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The Secret World Forum » General Discussion » Funcom Quarter 3 2012 report

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75 posts found
  gamesrfun

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 129

 
OP  11/24/12 7:05:07 AM#1

Highlights of interest to anyone interested in this:

1)  Financial report (oddly) included billing from OCTOBER 2012 by itself, allowing the easiest calculation of subscriptions I have ever seen in a public report that was not stated.

Quite simply: 

"The billing for The Secret World for the previous
month (October) amounted to approximately 1,100
TUSD. As part of the process of optimizing the
revenue for the game, the Company is currently
working on updating and refining the business
model.

Well, given that information, and knowing that the average billing given Funcom's model is about $20 U.S. per month, the math comes easy.

1.1 million / 20 = 55000 subscribers.

$20/month is because Funcom was very adamant that 30-40% of their revenue was coming from in-game shops.  So the average player is paying approximately $20.00 per month.  Perhaps you can massage some different billing options and the real number might be closer to $18-$19/month.

Conclusion:  Funcom as of October 2012 was floating 55-70k subscribers for "The Secret World".

2)  The rest of the report is really pessimistic compared to normal Funcom standards.  We will have difficulty remaining cash flow positive in 2013 is a pretty bold statement considering they only have 17 million dollars left.  Notwithstanding a positive quarter due to the release of the game, it would be hard for anyone to think that Funcom survives if it does not accept the offer put forward to it by EA or Activision.

 

 

  Thillian

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/31/06
Posts: 3221

11/24/12 7:16:34 AM#2

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

REALITY CHECK

  Izork

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/12/10
Posts: 372

11/24/12 11:05:45 AM#3
Originally posted by Thillian

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

Pretty sure 60k subscripers is enough to keep a game alive :)

 

Hell I'd be happy if there were 10k.

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  niceguy3978

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 1978

11/24/12 11:15:36 AM#4
Originally posted by gamesrfun

Highlights of interest to anyone interested in this:

1)  Financial report (oddly) included billing from OCTOBER 2012 by itself, allowing the easiest calculation of subscriptions I have ever seen in a public report that was not stated.

Quite simply: 

"The billing for The Secret World for the previous
month (October) amounted to approximately 1,100
TUSD. As part of the process of optimizing the
revenue for the game, the Company is currently
working on updating and refining the business
model.

Well, given that information, and knowing that the average billing given Funcom's model is about $20 U.S. per month, the math comes easy.

1.1 million / 20 = 55000 subscribers.

$20/month is because Funcom was very adamant that 30-40% of their revenue was coming from in-game shops.  So the average player is paying approximately $20.00 per month.  Perhaps you can massage some different billing options and the real number might be closer to $18-$19/month.

Conclusion:  Funcom as of October 2012 was floating 55-70k subscribers for "The Secret World".

2)  The rest of the report is really pessimistic compared to normal Funcom standards.  We will have difficulty remaining cash flow positive in 2013 is a pretty bold statement considering they only have 17 million dollars left.  Notwithstanding a positive quarter due to the release of the game, it would be hard for anyone to think that Funcom survives if it does not accept the offer put forward to it by EA or Activision.

 

 

I actually figured it was lower than this.  I'm glad it isn't though.  If I could get into the combat I would have enjoyed the game but I couldn't so I didn't.  But I loved the atmosphere and the design (outside of the combat) so I hope it keeps chugging along for those who like it.

  Thillian

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/31/06
Posts: 3221

11/24/12 11:36:23 AM#5
Originally posted by Izork
Originally posted by Thillian

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

Pretty sure 60k subscripers is enough to keep a game alive :)

 

Hell I'd be happy if there were 10k.

Yeh I am subscribed to TSW  and AoC both atm as well.

REALITY CHECK

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10427

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

11/24/12 11:53:56 AM#6


Originally posted by Izork

Originally posted by Thillian Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising. Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 
Pretty sure 60k subscripers is enough to keep a game alive :)

 

Hell I'd be happy if there were 10k.




It might be enough to keep the game itself alive, but it's not enough for the company to survive. Their financial plans banked on having a lot more people.

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

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

11/24/12 12:08:18 PM#7
Originally posted by Izork
Originally posted by Thillian

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

Pretty sure 60k subscripers is enough to keep a game alive :)

 

Hell I'd be happy if there were 10k.

