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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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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Secret World Legends Teases Dark Agartha Update

Time travel can be a pretty weird and whacked-out thing, and alternate timeline stories are just a part of that experience. It would appear that Secret World Legends is dipping its toes into that sort of narrative trope with their upcoming Dark Agartha update.

dark agartha update

There’s not much to go on for now, but the game’s official Twitter account and Funcom’s YouTube page offered the same small bit of context to the update’s story with the following blurb:

“A mysterious path in Agartha has opened. Initially discovered by the Lost Conquistador, the question isn’t just where the portal led, but to when”

The tweet also features a video showing off this “when” — a future where the darkness has apparently overtaken the Agartha world tree location. The video shows a player character traveling through this newly infested form of Agartha, which provides a quick look at a couple of battles and even hints at a possible confrontation with a Filth-corrupted Gatekeeper.

The Dark Agartha update is due to arrive on Wednesday, November 14th. You can take a look at the teaser trailer below.

Our Thoughts

For those who don’t play SWL or TSW, perhaps a bit of context is in order: Agartha is the primary social hub, the safest location in the entire game. So with that in mind, seeing it besieged in this way is pretty jarring and exciting. We’re looking very forward to hearing more.

Sources: Twitter, YouTube

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Secret World Legends Details its Occult Defense Mode

Protecting Stonehenge is a pretty big deal in Secret World Legends, and while we got an advance look before, we’re now getting more details on the Occult Defense mode itself, which includes a seasonal event and new Agent boosters.

occult defense event

The Occult Defense encounter itself is pretty much how it appeared in the video: stand against waves of foes to protect a Hagstone from being damaged and ultimately destroyed. There are some new details this time around, though. One such revelation is that the simulation can be stopped at any time after a wave is completed and picked up at a later point, meaning higher power characters don’t have to start from level one.

To usher people into this new content, Envoys of Avalon will be in Agartha for a limited time to guide people to this training simulation. Players who interact with these new NPCs can snag exclusive loot, legends and Agent dossiers. Speaking of Agents, new Agents of Avalon boosters are being added with a chance at some new Agents or gear reward bags.

If you’d rather not deal with any druids, you can simply access the Occult Defense simulation from the game’s Activity Finder starting today.

Our Thoughts

Sounds simple enough on paper, but then again not many things in Secret World Legends are as simple as they seem. Once again, however, it doesn’t really quite clarify just what kinds of rewards await those who take on this challenge, so we’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves.

Source: official site

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Secret World Legends Debuts the Stonehenge Occult Defense Scenario

For the past several days, Secret World Legends has been openly teasing something new on the horizon. Finally, however, the teasing is over as the initial reveal of the Stonehenge Occult Defense Scenario has been made.

stonehenge occult defense scenario

The Stonehenge Occult Defense Scenario is a simulated event where players must protect an occult focus situated in the middle of Stonehenge from waves of attacking monsters. Information on this feature is a bit spartan, but the announcing tweet does state the enemy waves are “endless” and that the content can be tackled either solo or cooperatively.

As of this story’s writing, there are no firm release details for this content, though a reply from the game’s Twitter account to one of the tweet’s responses does state that this new instance will be available before the Halloween season. There’s also no word on whether this is part of a larger update to Secret World Legends or not.

We’ll be sure to update this story as more information arises, but for the time being you can check out the video below to see this new point defense instance in action.

Our Thoughts

We suspect (hope?) that this new feature is associated with a larger patch to Secret World Legends. Right now there’s not much to go on about this new content, especially how rewarding it is or isn’t. It shouldn’t take too long to learn more, though.

Source: Twitter

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Secret World Legends Community Mourns the Loss of MadLyric

Players deeply involved in the TSW and, by extension, the Secret World Legends community are very likely familiar with the name of Maddie, AKA MadLyric. Unfortunately, that community is now mourning her as she passed away yesterday due to medical complications.


Maddie was a leader of the League of Monster Slayers cabal for approximately five years and a fan of both TSW and SWL for about as long, if not longer. She was in hospital care for a couple of weeks and succumbed to complications stemming from a Lupus infection this past Tuesday, July 17th.

