The Secret World developer Funcom noted a dip in revenues in its end-of-year financial report, but its catalogue of MMOs are doing fine.
Fourth quarter revenue was $4.27 million, down both quarter-on-quarter from $5.33 million (Q3 2013) and year-on-year from $7.78 million (Q4 2012, when The Secret World launched).
Funcom blamed the reduction on “a smaller amount recognized in revenue from previously recorded deferred billings” of The Secret World, and weaker sales due to competition.
Although Funcom had expected and noted lower revenues, it said marketing campaigns to increase activity had been successful, and that the player base of its large-scale MMOs – The Secret World, Age of Conan and Anarchy Online – had held “relatively stable”.
“All games in the large-scale MMO segment are cash flow positive and will remain so in the foreseeable future,” it added.
As a result of investment in the upcoming Lego Minigures Online and Funcom’s multiplatform Dreamworld platform, the developer has significantly less cash on hand.
Lego Minifigures Online has received positive feedback on gameplay and visuals during beta tests, Funcom said, but a mixed reaction to usability. The user interface will be overhauled before the next beta. Open beta is expected in northern summer.
The developer had quite a lot to say about its plans to transition to mid core games focused on known properties, with smaller development budgets and cross-platform play with tablets. Lego Minifigures Online is the first game to be produced under this new strategy. Funcom said press and stakeholders seem to have been unaware of its efforts to restructure; it promised to be open to press.
In addition to Lego Minifigures Online, Funcom is working on external mobile projects, on contract.
Regarding the recent investigation by Norwegian financial authorities, Funcom said only that no staff members have been charged, and that it has no idea when the investigation might wrap up.