Tencent Seeks Full Ownership of Funcom for $148 million

File this under news that you didn’t expect to see, but also aren’t all that surprised by, Tencent seeks full ownership of Funcom and they’re offering $148 million to make it happen. To do this Tencent is offering all current Funcom shareholders NOK 17.00 per share, which is 27.3% higher than the closing price of Funcom shares on January 21st. The shareholders are free to either accept or reject the offer but Funcom’s management board and supervisory board have unanimously decided to recommend that shareholders DO accept the offer.

The good news for Funcom and its fans is that if the acquisition goes through it will happen much like Tencent’s other acquisitions have, very hands-off. The management, staff, structure, and the company itself will remain as they are. This means that all the games and everything you know and love about Funcom will be staying exactly the same. Tencent has actually been a majority stakeholder in the company since October 2019.

Talking about the deal Funcom CEO Rui Casais had this to say, “We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity. We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

Senior Vice President of Tencent Steven Ma commented, “We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games. Funcom has a strong track-record in developing new titles with long life span. We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”

In connection with this offer, which from the sounds of it Funcom really wants to see happen, they have announced a few changes they hope to make to the games they’re working on. This includes expanding the scope of the upcoming Dune game. To its investors, the management board of Funcom had this to say, “The Management Board is of the opinion that these factors justify a more ambitious Dune project to launch after around two years of production time. Such increased focus would require a redirection of resources from other initiatives, the most significant being the co-op shooter game, initially scheduled for release during 2020 that has been impacted by scope changes due to external/market pressures with increasingly strong competition and internal delays. The Management Board believes that the scope and ambition level for the Dune game should be larger than Conan Exiles to allow the game the best possible chance of maximizing its very large potential. If these proposed changes are approved by the Supervisory Board, it is likely that the Company will need additional financing to supplement the revenue generated from current operations.”

This will result in the delay of this co-op shooter game until after the release of the Dune game. Just last week they announced that the horror game Moons of Madness would be delayed until March 24th.


Source: Press Release

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Mounts Are Coming to Conan Exiles This Week

Mounts are coming to Conan Exiles this week according to a forum post made by Funcom Community Manager Jens Erik. The forum post gives the release date of Thursday, December 5th for all platforms. Along with mounts there will be mounted combat and the Riders of Hyboria Pack.

With the new mount system, you will be able to breed and train your horses before riding them into battle while wielding a one-handed weapon. This includes the new weapon archetype, Lances. This new weapon type can only be used while mounted but do very high damage while you’re mounted. In fact, damage from lances increases by the movement speed of the mounted player. New equipment and building placements will be included to help you with your horse training including saddles and stables. You’ll be able to find foals (baby horses) in various locations around the world which you can pick up and put in a stable. Help them grow big and strong by feeding them and before you know it you’ll have your own rideable horse.

You’ll also be able to bring your mount with you in the new Follower Leveling System. This will allow you to level up your mount as well as your Thralls and Pets through combat just like you level yourself. Followers are granted stat-points which are automatically distributed through a weighted system. Along with this you’ll finally be able to name your Thralls. This is a feature that has been requested for a long time now.

This patch will also introduce improved trebuchet mechanics and a number of other quality of life features. It includes new dodge-roll mechanics, momentum-based character movement, combat balancing, and squishing bugs.

If you want to read all of the patch notes, they are quite extensive you can find them in the link below.


Source: Funcom Official Forums

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Funcom Conan Games Free to Play This Weekend

If you’ve been meaning to give the Funcom Conan games a try then this weekend you are in luck. Age of Conan: Unchained, Conan Exiles, and Conan Unconquered are all free to play on Steam this weekend. Age of Conan is a free to play MMO so technically it isn’t really included in this free weekend, but it sounds better when you can say that all of them are free to play. If you decide you want to buy Conan Exiles or Conan Unconquered they will also be available at a discounted price until September 30th.

As previously mentioned, Age of Conan is the free to play MMO from Funcom. It is an 11 year old game with a dedicated playerbase. It is perhaps best known for its female nudity. It has had a number of expansions which you will get in the Hyborean Collector’s Edition on Steam for 60% off.

