Three New Dune Video Games on the Way

Its been a while since the last Dune video games were released, 18 years in fact. The last one was Frank Herbert’s Dune in 2001 and was based on the 2000 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries. The game was such a failure that the studio that created it, Cryo Interactive Entertainment went bankrupt after its release. But, that was the early 2000s. Now, nearly 20 years on we’re getting a new Dune movie (with names like Dave Bautista, Oscar Issac, Josh Brolin, and Jason Momoa) and three new Dune video games as well.

These games will be made by a studio that has had a lot of success with older IPs, Age of Conan creators, Funcom. Legendary Entertainment and Funcom have entered into a six-year-long agreement that will see three Dune games being made at the very least. The games will be for both PC and consoles and at least one of them will be an Open World Multiplayer game.

So, if we look back at the Q3 2018 report Funcom gave when we saw six games in the pipeline for the company we can see things a little more clearly. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden launched on December 4th and currently has a 79% positive rating on Steam, plus a Metascore on Metacritic of 78.

The top-secret Conan game being made with Petroglyph is a strategy game called Conan Unconquered which will be released Q2 2019 for PC.

The Funcom IP game being made by Rock Pocket Games that is set to release on Halloween is still a mystery. Though looking at the studio’s official site you see that they’re working on a story-driven first-person horror game that draws elements from H.P. Lovecraft called Moons of Madness. This may not be the game they’re working on with Funcom, but it sounds like it would be right at home in the universe of The Secret World.

The top-secret Heroic Signatures game being developed in house is still a mystery. Though in the Q3 report it didn’t have a release date, now in the Q4 report it has been given a release date of 2020.

The top-secret Conan single player game is still top secret, but it has also been given a release date of 2020, so there has been some progress there.

Finally, from the Q3 2018 report, there was the top secret open world multiplayer game. We now know that this is the Dune multiplayer.

We also now know that Funcom has 13 total active projects that include 5 new projects plus 8 existing or prototype games. Which, according to my math…tells me we have some games that haven’t made it in the quarterly reports yet and haven’t been announced.


Please excuse the non-Dune images, we don’t have any of the new Dune games yet so we used Conan instead. That’s practically the same thing…right?


Source: Funcom Quarterly Report

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MMO Money: Star Citizen Reaches $200 Million Milestone

This week we have a few last third quarter reports to take a look at. This time for NetEase, who is currently in the public’s eye for their work on Diablo Immortal and Tencent who have been having a terrible year as far as their gaming division goes. Star Citizen also reached an all new fundraising milestone, which was received about as well as you might expect. Finally, just a week after DayZ went into beta they reached a milestone of their own.


Star Citizen Reaches $200 Million Milestone

This was the week that Star Citizen reached $200 million fundraised for their game. As you might expect though it wasn’t all celebrations. In a letter to the fans, Chris Roberts said that there are supporters from 171 different countries stretching from one end of the globe to the other. He also talks about how far the company has come in the last 6 years, in particular growing from just a handful of staff to more than 500 employees in 3 countries. The letter also goes into some detail about the future, talking about a new alpha build that is coming up and plans for a Squadron 42 roadmap.

However, on Reddit, and indeed across the internet this proved to be the perfect time for those who have issues with Star Citizen to speak out. For all the money that Star Citizen has continued to bring in, there have been a lot of issues and concerns that the studio isn’t going to deliver on the promised game. As time goes on the voice of discontent grows louder causing even more of a rift between those who still have high hopes for the game and those who have given up all hope.


Source: Roberts Space Industries, Reddit


Tencent Gaming Revenue Continues to Decline

Tencent mobile financials - - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

If you don’t already know, there is much more to Tencent than just making games. In fact, in China, they are a massive multi-armed internet company that has music services, social media companies, e-commerce, and even movies. Warcraft, Wonder Woman, and Venom are just a few titles they’ve done that you might have heard of. Unfortunately, while the company as a whole is doing amazingly, revenue is up 24% year on year, the gaming division is still taking a massive hit. Online gaming revenue is down 4% in Q3, much of that decline is from the PC sector. Mobile gaming, however, has seen a bit of a boost which did offset some of the damages. This seems to suggest that gamers are moving away from PC gaming into mobile.