 

A few games have been shut down for dropping that low.  E&B, for one.  Really depends on their overhead, and who's in charge of shutting it down - how much they care about the game vs how much they only care about profits.  I'm guessing Funcom will keep it going as long as possible, as long as EA has no say in the matter.

 

The thing is, even if they're able to keep it going in the black, with minimal resources devoted to it, that's dangerously close to the point where they might be better off cutting their losses, to free up all those resources, to devote to future projects.  Anything that might stand a better chance of keeping the company afloat, overall.  If that's even an option for them at all, anymore.

When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 1841

11/24/12 12:08:43 PM#8
Originally posted by Thillian

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

Curious...what formula do you you to calculate the xfire numbers?  I am curious for doing this myself (if you feel you'd rather not reply due to XFIRE moderation as of late, please send me a PM).

 

Release a game with a very large established fanbase from 10+ years of bnet history when the market was still emerging and the casual base had not yet been established, thus ripe for harvesting a momentious self perpetuating playerbase people never leave because they have X hours invested in their characters, and their friends and everyone else plays anyway. Not discounting Blizzard quality... but WoW's success is as much about perfect timing as it is quality, if not more so. - Derros

  kevjards

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/27/10
Posts: 1443

11/24/12 12:09:05 PM#9

well me being a lifetime sub i am ok with those numbers..it was never going to be warcraft numbers was it? also i think very soon we will see the implementation of f2p..it would really give the game a boost imo..i think there are a lot of people that have sat on the fence on this game..i think the sub fee maybe something to do with that.not to mention all those who never would have tried it will try it also if it goes f2p.

any ways regardless we need funcom.they are the only guys who try  a bit of creativity.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10427

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

11/24/12 12:10:11 PM#10

They should start selling personal servers.

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

  User Deleted
11/24/12 12:31:14 PM#11

Would someone leave if they remove their cash shop ?

or

Could they possibly get new players ?

 

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 2797

I actually still like MMORPGs

11/24/12 1:21:24 PM#12
I doubt the loss of income from losing the cash shop would justify the amount of players that might play with no cash shop.

If you really want to play a game a cosmetic cash shop game isn't going to stop you.

  Kuppa

Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3443

The problem with censorship is ********

11/24/12 2:21:14 PM#13
Not sure why they haven't made any changes. The game sold horribly and they led people to believe that retention was good even though it's very bad.

Right now I would say they are a bit late to turn it around and it will be nearly impossible to pump out the amount of content needed to please the themepark crowd without generating any revenue. I have to say they shot themselves in the foot and wasted a pretty good game.


  zyklonian

Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 52

11/24/12 4:22:38 PM#14
i played the beta and i would sub but the double dip payment model is kind of a turn off for me.
  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

11/24/12 4:51:03 PM#15
Originally posted by grimal

Curious...what formula do you you to calculate the xfire numbers?  I am curious for doing this myself (if you feel you'd rather not reply due to XFIRE moderation as of late, please send me a PM).

 

Xfire only suggests trends.  Its is 100% impossible to accurately estimate a games population with it, unless you have been following it since a known published subs report.  One major reason is that the older a population is, the less likely they are to use xfire.  Thats why you see games like EQ, EQ2 and to a lesser extent Rift with a lower than expected total of xfire users.  

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

11/24/12 5:13:49 PM#16
[mod edit]

You sound happy about it.  Yes, the one game that actually tried something very different failed to capture an audience.  And you seem to think this is good news.  Its just a warning to companies not to try anything unique.  Its not like TSW wasnt a well made game.

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 1841

11/24/12 5:19:22 PM#17
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by grimal

Curious...what formula do you you to calculate the xfire numbers?  I am curious for doing this myself (if you feel you'd rather not reply due to XFIRE moderation as of late, please send me a PM).

 

Xfire only suggests trends.  Its is 100% impossible to accurately estimate a games population with it, unless you have been following it since a known published subs report.  One major reason is that the older a population is, the less likely they are to use xfire.  Thats why you see games like EQ, EQ2 and to a lesser extent Rift with a lower than expected total of xfire users.  

I'm aware of all the arguments against using Xfire (I do browse these forums afterall lol).

Still, I'd be curious to know what the formula used was...

