enough to finish the The Longest Journey game arc. Dreamfall's been a dangling cliffhanger since 2005!
  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

9/03/12 4:21:29 PM#17
Originally posted by Theocritus
     I know AoC had alot of problems, but did Funcom actually lsoe money on it??...I figured they sold enough boxes to at least break even unless the costs were astronomical......AO has had very little financial requirements for years but probably doesn't make anything either.....TSW, on the other hand, has fallen wayyyyy short of where FUncom thought it would be at this point and probably is consdering its next move with it.

A few months after launch (maybe 6ish) they wrote off $25M USD in loses on AOC.

Box sales require a big chunk to be taken by retailers and distributers.  AOC wasn´t DD back when it sold 1M boxes.  Way more than half the box sales went to companies besides Funcom.

If you aren´t buying a physical box, then more of the money goes to the developer.

  gestalt11

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6171

9/05/12 2:44:21 PM#18

AoC's F2P model is vastly inferior to the Turbine model.

 

One thing I think is being overlooked in the F2P.  Its no a panacea, even modest differences in your model can have large effects.  The AoC F2P was never going to have effect F2P had on DDO.  Because in DDO you really could unlock a large amount of dungeon content for free, took some work but doable.  This was expressly impossible in AoC and the model suffered greatly for it in terms of adding more players to the game.

The companies that try to backend a system that is basically P2P lite but not true F2P tend to fail at the model.  The Turbine model works because the customers believe (rightly or wrongly) that they can get a good portion of the game simply by playing and not paying or at the very least unlock any portion of the game through game play as a supplemnt to paying.

 

 

  FrodoFragins

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2775

9/05/12 2:59:03 PM#19
Originally posted by Chtuga

Funcom is by far the most innovative and daring mmo developer.

Sadly they and probably every other MMO studio have now learned that while mmo gamers asks for different games, its still classic fantasy games with orcs and elfs that sells. 

 

So goodbye innovation, hello GW2/wow2/Rift2/

It's too bad they always bite off more than they can chew and release games WAY before they should.

  FrodoFragins

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2775

9/05/12 3:02:06 PM#20
Originally posted by gestalt11

AoC's F2P model is vastly inferior to the Turbine model.

 

One thing I think is being overlooked in the F2P.  Its no a panacea, even modest differences in your model can have large effects.  The AoC F2P was never going to have effect F2P had on DDO.  Because in DDO you really could unlock a large amount of dungeon content for free, took some work but doable.  This was expressly impossible in AoC and the model suffered greatly for it in terms of adding more players to the game.

The companies that try to backend a system that is basically P2P lite but not true F2P tend to fail at the model.  The Turbine model works because the customers believe (rightly or wrongly) that they can get a good portion of the game simply by playing and not paying or at the very least unlock any portion of the game through game play as a supplemnt to paying.

Agreed.  I quit AoC as a F2P game when I realized I hated leveling and that to see content I'd need to subscribe.  I couldn't just permanently unlock stuff with a single purchase.  SWTOR will be facing the same problem as AoC.  The idea that going F2P with the  goal of simply getting more people to subscribe is foolish.  If I return to SWTOR it will be to level for free.  I can't imagine subscribing to that game.

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