Conan Exiles is a survival game that enjoyed quite a lot of popularity while that was the genre everyone was making. It’s best known for its penis slider as it offers equal opportunities for nudity. The Standard and Deluxe Editions are 50% off while the Complete Edition is available for 40% off.

Conan Unconquered Preview Watching the World Burn

Then there is Petroglyph’s RTS Conan Unconquered. Petroglyph is the studio made up of former Westwood employees who made Command & Conquer and Earth and Beyond. They worked with Funcom to make Conan Unconquered which is both single player and has online co-op options. Conan Unconquered available for 30% off.

Notably Conan Chop Chop isn’t included in this, and that’s because it was delayed until Q1 2020 so they could add more features to the game. This is a stick figure action combat game that was once just an April Fools Day joke and now is going to be a reality.


Source: PCGamer

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MMO Money: Funcom Q3 Report and Pokemon Go’s Great Month

We’re now in quarterly report season and it is off to a great start with fantastic news from Funcom, including six new games in the works! Pokemon Go had a fantastic month in October and Square Enix is pulling some of their games out of Belgium completely by the end of the year. Find all the details below in this week’s MMO Money report.

Funcom Q3 Shows a Strong Company

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

It is all around great news for Funcom in their Q3 report. They reported the highest EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margin in the company’s history. Revenue was higher even than Q3 2017 which had some significant launches in it. Also, last year’s annual profit record has already been beaten! We also can’t forget that in October the company officially announced that they are debt free!

Conan Exiles was the driving force behind all this positivity. In Q3 they had a successful launch in Japan and the game continues to have a loyal, dedicated player base around the world.

Mutant Year Zero Road to Eden is now in final production and due to launch on December 4th. They also have two more Conan games in the works. One of them is single player for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 while the other doesn’t specifically say what it is other than coming to PC and in the works with Petroglyph.

They also have a Heroic Signatures game in the works. If you don’t remember Heroic Signatures that’s totally understandable, they’re the company that was created to manage the interactive rights to IPs based on the books by the author of Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard. There are in total about 29 different IPs for them to pick from so it will be interesting to see which one we get. That game will also be PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

There’s also a Funcom IP in the works that is set to release Halloween 2019 and is being worked on with RockPocket Games. Funcom says that the title is top secret but, if you head over to RockPocket’s website you’ll see they’re working on a game called Moons of Madness. They don’t come right out and say that it is a Funcom game…but it kinda sounds like it might be. Here’s the first sentence from the paragraph about the game. “Moons of Madness is a first-person, story-driven cosmic horror game exploring combining Lovecraft inspiration with hard science.” That just screams Funcom to me. But, we’ll have to wait and see if that’s what it is.

Finally, they have an open world multiplayer game that they’re working on. It’s currently in the concept phase so there isn’t anything else known about the game. The one exception is we know it will be a PC, Xbox One, and PS4 game.


Source: Funcom Quarterly Report


Pokemon Go Earned $73 Million in October

Pokemon Go had another fantastic month, October 2018 was a 67% increase year on year, finishing off with $73 million in revenue. This is down slightly from the high they experienced over the summer. But, with the change in weather and school being back in session it’s completely understandable. According to the report from SensorTower, it ranked number 8 for revenue across all apps on both stores worldwide and it was number 7 among mobile games. It even beat out Fortnite which ranked just one number lower. 33.2% of spending on Pokemon Go was from Japan while 32.9% was from the United States. Also, 54% of all spending came from Google Play users. Last year Pokemon Go saw a significant drop in spending during the winter months which again makes sense, because who wants to go sit or walk outside when the weather is miserable? But, this winter they do have Adventure Sync which will allow players to continue to get walking distance from home or while they have the app turned off. So, if players can find somewhere indoors where they can reach a gym there’s no reason for the gaming to stop entirely.


Source: SensorTower


Three Square Enix Mobile Games Pull Out of Belgium

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia

Kingdom Hearts Union X, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, and Mobius Final Fantasy will all be pulled from service in Belgium over the next few weeks in response to the Belgian Authority’s response to lootboxes.

