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News & Features Discussion  » [Interview] The Secret World: Funcom - About the Long Haul

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84 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13281

 
OP  9/13/12 8:26:26 PM#1

During PAX Prime, we had the opportunity to chat with Age of Conan Unchained Game Director Craig Morrison. We covered topics including recent layoffs, what the future holds for Funcom and much more. Check it out!

During PAX Prime 2012, Bill and I had the opportunity to sit down for a face-to-face chat with Age of Conan Game Director Craig Morrison. Funcom had a very small presence at PAX though it was just curious circumstance that PAX came right on the heels of the company’s announcement that it had implemented cost saving measures including the ‘temporary’ layoff of employees. Craig was at the show to talk to press and to fans about what was happening and to give a bit of insight into Funcom’s way forward. 

Read more of Suzie Ford's The Secret World: Funcom - About the Long Haul.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2002

9/14/12 8:43:50 AM#2

I know, it seems the direction nowadays, but as a content-oriented fella, this line:

"With that in mind, he told us that the games in Funcom’s future will likely be less content-driven and more systems-driven."

made me a bit sad...

  MMOwanderer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 417

9/14/12 8:53:20 AM#3

Hm, i remember reading FC's report and they apperantly have 2 other mmo projects in the works, if i'm not mistaken. Potential more sandboxy title in the future? Would love so, if they're not over by then that is.

In this situation, i really don't know what Funcom is going to do. The 2nd update was suppose to have arrived last month. They said they'll keep to the schedule, but i don't see it happening. I wish the best since people losing their jobs is never good. 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10569

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

9/14/12 9:01:40 AM#4


Originally posted by MMOwanderer
Hm, i remember reading FC's report and they apperantly have 2 other mmo projects in the works, if i'm not mistaken. Potential more sandboxy title in the future? Would love so, if they're not over by then that is.

In this situation, i really don't know what Funcom is going to do. The 2nd update was suppose to have arrived last month. They said they'll keep to the schedule, but i don't see it happening. I wish the best since people losing their jobs is never good. 




I'd love to see something with a more open world free-form kind of thing. I would have loved to see something more open world from TSW, but then I would have loved for TSW to be a single player/co-op game with the ability to run your own personal server.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6633

9/14/12 9:06:46 AM#5
The problem with the Secret World, it is a decent game except it has all the typical Funcom eccentricities built into it.  Why I did not like AoC and why Funcom still struggles.  Be nice if they could break out of their mold.
  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17123

9/14/12 9:40:58 AM#6

My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

And then they have to keep these players?

Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

  Weretigar

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/10
Posts: 626

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s FF-XIV.

9/14/12 10:56:56 AM#7
These types of games have already come out they are called sandboxes. However nothing funcom has or will be released/created have nothing to do with sandboxes. So I guess what they are trying to say is they plan on pumping out mediocre games the same was korea has been with most of their ftp's that come out 10 per year.
  SBE1

Novice Member

Joined: 6/05/06
Posts: 339

9/14/12 11:02:31 AM#8

Why I wont play TSW:  Because of the epic failure of AoC.   Simple as that.   Funcom will NEVER get another dime from me every again.  There is a very good reason LOTS of people refer to them as FAILCOM.   My entire guild and many others I know outside my guild (mostly PvP players) will never buy a Funcom MMO.  It is simply too risky because previews and what's on the box may or may not be in the final game.

You reap what you sow Failcom.

  User Deleted
9/14/12 11:03:45 AM#9

I'm having a lot of fun with TSW. It's a unique game and that in itself makes it hard to achieve a mass appeal. Also, it's more difficult than most other games I've played in this genre.

 

There are some flaws at present, and I'm worried about the ability of FC to fix them with a reduced team. The greatest problem for me is pvp.  Of course, pvp is driven by population as well as good design. I hope those things pick up after a couple of months now that GW2 has released. I don't see a lot of crossover between TSW players and WoW, but MoP will obviously have an effect as well.

 

Still, I really enjoy this game and I hope the pvp gets squared away as soon as possible.

  Yamota

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6506

"I fight so you don't have to."

9/14/12 11:07:50 AM#10
The reason I have not played the game is mainly because of it's greedy payment model. Buy the box AND pay a sub. fee AND have a cash shop. I don't care if it is vanity items only, it is content which should be covered by the box price and sub. fee.

