Bhagpuss found an interesting tidbit of news on the Funcom site. Not good news. Apparently, they’re in a bit of a pickle, financially. They’re not broke by any stretch of imagination, but it seems they’ve gotten into the investor trap of “yes, you’re making money, but I expected you to make much more money, so you suck!”.
It would be a real shame if that had effects that would, for example, impede the development and update cycle of The Secret World. In fact, it would be extremely sad. Funcom seems to be a company that has improved with every MMO they published (granted, it could only get better from their initial game’s worst launch in history), and at least from blog postings, you get an almost overwhelmingly positive vibe. Of course, there are people who don’t like the game, and that’s fine. But I didn’t expect the overall positive reception.
In fact, just last week, I thought about how EA/Bioware with SW:TOR and Funcom with TSW were almost antitheses to each other. Here, the game that was hyped for years and years, produced with an immense amount of money, a popular IP, and inflated expectations; and in the end, failing those for many. There, a game by a company that was not exactly known for producing the best games in the world, produced almost in obscurity for much of its development cycle, in a self-created scenario that wasn’t supported by an expensive IP, and starting to the wariness of many people. I can’t count the number of posts I read on blogs that said “I wanted to skip it, it’s Funcom after all, and I didn’t want to touch their games with a 10 feet pole any more, but then I tried, and boy, am I having fun”! (Case in point: Kadomi. Hi there! Good to see you writing again!)
Let’s just hope that the outcome won’t be the same for both, that in the one case the hype and its failure to live up to it is its undoing, and in the other case the low expectations and wariness of customers.
I really want TSW to succeed. It’s earned its right to succeed, and it shows that Funcom seems to be a company able of learning, which in and of itself is rare enough that it should be rewarded, not punished. Plus, I am having so much fun in the game now! It would be sad to see Funcom fail 100 meters before the finish.