The games will be pulled from service slowly with the first one happening as soon as November 30th, that game will be Mobius Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts Union X will end on December 6th and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia on December 19th. Square Enix recommends that all Belgian players use their consumables and currency before those dates.

This is the first time we’ve seen this sort of reaction where games have been pulled out of the countries who take issue with lootboxes altogether. Typically the reaction is to remove lootboxes from the games. Though EA is standing their ground and plans to go to court over it even. It will be interesting to see if any other studios take this route as an option going forward.

On that, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. What do you think about Square Enix taking the games away entirely? How would you feel if something similar happened in your country?


Source: GamesIndustry

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Conan Exiles Adds a New Religion and Makes Thralls Hungry

Being a thrall to players in Conan Exiles has got to be a lot of work. The kind of work that develops a hunger frozen dinner sales thrive on. In Conan Exiles Update 34, those hungry thralls will now have to be contended with and a new religion can also be learned. By eating a werewolf, interestingly enough. Basically, this patch really needs food.

conan exiles update 34

The new religion in question is devoted to Jhebbal Sag, whose followers are about controlling and hunting beasts. Learning the religion is a matter of navigating the maze of the new Midnight Grove dungeon, defeating Jhebbal Sag’s werewolf champion, and consuming its flesh. Advancement in this new religion yields rewards like unique lures to draw out beasts and the Claws of Jhebbal Sag weapon.

Speaking of consuming things for power, thralls will now have a hunger state that must be managed in order to keep them alive. According to the patch notes, this is meant to bring flavor (pun intended?) to thrall management, not grind, and the system has been tweaked via tester feedback in order to achieve this balance.

These updates are incidentally part of the upcoming Pet system, which will be released at a later date – possibly some time next week.

The patch has also brought a variety of new items, animation updates and gameplay changes. All of the hard details can be read here.

Our Thoughts

Hungry Hungry Thralls!

Source: official forums

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Conan Exiles Shows Off New Weapon Combos and a New Map

Conan Exiles has taken a few moments to catch everyone up on its latest work. The recent Conan Exiles newsletter offers a look at some brand new off-hand weapon combos, a new-look map and a couple of events for players to take part in.

conan exiles newsletter

If you’ve been following the game on social media, you’re already pretty familiar with what the new off-hand heavy attacks look like in animated gif form. If you missed out on them or don’t follow the game on Twitter or Facebook, then you’ll want to take in the brutality yourself.

There’s also a minor but significant update to the game’s map, adding a new grid and coordinates to help players better track where they are. If you’ve been on the game’s Testlive server you’re already familiar with it, but everyone else can look forward to the map’s change in the same update that will introduce Pets.

Finally, if you’re on an official PvP server, then starting this weekend and all through the month you’ll get 4x the XP on all platforms. The XP boost will kick off this Friday at the 5am local server restart time. The idea is to help newly-arrived PvPers to get a fighting chance.

All of the details are in the link provided above. Along with, again, really nice animated gifs.

Our Thoughts

Funny how a grid changes things for a map, huh? Overall, these updates do look solid enough from a quality-of-life standpoint and we suspect there will be plenty of people pleased by these additions.

Source: official site

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Conan Exiles Issues a Massive Parity Patch for Xbox One

It’s been delayed for a little while, but the much-anticipated Conan Exiles parity patch is finally being released for Xbox One players, bringing several PC patches’ worth of updates to the Xbox One edition of the multiplayer survival sandbox.

conan exiles parity patch

As Xbox fans are likely aware, this patch has been coming for a while, but was held back yesterday due to some technical problems that arose when trying to upload the build. However, it looks like those hurdles have been cleared and the immense update is coming online.

The patch notes for this update open with a warning that the collision of wall-shaped building pieces and triangle foundation pieces has changed, which could lead to some odd builds that could see placeable items suddenly disappear despite internal testing. You’re advised to move any placeables on to square foundation pieces just in case.

As for PS4 players, unfortunately this same parity patch will not be arriving to their console of choice today. According to the game’s Twitter account, the patch did not pass certification due to its size and so the team will be deleting old and unused files in order to trim it down. In the meantime, Xbox One players have got some very beefy patch notes to comb over.