During the quarterly report to investors, Tencent didn’t mention the freeze on game licenses in China. Instead, they focused on the fact that they released 10 games last quarter and they have 15 approved for monetization in the works. This should give them a bit of a boost as they do still have a bit to work with. The company may actually be able to weather this storm after all. But, so long as the news from the Chinese government continues to be grim Tencent’s gaming division will keep feeling the pain.


Source: Games Industry


DayZ Sells 4 Million Units


Just a week after transitioning into beta testing Bohemia Interactive have announced that DayZ has sold 4 million units. The game has been playable in Early Access since December 2013. By January 2015 it had reached the 3 million user mark. Meaning that it took nearly 4 years to get another million on top of that. In that time, of course, the industry has gone through quite a lot of changes. Most notably is the rise of the Battle Royale genre which has spawned some of the most popular games in the world. Meanwhile, the zombie survival genre, which DayZ helped usher in is barely a faint memory at this point. A number of games inspired by DayZ were released which then spawned other survival games like Ark: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles. These days DayZ has acknowledged that they are a niche game for a niche audience and they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. They’ve also announced that they fully intend to stick to their 2018 launch date, which means they have just over a month left to go. When the game does finally launch it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see a small boost in purchases. But at this point, it seems likely that anyone who was going to buy the game has already done so and launching is merely a formality. Development will continue on the game well past launch as the studio continues to tweak the game to meet their goals.


Source: Games Industry


NetEase Quarterly Sees Growth

Diablo Immortal

Things are looking good for NetEase in the third quarter report with net revenue up, mobile gaming up, and success in their endeavors to bring Western games to China. Net Revenue is up for the company 35.1% year on year, bringing it up to 16.9 billion yuan, $2.5 billion USD. Of that online gaming accounted for $1.5 billion which is up 27.6% year on year. In Q3 the company released a number of quite successful mobile games. They also launched World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in China which saw the number of subscribers and the revenue go up. They aren’t likely to feel any backlash from Diablo Immortals until Q4. Though the expected backlash financially isn’t expected to be nearly as bad as the outcry about the game would suggest. Minecraft in China got another 50 million players between the Q2 and Q3 reports. During the report, they talked about the global audience and how it has benefited them.

“Additionally, we have taken a more global view of our online games business. As a result, our international expansion, took another leap forward this quarter, contributing more than 10 percent of total online game net revenues for the first time in our company’s history. We are also very excited about our collaboration with Blizzard to bring one of their biggest games to mobile players, increasing our visibility and expanding our foothold in the global online games market.”


Source: Quarterly Report

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MMO Money: Tencent Gets Budget Cuts and More Quarterly Reports

More quarterly reports have been released in the last few days and it isn’t really very good news. Activision-Blizzard saw a drop in stock price after the release of their quarterly report. While NCSoft is more of a mixed bag. Perhaps one of the biggest stories, however, is that Tencent gets budget cuts to try to reduce the amount they’re losing as the saga with the Chinese government continues.


Tencent Gets Budget Cuts

Tencent mobile financials - - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

We’ve been following the Tencent story for a few months now as the company hemorrhages money in the face of China’s ever-increasing crackdown on the gaming industry. The company has spent much of 2018 losing billions of dollars, $190 billion in value as China has continued to step up their efforts to get kids gaming less. Tencent has started to respond to this after months of waiting it out did more harm than good. All games that haven’t made it through China’s licensing process are now being hit with budget cuts.

It is the unlicensed games that are the biggest concern for Tencent. They’ve pours millions into these games that have just been sitting there since this all started in April when the freeze on new licenses was introduced. It was hoped that Tencent would be allowed to continue getting approvals through a special “green channel” but, after months of waiting for that to come to pass China has killed that possibility.

This is, of course, starting to have a knock-on effect on the international games industry. Newzoo actually lowered their global games forecast for the year. It isn’t clear how long this will continue but, some analysts believe it could be March 2019 before the whole Chinese audience problem is worked out.


Source: Games Industry


NCSoft Quarterly Report Has Ups and Downs

Total sales are down in the third quarter for NCSoft according to their most recent quarterly report. Sales are down 7% quarter on quarter and 44% year on year to KRW 403.8 billion. This meant that the operating profit for the company is also down, 13% quarter on quarter and 58% year on year.