  Agent_Joseph

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 845

9/14/12 11:18:19 AM#11
FC is  company with bad managment , but they make awesome mmorpg TSW

only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW

  solarine

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

9/14/12 11:19:44 AM#12
Originally posted by Sovrath

My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

And then they have to keep these players?

Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

 

Pretty much.

200K to me is quite a decent amount of players. Even 150K. Sub-based MMOs will indeed become a thing of the past if they keep shooting for 500K subs and thus failing. That sort of sub base was rare even when WOW was at full steam and everyone expected there to be subs in MMOs; it's probably going to be even more rare in the future now that there are a lot of quality F2P (and B2P) games.

Besides, I have to ask: If you honestly expect a million subbers, why have a cash shop in the first place? You charge full price for the box, you charge full monhly subscription and *on top of that* you put a cash shop in your game? Isn't that a bit too much? 

I do like Funcom for their creativity and their gameworlds, and I am resubbing to TSW, butwith oddities like, I dunno, 500K+ sub expectation for TSW, these guys can be really confusing sometimes. 

 

  thark

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/01/03
Posts: 1107

9/14/12 11:26:36 AM#13
Originally posted by Sovrath

My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

And then they have to keep these players?

Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

The Occult and Conspiracys and Horror in general  has always  had huge fanbase--Zombies and Vampires is always popular.

Not a single clue what you are basing your "screaming niche" from..

 Besides, since when isn't battling monsters in a game popular ?

 
  ste2000

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4729

9/14/12 11:43:11 AM#14

TSW problems are similar to the that of the majority of all recent AAA MMOs (GW2 included):

 

1) Too solo friendly, no need to socialize  (Yes I keep insisting on this point but developers just don't get it)

2) Way too easy, superfast  leveling (Again..........fast leveling = short subscription terms)

3) No character customization (everyone look the same as anyone else)

4) Combat, just ridicoulus. Even AoC was better, more challenging and fun.

5) Fucom.........that should teach developers that players have a long memory. I didn't buy TSW because of the way they dealt with AoC launch.

 

If Funcom will not survive this, I won't be crying.

Developers need to take more risks and make MMOs for MMO players.......not single player games with MMO functions

I hope SOE and Zenimax take note

 
  eddieg50

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/05
Posts: 1478

9/14/12 11:55:53 AM#15
Originally posted by ste2000

TSW problems are similar to the that of the majority of all recent AAA MMOs (GW2 included):

 

1) Too solo friendly, no need to socialize  (Yes I keep insisting on this point but developers just don't get it)

2) Way too easy, superfast  leveling (Again..........fast leveling = short subscription terms)

3) No character customization (everyone look the same as anyone else)

4) Combat, just ridicoulus. Even AoC was better, more challenging and fun.

5) Fucom.........that should teach developers that players have a long memory. I didn't buy TSW because of the way they dealt with AoC launch.

 

If Funcom will not survive this, I won't be crying.

Developers need to take more risks and make MMOs for MMO players.......not single player games with MMO functions

I hope SOE and Zenimax take note

 

  As someone who plays mmo's maybe 10-15 hrs a week I like my mmo's to be solo friendly, If I want to socialize I talk to people in chat or join a Guild,

This game is more challenging than most especially if you challenge yourself by not using google to cheat

I know some poeple love character customization- I could'nt care one bit about it

AOC had some of the best, perhaps the best combat out there, In some ways I wish TSW copied AOC combat but apparently they could not, however the combat is good but not as good as AOC or Tera

I never had problems with AOC at launch and I had a average computer, I loved Tortage. There problem was not continuing on with VO and production beyond Tortage and no craftting til lvl 40

  eddieg50

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/05
Posts: 1478

9/14/12 11:57:04 AM#16
Originally posted by thark
Originally posted by Sovrath

My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

And then they have to keep these players?

Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

The Occult and Conspiracys and Horror in general  has always  had huge fanbase--Zombies and Vampires is always popular.

Not a single clue what you are basing your "screaming niche" from..

 Besides, since when isn't battling monsters in a game popular ?

 

    I have to agree "screaming niche" what do you mean by that?

  theniffrig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/18/07
Posts: 352

Ooh, they have the internet on computers now.

9/14/12 12:03:48 PM#17

Well on the points of getting content updates out for TSW every month, that wasn't a realistic goal & imo, players of MMO's would be just as happy with content updates that game every 2 months, so Funcom really tied their own hands with that & are already once again failing to deliver on their promises which is why alot of people don't play their games or trust anything the company has to say.

