Secret World dev closes art and animation studio as part of restructuring process that will centralize development in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Funcom's office in Beijing, China, is shutting down. The studio, which primarily developed art and animation for The Secret World, will close its doors for good later this year. The move comes as part of Funcom's previously announced restructuring process, which also sees an unspecified number of layoffs at Funcom's Montreal, Quebec and Raleigh, North Carolina studios.
The Funcom restructuring is aimed at creating a centralized team at its North Carolina studio, which will focus on development of the company's three major titles: The Secret World, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online.
The company explained that prior to the restructuring, the North Carolina outfit only housed Funcom billing, community, customer service, operations, and quality assurance teams. Now, the outfit will also include developers, which will allow Funcom to "build a stronger, more unified team."
Funcom's office in Montreal is currently working on unannounced projects for tablet and mobile platforms. In addition, the outfit is continuing its work on the company's Dreamworld technology, the engine behind The Secret World.
Overall, Funcom said its new plan is to "build smaller, high-quality" online games while simultaneously supporting its MMO games. In addition, Funcom is working on a Lego Minifigures MMO game, though details on this project have not yet been announced.
Guys, don't fear about Dreamfall chapters. it's not being developed by Funcom! Ragnar started his own studio Red Thread Games. It's in pre production right now! no tears...don't fear. it's all good for us Longest Journey fans. ok?
I like TSW well enough (lifetime subber here) but the engame seems uncharacteristically grindy in relation to the core gameplay, especially the questing which is pretty enjoyable. I just can't get into the endgame grind that much.
Hope Funcom can keep things going well enough for themselves..
"will focus on development of the company's three major titles: The Secret World, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online." Anarchy Online is a major title now? It has been awfully quiet about it for a long time, but several people in comment sections often point to it as a neglected gem of the MMO world, so they'll be glad that it will be given more attention.
Funcom is very big for Norway, so I think the government is going to help them when needed. Norway need a company that advertises Norway from more sides than just oil.
@inailed If Norway intended to help them any more than they already have in the past ( giving Funcom multi-million dollar grants for years that got lost as each game flopped ), Funcom wouldn't be moving everything to North Carolina. lol
@inailedWell, Norway has its fjords and lusekofte as well, so they're not just an oil contry :P (says a Swedish guy).
Actually TSW is going from strength to strength with the B2P move, it's definitely one of the best MMO's out there. Sad news on the company downsize, I hope they can fix the company with these moves but as above it's not TSW.
@Sanchez If TSW counts as "one of the best", might as well close down the mmo genre now, because it's fucked.
@DarckArchon Ragnar (who did most of the secret world storylines, etc) is working on the new Longest journey game, he started his own side-studio (Red Thread games) to work on it, though he is still an employee at Funcom (who owns the IP rights to TLJ).
So the new TLJ is still being made, no worries.
TSW didn't live up to the hype if there was even that. Graphics were nice so I hope those talented people find jobs elsewhere.
I was surprised to learn, less than a minute ago, that Funcom had a studio whose task was to design and animate for the Secret World. If they did environments, they did a good job.
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