For the five PC games that NCSoft reports on there was a 1.5% growth quarter on quarter. Lineage II, Aion, and Guild Wars 2 all had revenue higher than the second quarter. Lineage and Blade & Soul were both down, though only very slightly.

Mobile gaming, which was so massive for them in Q3 2017 with 551,032 million KRW is down to 216,490 million KRW this quarter. That is up from last quarter, however. That is in part thanks to the resilience of the Lineage M update effect. NCSoft does have a number of mobile games in the works, so once these start releasing we’ll see the sales numbers go up again.

In Taiwan, sales went up 68% quarter on quarter thanks to Aion’s F2P conversion. However, royalty revenue went down 44% quarter on quarter because of the elimination of one-off Lineage M Taiwan revenue. Korea continues to be their biggest market which has always been the case for NCSoft.

In NCSoft’s future, we have several mobile games to look forward to, though none of them have release dates yet. We also know that Wildstar will be shutting down on November 28th.


Source: NCSoft Quarterly Report


Activision-Blizzard Quarterly Report Causes Stock to Drop

Weaker than expected results in the Activision-Blizzard have caused an 11% drop in share price for the company. This is the second time in a week that this has happened. The first came with the disastrous reveal of Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon.

Analysts suggest that there is pressure for current titles to perform better than they are. This makes sense because Activision-Blizzard doesn’t have a whole lot scheduled for 2019 yet. Another Call of Duty game is expected in Q4 2019. There’s only one other Activision game expected next year at the moment. Blizzard, on the other hand, has both Diablo Immortal which may release in 2019 and WoW Classic which will certainly bring many players back.

What was so bad about the quarterly report? Total revenue was down nearly 7%, Destiny 2 is underperforming, and monthly active users is down. However, PC revenue is up, in part thanks to the launch of Battle for Azeroth, World of Warcraft’s recent expansion.

Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said, “Activision Blizzard’s results for Q3 exceeded our prior outlook as we continue to entertain large audiences, drive deep engagement, and attract significant audience investment across our franchises. Our unique advantage continues to be our ability to create the most compelling interactive and spectator entertainment based on our own franchises, combined with our direct digital connection to hundreds of millions of customers, in over 190 countries. With these competitive advantages we continue to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment.”

But, it would seem that investors aren’t all that convinced. It looks like the rest of 2018 and 2019 might be a difficult time for Activision-Blizzard. But, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Source: Games Industry, Quarterly Report

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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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MMO Money: Q2 2018 Reports and Kid Friendly MMOs

The Q2 2018 reports have started pouring in and so far it is good news all around. We’ve also got a couple of more lifetime revenue reports from Sensor Tower that make us wish we had made those games. But perhaps the biggest surprise is a kid’s MMO that doesn’t get much press coverage and many people don’t even know about that is doing amazingly well, with a subscription even. All of that and much more below in this week’s MMO Money.


1.3 Billion in Player Spending for Lineage II: Revolution Since Launch

Lineage II: Revolution launched in South Korea in December 2016 and in less than two years it has brought in $1.3 Billion, with 64% of that money coming from Google Play while the rest is from the iOS app store. The largest market for Lineage II: Revolution should come as no surprise, it’s South Korea which accounts for 57% of total player spending. Japan is second, accounting for 26% of player spending. The United States accounts for just 3% of the game’s lifetime revenue. It also continues to rank highly in the global app revenue. Last quarter it ranked number 15 for all app spending on the iOS App Store and Google Play, it also ranked number 12 among all mobile games. While spending in the West is barely worth mentioning it is important to keep an eye on mobile games like these which seem to be the future for MMO players.

Source: Sensor Tower


Fortnite Not Using Google Play

Fortnite Battle Royale

In a move that some find to be controversial, Epic has announced that while they are bringing Fortnite to Android, they won’t be using the Google Play store. From a business perspective, it makes complete sense. It is the most popular game in the world right now so they don’t really need the exposure that being on that distribution platform would provide. There’s also the fact that Google takes a 30% cut. Why would they use Google Play when they can do it themselves so easily? There are some minor concerns about the security risk that is involved with not having the game on Google Play, but these concerns seem to be completely overblown. Unfortunately, we still don’t know when Fortnite will be released on Android yet.