Release a game with a very large established fanbase from 10+ years of bnet history when the market was still emerging and the casual base had not yet been established, thus ripe for harvesting a momentious self perpetuating playerbase people never leave because they have X hours invested in their characters, and their friends and everyone else plays anyway. Not discounting Blizzard quality... but WoW's success is as much about perfect timing as it is quality, if not more so. - Derros

  zyklonian

Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 52

11/24/12 5:48:14 PM#18
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by JKwervo
This is too funny. LOL. Failcom failing hard. Yes, I'm a hater especially when you have the audacity to have a sub AND cash shop. Not to mention the animations are piss poor still. Arrogance on their part bit them in the butt.

If you think the sub + shop was arrogance...well dont quit your day job, you arent very good at analysis.

They need revenue.  WoW double dips because it can.  Most other games double dip out of neccessity.

where does wow double dip?  the cell phone apps are free with sub now and theres not a ptw button on my UI

  muffins89

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 1254

11/24/12 5:50:47 PM#19
Originally posted by zyklonian
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by JKwervo
This is too funny. LOL. Failcom failing hard. Yes, I'm a hater especially when you have the audacity to have a sub AND cash shop. Not to mention the animations are piss poor still. Arrogance on their part bit them in the butt.

If you think the sub + shop was arrogance...well dont quit your day job, you arent very good at analysis.

They need revenue.  WoW double dips because it can.  Most other games double dip out of neccessity.

where does wow double dip?  the cell phone apps are free with sub now and theres not a ptw button on my UI

http://us.blizzard.com/store/browse.xml?f=c:5

I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/24/12 5:55:09 PM#20
Originally posted by Vhaln
Originally posted by Izork
Originally posted by Thillian

Yes the x-fire numbers activity gave me the same subscribtion number (estimated between 45 and 60k) subscribers. It is not surprising.

Which is unfortunate, Funcom is or was one of the last MMORPG developer that was not afraid to bring new ideas into the genre and experiment. Clearly the financial aspect was mismanaged, I hope they'll survive and stay in shape to bring more games in the future. 

Pretty sure 60k subscripers is enough to keep a game alive :)

 

Hell I'd be happy if there were 10k.

 

A few games have been shut down for dropping that low.  E&B, for one.  Really depends on their overhead, and who's in charge of shutting it down - how much they care about the game vs how much they only care about profits.  I'm guessing Funcom will keep it going as long as possible, as long as EA has no say in the matter.

 

The thing is, even if they're able to keep it going in the black, with minimal resources devoted to it, that's dangerously close to the point where they might be better off cutting their losses, to free up all those resources, to devote to future projects.  Anything that might stand a better chance of keeping the company afloat, overall.  If that's even an option for them at all, anymore.

Funcom propably cannot afford axing TSW.  Most of investment was alrady spent (main development, most of pre-releae and biggest post-release spending, server farm and other release expenses).   

If they still keep AO then they won't axe TSW.  Further cuts in TSW development team and other costs related to game might follow though.

AoC is also not closed even though game failed to take off long-term after freemium transition and is preety low populated with expception of maybe 2 servers.    For those that are not aware Funcom merged further four AoC servers on 7th august 2012.

Two in US:

http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=242064

Two in EU:

http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=178296

==================================================

Besides TSW earned them 1,1 mln $ in October.  If we assume that previous two months of Q3 were similar, we have total of 3,3 mln$.  That's 1/3 of whole company earnings in Q3. They cannot shut it down, unless they plan on very heavy restructuring into much smaller company making low-cost f2p games.  (which they partially plan to).

 

 

Still since they:

"As part of the process of optimizing the revenue for the game[TSW], the Company is currently working on updating and
refining the business model."

They propably will transition to freemium model in next 6 months or which is less propable but also theoretically possible, they will start to milk existing fans more, by changing cash shop to similar what Cryptic did with STO when it flopped.   Which basically mean enlarging store alot, putting many convenience items and also some advantage items or / and game gold sales.   But it would make more sense from Funcom's perspective to enlarge cash shop alot AND transition to freemium would allow them to make big short term revenue boost like with AoC had in first quarter after transition.

 

===============

 

Also

"Project A
§ Funcom has signed a letter of intent with a major gaming company
for a license involving a strong brand, fitting very well with the
strategy for the Company going forward."

 

Further strenghtening ties with EA or maybe it is some kind of Asian company?

Future is looking grim for Funcom. 

 

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