Our Thoughts

By Crom that’s a big patch!

Sources: official forums, Twitter

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Conan Exiles Elaborates on its Pet System

Let’s talk about pets, baby. Let’s talk about you and me collecting all the soft things and the mean things that we see. Let’s talk about pets. Conan Exiles pets, specifically. Yes, a pet system is finally on the way to the survival sandbox, letting players put together their own menagerie.

conan exiles pets

In short, pets will work very much like Conan Exiles’ current Thrall system, except with animals (naturally). Players have to either capture a baby animal or an egg, or perhaps purchase one from certain rare vendors, and then bring it back to a special animal pen building to convert it into a pet. There are three tiers of animal pen – ron, Steel, and Hardened Steel. Animal pens can all hold up to five creatures, but higher tier pens can house higher tier animals.

After you pen an animal, you’ll have to feed it (again, naturally) until it matures into a full-grown pet. Animals have some specific diets, and if you give them appropriate food you’ll have a better chance at getting a special pet.

Once a pet is grown, you’ve got two options: use them as companions or keep them in the pen. Companion pets can be used for either combat or transporting goods, while pets that remain in a pen will create resources like dung, crystals, iron ore and stone if you keep them fed. Obviously, the type of resource is dependent on the type of pet. The only thing pets can’t be are mounts.

All of these features are expected to go the Testlive PTR on August 16th. which will also include additions to the combat system and some new dungeons.

Our Thoughts

We suspect life in the wastes of Hyboria will be a little bit easier with a pet friend to help you along, whether they’re using their claws on enemies or creating crystals out of thin air. We’ll be looking forward to this update along with other fans.

Source: official site

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Conan Exiles Becomes a Best-Seller for Funcom

It doesn’t seem like too long ago when Funcom’s financial fortune seemed to be on terribly shaky ground. However, those days look to be well behind the company with the announcement that Conan Exiles sales have been so healthy that the survival sandbox has become Funcom’s best and fastest selling release to date.

conan exiles sales

The last time Funcom had a best-seller was with the release of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, which sold 1.4 million units over the span of three years before it went free-to-play. By comparison, Conan Exiles has reportedly eclipsed that number in about half the time.

The forward momentum for Conan Exiles appears to keep on going, as the hugely successful Imperial East DLC pack will now be followed by a new Jewel of the West DLC pack, which will bring building and housing items, weapons, and armor in the style of the famous Aquilonia region from the Conan fiction.

Fans can also look forward to a free update to the game which will introduce pets and animal taming features, letting players create beasts of burden or base guards. Finally, Conan Exiles is confirmed to be making its way to Japan thanks to a deal with Spike Chunsoft.

The Japanese release of Conan Exiles is due to arrive on August 23rd; the Jewel of the West DLC is arriving at some point in early August; and the pet taming free update is set to arrive at some point in the latter half of this quarter. Details about the Jewel of the West DLC can be found here and a video full of accolades is below.

Our Thoughts

Congratulations to both Funcom and the Conan Exiles team for putting out what looks to be one of the fastest-growing survival sandbox MMOs going. We had some high praise for the game ourselves, so we agree with the general consensus that this one looks to be sticking around for a good long while.

Source: press release

Articles Related to Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles Review
Conan Exiles Game Page
Conan Exiles Shows a Trailer of the Survival Sandbox’s Final Build

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MMO Money: Champions Online Subscription Controversy and GTA V on the Decline

GTA V on the decline as the game is starting to show its age. Meanwhile, Fortnite is continuing to smash records as it is shown that Battle Royale players are more invested in their games than other gamers. Star Citizen made the news for a $27,000 ship pack, and we got the latest game charts from Superdata.

Champions Online Creates Controversy with Subscription Changes

Champions Online Nightmare Invasion Event

You don’t usually hear much about Champions Online in the news. The game is silently carrying on as it always has. But on June 1st the game found itself in a bit of a controversy over announced changes to subscriptions. In fact, it was going to drop subscriptions altogether. While there were some fears that this was signaling the beginning of the end for Champions Online that actually wasn’t what had fans up in arms. The new premium pack that was going to replace subscriptions had one thing, that fans are massive fans of missing, Freeform character slots. Fans were so vocal about their displeasure that Cryptic has delayed the changes to address the issue.