Source: The Verge


Fallout Shelter Lifetime Revenue Passes $90 Million

Fallout Shelter

Can you believe it has been 3 years since Fallout Shelter was launched? Since then the game has generated $93 million on iOS and Android. Not only has it brought in that much money, it also recently had its second most profitable day yet. On June 15, 2018 player spending was at $212,000. In comparison, the best day the game has ever had was September 14, 2015 when it grossed $237,000. Sensor Tower founder Oliver Yeh projects that Fallout Shelter will reach $100 million before the end of 2018. The United States accounts for 59% of all the game’s revenue. It also happens to be quite evenly split between iOS and Android. iOS accounts for 49% while Android accounts for 51% of spending.

Source: Sensor Tower


Novaquark Gets $3.5 Million in Funding for Dual Universe

Dual Universe is a sandbox science fiction game that is currently in pre-alpha testing and now thanks to a funding deal they’ll be able to expand the team and make the game a reality. This money, when combined with their 2016 Kickstarter campaign brings them up to $11.5 million in funds raised for the game. Currently, the game is on track to launch in 2020.

Source: GamesIndustry.Biz


Activision Blizzard Revenue Up Despite Lack of Major Releases

Despite the fact that Activision Blizzard didn’t have any major releases or expansions launch in Q2 they still had an amazing quarter, bringing in an amazing $1.64 billion in that period. They also said that they have 37 million active monthly users across all its games. If it were evenly distributed, which of course it isn’t, that would mean each person spent $45. Battle for Azeroth, World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion has had strong pre-orders which has helped the company get that high quarterly revenue.

Source: Activision Blizzard Q2 2018 Report


Kakao Invest in Esports

Kakao’s gaming division has been having year after year of growth and companies investing in it. In fact, just this year they’ve had $131 million invested in them from companies like Bluehole, NetMarble, and Tencent. Now they’re spreading the love too with a $17 million investment in esports developer Neptune. The two companies are going to work on 2 different mobile games featuring the Kakao Friends cast of characters.

Source: Pulse News


Animal Jam Lifetime Revenue Hits $150 Million

Animal Jam

Whoever said MMOs aren’t for kids clearly hasn’t heard about Animal Jam. The MMO focused on kids launched 8 years ago, with a mobile version having released 3 years ago. The majority, 85% of revenue comes from subscriptions, the rest coming from in-game currency items and licensing deals. The game has 100 million registered users, 61% of those living in the United States or Canada, they also account for 79% of revenue. The game’s next highest market is Brazil which is home to 11% of monthly active users. Mobile revenue has gone up 36% in the last year and daily active users are split pretty evenly between the web and mobile versions. In all so far the mobile game accounts for $20 million in revenue, 72% of which comes from iOS. Animal Jam has clearly succeeded where so many others have failed, not only being an MMO for kids but also having a subscription.



NetEase Q2 Financials

Things are looking good for NetEase as they announce a net revenue up 21.7% year on year, giving them $2.5 billion. Online games account for $1.5 billion of that, but the area that is most impressive is mobile games. They account for 74.7% of the segment’s revenue. This comes as the company is diversifying and moving beyond the MMORPG genre. Many of their non-MMORPG games have been at the top of the charts in China. They also released Justice, which became one of the most acclaimed PC games launched in China in recent years.


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Funcom is Streaming its Second Quarter Financial Report on Twitch

Twitch is a platform where people can share a lot of things: gaming experiences, art creation, cooking…and now we can add company fiscal reporting to the list. Yes, a Funcom quarterly report livestream is planned for viewing and it would appear all are welcome to tune in.

funcom quarterly report livestream

According to a post on the company’s investor relations page, this years second quarter/half-yearly financial report will be livestreamed on the Funcom Twitch channel this coming Thursday, August 31st at 8pm CET/3pm EDT. The presentation will be held in English with Funcom’s CEO Rui Casais.

There are no additional pieces of information on offer about what the report will bring in terms of announcements, but for those who want to see things in advance of the livestream, the fiscal report will also be available ahead of the presentation at Funcom’s website.

Our Thoughts

We have a very hard time believing that Funcom would openly broadcast bad news on Twitch, so we assume that the upcoming fiscal report will please its investor board. Still, it’s definitely a random development to see a quarterly report shared on such a public platform. If you are tuning in, we kindly suggest turning off the chat. It’s probably going to be safer for your brain that way.

Source: Funcom investor site

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