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Funcom CFO Resigns As Losses Continue
Funcom CFO Resigns As Losses Continue
February 23, 2009 | By David Jenkins

February 23, 2009 | By David Jenkins
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Norwegian developer Funcom, creator of massively multiplayer online game Age of Conan, has reported a $23.3 million loss in its fourth quarter financial results – causing CFO Olav Sandnes to resign.

The company saw revenues rise from $1.2 million to $8.7 million from the same time last year, but an impairment charge of $22.8 million saw its potential profits take a serious hit.

Although Funcom has not revealed new subscriber figures it recently had to close 31 of its 48 servers due to lower-than-expected user levels. The company claimed a userbase of 415,000 for the game’s launch in May 2008, although it has since admitted that the average subscription period has been lower than expected.

CFO Sandnes announced his departure alongside the results, apparently leaving in order to take up a position in a different industry. His departure follows that of Funcom co-founder Gaute Godager last September, who claimed to be "dissatisfied" with Age of Conan.

"Olav Sandnes has made important contributions in Funcom, particularly in respect of developing the company’s financial reporting, controls and management systems and as a member of the management team", says CEO Trond Aas.

"Funcom is a company with a substantial potential based on a unique combination of skill sets in a fast growing global market. I wish Trond Aas and the rest of the organization all the best in realizing the full potential of the Company," said Sandnes.


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Comments


Erik Harg
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This is indeed a negative sign, and although Mr. Sandnes said, according to Norwegian financial web news site E24 (http://e24.no/boers-og-finans/article2942422.ece) it was "mostly due to him, and not the company", this is either very bad timing or, in part at least, due to the poor financial results Funcom have shown as a result of AoC's mediocre ability to keep its players.

Dave Smith
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can't put all your eggs in one basket, especially in the high risk MMO basket.

Ken Nakai
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It's all a load of BS. The CFO has nothing to do with subscriber base and the success of a game. He's just ducking out and maybe trying to help out by taking some of the flak from the investors/shareholders. AoC's mediocrity, buggy launch, and bad timing (WAR probably sucked a lot of people away from AoC right when AoC needed them to stick around) are all at play here. I couldn't believe how unpolished the game was (reminded me of Vanguard).



@Dave

Definitely true...especially when they don't really have a proven track record of strong successes. I know Anarchy Online's still around but it served a niche and they didn't handle customer support/updates very well there either.



The most amazing thing I'd seen in an MMO was what they did at Funcom. They patched the game and REQUIRED you to update to a point release of DirectX. What game does that? It's not like they launched the game with the requirement. They patched it months later and required it. I'll be they lost a bunch of people then who were barely loyal and took that as a sign of just how much Funcom cared about their installed base. Mismanagement through and through.

Mike Shiratti
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AoC is a truly amazing and enjoyable game, I was there for launch, waited a few months, and am now a happy subscriber once again.



I find the game more enjoyable than any MMO I've played "hardcorely" and I've player quite a few.



I would hate to see it die.


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