Funcom cuts half its staff

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Norwegian games maker Funcom is either laying off or putting half of its 330 employees on unpaid leave, following weak sales of its much-anticipated new game The Secret World.

Around 165 workers at Funcom’s offices in Oslo, Montreal, Beijing and the US are affected, reported newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Thursday. Funcom had around 100 employees at its Oslo base at the beginning of this year, and many have now been put on leave in accordance with Norwegian labour regulations.

Funcom’s Secret World debuted July 3 after five years of development and investment amounting to an estimated NOK 300 million. Funcom expected sales of up to NOK 1 billion but admitted earlier this month that revenues from game sales and monthly subscriptions were much lower.

Just three years ago, Funcom was considered one of Norway’s most successful start-ups and optimism ran high when it announced its expansion into Canada. It’s the company behind such games as Age of Conan and Anarchy Online.

Several of those now losing their jobs have worked for Funcom for several years. Funcom’s shares have fallen 88 percent since last spring and dipped under NOK 3 on Wednesday.

Views and News staff