On the point of future games being less content driven, I think they know that Neverwinter is coming! Infact, the future of sandbox mmo's is going to be the addition of the tools that let players make their own content for the game. Once that becomes the norm for MMO's the possibilities are going to be endless for the genre.

My final point is just on games-development in general. DLC is the future it seems. Companies want to sell you the boxed game (or have you download it) and then have day 1 DLC's or cash shop features. It's away of them getting more money for content that may have been free patch content afew years ago. All these companies care about is money. Never forget that.

  Deewe

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/08
Posts: 1976

9/14/12 12:09:24 PM#18

Sad to see people being let go, best luck to all of them!

Form all I read on the guy, Craig looks like a nice fellow for sure.

 

While FunCom has a (bad) history with AoC, I'd say they did good in the last year.

And it take some balls to build and publish a TWS type of MMO.

 

Thing is TSW should have launched in 2011 or 2013. There is way too much good competition this year.

TSW is an honest product, but for now people are expecting WoW quality and content with F2P model.

Trion understood that and GW2 delivered.

 

 

  Dakirn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 360

9/14/12 12:13:05 PM#19
Originally posted by ste2000

TSW problems are similar to the that of the majority of all recent AAA MMOs (GW2 included):

 

1) Too solo friendly, no need to socialize  (Yes I keep insisting on this point but developers just don't get it)

2) Way too easy, superfast  leveling (Again..........fast leveling = short subscription terms)

3) No character customization (everyone look the same as anyone else)

4) Combat, just ridicoulus. Even AoC was better, more challenging and fun.

5) Fucom.........that should teach developers that players have a long memory. I didn't buy TSW because of the way they dealt with AoC launch.

 

If Funcom will not survive this, I won't be crying.

Developers need to take more risks and make MMOs for MMO players.......not single player games with MMO functions

I hope SOE and Zenimax take note

 

Your points make it clear that you have never played TSW, yet you feel compelled to give reasons why the game is bad even if those reason aren't real.

I can tell you've obviously never played when you make the point about everyone looks the same.  Even standing in Agartha there is very, very rarely anyone who looks remotely the same thanks to the insane amount of clothing in the game.  As for facial/hair features, those are doubling with Issue 2.

I hate seeing people bash ANY game with reasons that are fake and saying they are true. You are diluding any rational discussion when you make untrue facts true.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17123

9/14/12 12:22:53 PM#20
Originally posted by thark
Originally posted by Sovrath

My initial thought was "what were they looking for" with regards to subs?

Everything they said about the game screamed niche. At least to my thought. Why would a company sink a lot of money into a game that has a very specific audience and expect to pull in large numbers of mmo players?

Maybe a millino signed up to their forums so they thought that meant interest in buying and sales. That might be a reasonable assumption. Personally, I never thought the game would get more than 250k sales. As it stood they had 200k or so?

And then they have to keep these players?

Game companies need to be more realistic. It's ridiculous that these games launch and if they don't hit a magic number they fold.

I remember being told about what it took to open a restaurant. One had to have 3 years worth of operating money because tha'ts the time it would take to start and grow the business. This was years ago so I'm not sure if that still holds true but it seems that companies need to plan better if they truly want to succeed.

The Occult and Conspiracys and Horror in general  has always  had huge fanbase--Zombies and Vampires is always popular.

Not a single clue what you are basing your "screaming niche" from..

 Besides, since when isn't battling monsters in a game popular ?

 

the niche part comes from their posts about the puzzles, the solving clues, the going to outside sources on websites to figure out larger bits of story or clues to other clues.

All of this was presented over the course of development. Finding bits on a website that would be overlooked by most people. This type of game play is not mainstream.

as far as horror and occult having a huge fanbase: are you talking games or are you talking books/movies? Becuase "yeah" 100% agree, there is a huge fanbase out there for horror books/movies.

Now let's talk horror games. The only games that immediately come to mind (and amazing games in my opinion though your mileage may vary) are Clive Barker's Undying, Amnesia, Possibly Vampire Masquerade, 7th guest is an old one... I"m sure there are others but I can' think of them.

So which horror games that you know have a huge following? All the above games had a following and a deservedly devoted following but I don't recall any of those being blockbusters.

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