Norwegian-headquartered developer Funcom (Anarchy Online, Dreamfall) has announced that the Norwegian Film Fund has awarded the firm a grant which will partially finance research and initial development of a newly planned title, Dreamfall Chapters.
This enables the establishment of a core technology team which "will research online-only delivery methods of episodic content, as well as lay the foundation for a later pre-production phase of Dreamfall Chapters."
According to an official statement by the company: "The online-only business model is a natural evolution of Funcom’s strategy. Through the research Funcom also aims to find new ways of expanding the brand value of The Longest Journey, while reducing the chance of piracy. As Funcom seeks to further strengthen an already established IP, the potential for a future The Longest Journey MMO increases."
The company's current plans are that each new installment of Dreamfall Chapters will initially be delivered as online-only content, but there may be retail releases with combined chapters, both for console and PC, at a later stage.
However, Funcom is also currently concentrating on completing Age of Conan - Hyborian Adventures, a hybrid MMO for PC and Xbox 360 that is being co-published with Eidos Interactive, and is currently due out in October 2007.
“We will be researching an online-only continuation of the epic Longest Journey saga, and we very much look forward to develop new chapters to the Dreamfall gaming community,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. “To see the Norwegian government take such an active role in nurturing the local game development industry is impressive. In return for their trust we aim to deliver a modern adventure game with unique qualities.”