Funcom Layoffs Confirmed in Statement
Funcom has confirmed a round of layoffs at its Montreal studio, according to an investor notice posted today. The studio will not be entirely shut down, but will “continue to exist although in a different form than today,” a company spokesman said via gamesindustry.biz.
The move comes as part of Funcom’s wider focus on streamlining its product offerings “to realize the strategy of building smaller high quality MMO games such as the upcoming ‘LEGO Minifigures’ game which is currently in development by the highly experienced team at the Company’s Oslo studio.”
Existing MMO games, such as The Secret World, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online will not be affected by this move. In fact, the investor notice states that The Secret World has sold over 70,000 new units since going to a buy-to-play model four weeks ago.
The message also ominously states that more moves could be on the way:
The restructuring of the Company will involve cost reductions through the closure and the consolidation of offices with the goal of creating a stronger unified organization that can take full advantage of the exciting opportunities that face the games industry as it steps into 2013 and beyond.
What does this mean for MMO fans? If TSW is doing as well as is claimed, it doesn’t seem likely that Funcom would trash its staff to save a few bucks at this point. This is one case where I think it really is just a restructuring and general cost-cutting measure that will have little to no effect on the company’s existing games, at least in the short term.
That said, if the company’s focus truly is shifting to smaller games, and more “restructuring” is on the way, could an older, not-quite-as-profitable game get the ax in 2013? I wouldn’t completely bet against it.