Bless Online Launch Disaster

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have heard that Bless Online had a disaster of a launch. Endgame content was missing, features you’d only see in bad mobile games were there…it was and still is a mess. If you want to learn more about Bless, its messy launch and why you really shouldn’t be surprised by it check out the article I did on the history of Bless Online. But right now you might be asking, why is this in the business column? Well, that’s because Steam was giving back refunds past their usual limits. So the bad launch is also hurting Neowiz’s bank account.


Funcom Q1 Report

Funcom has had one of its best quarters in a very long time thanks to the sales of Conan Exiles, which they also pointed out is now officially Funcom’s best selling game of all time. Secret World Legends didn’t get much of a mention, just a promise of more content and events. They also reminded everyone that they are working on a new game, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, which is due out in the second half of this year.


Star Citizen Offers Ship Pack Worth $27,000

star citizen like eve online

Once again, if you’ve been living under a rock you may have missed Star Citizen releasing a ship pack that they’re selling for $27,000. Even worse, to see what the pack offered you had to have already spent $1000. Did anyone buy one? The world may never know. What we do know is that a lot of people had something to say about it. In their defense, Star Citizen claimed that this pack was requested by players. If you’re curious what you could have bought instead here’s an article we did right after the news broke.


PUBG Sues Fortnite

The battle royale of the Battle Royale games has taken a bit of a nasty turn as PUBG has sued Fortnite developers Epic Games. The lawsuit, which is taking place in Korea, states that Epic Games plagiarized PUBG’s interface and in-game items. Many fans see this as a low blow from PUBG Corp as well as an attempted money grab and an attempt to keep Fortnite out of the Korean marketplace. It will be interesting to watch how things progress in this case while Fortnite continues to dominate gaming.


Battle Royale Gamers More Likely to Spend

Data from Newzoo shows that Battle Royale players tend to spend more money on games than other gamers. They’re also more engaged than those who play other core competitive games like CoD, CSGO, Overwatch, LoL…and so on. 88% of Battle Royale players are likely to spend money on games vs 75% in these other competitive games. Also, more than 80% of Battle Royale players watch live streams of game content. It’s 67% for competitive games.

From the report, we’ve also learned that Fortnite appeals to a younger, more casual audience vs PUBG. PUBG players are more likely to identify themselves as core gamers.


Superdata April Report on the Gaming Industry

GTA V on the Decline

Fortnite is continuing to break records for yet another month. But the real story from Superdata for April is that GTA V is finally starting to show its age. In fact, GTA V Online has been declining every month so far in 2018. This is most likely due to the popularity of Fortnite and the lack of new content from Rockstar. Meanwhile on mobile Honour of Kings brought in $185 million in revenue in April. In comparison, Fortnite made $296 million on console, PC, and mobile in that same time period.


Tencent Gets Majority Stake in Path of Exile Creator

Tencent continues its domination of the gaming world by getting a majority stake in Path of Exile’s creator Grinding Gear Games. In the announcement, they quickly tackled any concerns that this would mean the game would be changing by saying that the studio would remain independent.


Lootbox Roundup

Talk about lootboxes seems to have calmed down some in the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to talk about. The first news is that Webzen has decided to pull Mu Origin out of the Netherlands over lootboxes. The game will no longer be playable in the country as of June 20th. In the announcement, Webzen directly stated that this was in response to the recent decision from The Netherlands Gaming Authority against in-game lootboxes.

EA has also taken a bit of a stance against lootboxes, at least in Battlefield V which they’ve promised won’t have them. They also said the game won’t have premium passes. What they haven’t said however is what will be replacing both of those things in their business model.

Finally, GamesIndustry.biz put out a fantastic article on some things the president of the ESA said recently about lootboxes. In a speech at the Nordic Game Conference, he compared the lootbox controversy to the WHO’s gaming disorder crusade and the US government’s attempts to link video games and violence. He also spoke out against government regulation, effectively saying that the government couldn’t possibly understand well enough to have input. It’s an interesting article if you’re invested in the lootbox controversy.

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