Funcom seems to have learned the lesson that many AAA developers and publishers have learned over the past five years which is that the mood among the MMO community has shifted away from big, elaborate and slowly developed multi-million dollar online games and are instead interested in simple, smaller free-to-play ventures.
The failure of Funcom’s MMO endeavor is The Secret World. TSW had over 500,000 users during its beta testing but ultimately fell to 200,000 players when it was released two months ago, Funcom has begun to lay off numerous employees and staff as it restructures its company in the wake of revenue losses from its two MMO heavy hitters, which includes Age of Conan. Smaller, more user friendly titles are the name of the game now, such as Funcom’s upcoming free-to-play LEGO: Minifigures, which has a dramatically shorter development cycle than the decade long production of The Secret World.
As stated, players have moved away from the old tried-and-true online experience for smaller, easier to pickup and play games, not to mention ‘free’ titles such as World of Tanks and Minecraft. Still, Funcom hasn’t given up on The Secret World or Conan. Development will continue on these titles with Funcom promising to address player concerns, as well as release updates and patches. seemly for as long as these games are still desirable.