The community of SWL will be holding a vigil for MadLyric this coming Friday, July 20th at the Rooted Grove in Agartha from 2pm to 6pm EDT. Players are encouraged to wear purple in honor of Maddie and can put in requests for songs and message to be read on-air by The Cape Radio’s DJ Nexus via this thread.

Another member of the SWL community has also announced that a GoFundMe to benefit Maddie’s family and pay for her funeral will be opened soon. Fans who would like to donate to that cause are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled to this Twitter account

“She will forever be remembered for her kind soul and beautiful spirit,” reads the post announcing the event. “There was never a time I can recall where she wouldn’t put herself before others. I am sure Maddie is looking down upon us right now, watching out for each and every one of us as she always did.”

Our Thoughts

We would like to offer our condolences to the family of Maddie and to those in the greater SWL/TSW community that are touched by her passing. Clearly, she made an impact on perhaps more people than even she knew and we hope those in attendance of her in-game memorial will celebrate her life as she would have liked.

Sources: official forums, Twitter

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Secret World Legends Celebrates its First Anniversary

Today is officially the first Secret World Legends anniversary, which is bringing a celebratory event with this patch full of goodies for cleaners of the Filth to collect and giant elemental golems to fight. Because this is The Secret World and of course there are.

secret world legends anniversary

11 different Talos of Gaia will arrive at a portal in Agartha two minutes past every hour during the event, cycling in such a way that everyone should be able to face each of them in turn even if you only have time to fight one boss per day. Taking these golems out will reward players with the ability to open a Buzzing Hive item awarded to everyone daily on top of new daily login rewards, along with items to fill your Museum of the Occult and Shards of Corruption to turn in to the Gatekeeper.

In addition to the Talos fights, players can also take in Agartha’s decorations; beat up pinatas for free loot; unlock special Anniversary Caches provided they have keys to do so; and enjoy some other quality of life features included in the patch.

The first birthday of SWL runs from now until Wednesday, July 11th. The complete patch notes for the update are right here.

Our Thoughts

What a long, strange trip its been, but the fanbase of Secret World Legends remains probably one of the most loyal to the game’s IP. To them, and to the devs of this unique MMO, we wish a happy first anniversary and hope there will be many more celebrations like this to come.

Source: official forums

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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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Dawn of the Morninglight Patch Arrives to Secret World Legends

The lead-in to the new Dawn of the Morninglight patch notes instructs players that they’ve “laid low in the limelight for long enough; now it’s time to spring into action.” Today’s update brings that action to South Africa as players can now experience an all-new story in Secret World Legends.

dawn of the morninglight patch

As expected from the update’s title, the new patch kicks off the Dawn of the Morninglight storyline that was announced in March. Players will be infiltrating the Morninglight cult’s South African compound of New Dawn, provided they’ve completed the Tokyo quest chain.

In addition to the original story missions, the new update will also introduce a variety of small adjustments to the game. The update also replaces the Winter Cache that drops from enemies with a new Tribal Cache that’s full of items described as “just in time for South Africa.”

The Morninglight update is expected to be online by the time you’re reading this. Full patch notes can be found here.

Our Thoughts

We’re certain there are more than a few fans of SWL that are chomping at the bit to get into some all-new and never before seen story pieces. Especially since they involve chasing down that Marquard fella. We hope players of Secret World Legends enjoy what’s new.

Source: official site

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Secret World Legends Reveals its New Story Update

Until now, Secret World Legends story updates have been about retreading or re-introducing existing story beats from the original game. That’s going to change very soon, however, with the release of Dawn of the Morninglight, a wholly original narrative update arriving to Secret World Legends.

dawn of the morninglight

Dawn of the Morninglight will take players to South Africa, where they’ll infiltrate the Morninglight compound there and likely find all sorts of awful things wriggling about in the shadows. The update is promising “brand new, fully voice-acted missions, new creatures inspired by ancient folklore” and the opportunity to uncover the truths behind the Morninglight and possibly its leader, Philip Marquard.

The new update is set to arrive on Wednesday, April 4th. You can check out the teaser trailer for the new chapter below.

Our Thoughts

Well, it’s about time we got some original new story out of Secret World Legends! Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice to have all of the old story beats in the game where they should be, but it’s finally time for this game’s narrative muscles to be flexed in wholly unique directions. Consider us excited!

Source: official site

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Secret World Legends Goes in-Depth on the Agent Network
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