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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 1:07PM HadesLotD said

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415 Customers means accounts that are still active, but not how many are still paying. Many of the PVP servers have had 75% - 100% of entire guilds canceling in August, the server forums are barren, instances are barren, and if you follow a lot of the "guild list" links you'll see a ton of them are preparing for Warhammer or WoW.

Unless AOC is a big hit in new markets, I think the next quarterly report is going to show the real effect of how many people have bailed on the game within the first 6 months. I don't know what servers have high populations anymore, but most are low to medium at best.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 1:12PM (Unverified) said

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Funcom has worst quarterly losses in a company's history...
http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=156638

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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Check this out also.


Funcom CEO sells 18.7% of his shares
http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=156764



Anyone else scared to even play a game while it is on the merge of dying? I sure am...

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 1:20PM (Unverified) said

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When an insider dumps stock following a financial report, the indication is certainly bearish for the company.

I'd also suggest it is common for an MMO to release general numbers guidance to investors. Failure to do so cannot be anything other than negative subscriber growth. When an MMO is growing, we see tons of marketing materials about the numbers. When it is shrinking, we don't see those numbers.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 1:37PM design1stcode2nd said

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My subscription finishes August 20th, haven't been in the game for two weeks now.

I bet you won't see numbers for September and November. Or especially after WAR and Wrath come out.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 2:26PM Crsh said

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Same here, which is incidently also the end of any 3-month subscription after the first "free" 30 days of buying the game at launch - it'd be interesting to see how many folks sub up for a 3-month package instead of a monthly one, perhaps indicating september will be when sub levels drop even lower.
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Posted: Aug 15th 2008 2:04PM (Unverified) said

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It must be twisting the words to make it better than it is.

I vote for 415k subscribers in Q2.

There's no way NO WAY the game has an increasing population. The NA servers are barren wastelands now.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 3:26PM preciousj said

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Warhammer seems to have the best bet for success in the future (as much as a game can going against WoW). I've been really impressed by what I've seen, and much more eager to play that then I was with Conan.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 3:25PM (Unverified) said

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If it is a Q2 financial report why would it have information from Q3? The report was published in August but the information is from April to June.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 4:58PM (Unverified) said

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Age of Conan will become a repeat of Hellgate: London in the series of failed games.

Posted: Aug 15th 2008 6:09PM (Unverified) said

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What are you talking about? They had stellar initial sales but that doesn't mean anything. THey're being extremely sketchy with the sub numbers that they're releasing and those numbers are STILL bad when compared to game box sales. Couple this with overwhelming player dissatisfaction and the fact that the CEO of Funcom sold 18% of his stock...

Something's up and it's not boding well for them. It's kind of crazy to accuse people of being Chicken Little without looking at the facts.
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Posted: Aug 15th 2008 6:09PM (Unverified) said

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What are you talking about? They had stellar initial sales but that doesn't mean anything. THey're being extremely sketchy with the sub numbers that they're releasing and those numbers are STILL bad when compared to game box sales. Couple this with overwhelming player dissatisfaction and the fact that the CEO of Funcom sold 18% of his stock...

Something's up and it's not boding well for them. It's kind of crazy to accuse people of being Chicken Little without looking at the facts.
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Posted: Aug 15th 2008 7:04PM TwistedBishop said

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I'll assume you're addressing me and replied to Drifter by mistake.

To your points:

-They have released very precise active numbers. 415k of people either paying or in their free month.

-Retaining 50% of your box sales is bad? Vanguard retained 16%. Do you assume that WoW has only sold 11 milliion retail copies?

-"Overwhelming player dissastisfaction"? I don't know. Go to any currently running MMO's message board and see how many complaints you find. What I mainly see around here is a lot of FUD and trolling.

-The CEO did sell some of his stock. Executives often do. Why is this cause for alarm now? Oh, right, it's an AoC thread.

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Posted: Aug 16th 2008 2:04AM (Unverified) said

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Anyone played this game? any comments on why it is failing?
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Posted: Aug 15th 2008 5:18PM TwistedBishop said

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So Funcom launches AoC. It has record sales, has an active subscriber base higher than any MMO out there that isn't named WoW, meets its own guidance for the quarter that takes into account launch-related expenses...and people are still claiming the sky is falling?

That's the internet for you.

Posted: Aug 16th 2008 3:04AM (Unverified) said

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AoC is failing atm because they launched the game before it was ready. The gameplay itself is solid, the "active melee" is alot of fun IMO, but the game launched with too many bugs, too little content and imbalanced classes.

My sub ended last july, thy have fixed most of the bugs that annoyed me since then, now they just need to add some more content to the lvl 45+ range and they have a solid fun game.

I think I'll go back in 5-6 months and see how the game has evolved.

Posted: Aug 16th 2008 3:08AM Boulderbolg said

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They are just trying to keep their investors in the dark. Obviously, they don't play the game.

Posted: Nov 10th 2008 2:33PM (Unverified) said

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I's simple:

1) A retention-rate of 52% for a large scale mmo like AoC is horrendous.

2) If you take the accumulated losses of FC over the last years you have a quite exact number on the development cost of AoC: roughly 20 Mio. Dollar. Probably a bit more but let's take a lower range figure.

3) In spite of 1.2 million copies sold to the retailers with an (low) estimated revenue of 10$ per box they made 12 mio USD in revenue on launch alone. Compared to the record loss in Q2 of about 7 mio USD that means the launch and preparation was almost 19 mio USD in cost.

4) Regardless if the figure 415K pertains to end of june or mid of august:

Subs started around 23rd of may or a bit later for EA customers. So up to 30th of june only the customers who actually cancelled within their first "free" month went inactive until june 30th. It is debatable if EA customers who cancelled in the free month are already counted, since I am not sure if their subs ended on 1st or 2nd of july only. That would mean that roughly half of the customers cancelled in the first month already. When the figure should mean august 14th. It doesn't really look better. Since then only people who gave 1 other month and then cancelled would be included in the losses. But not the ones with 3 month sub neither the ones with a 60 day gamecard, since their subs ALL end after August 14th.

And since many guilds reported to have almost collectively cancelled now that means the impact of cancellations will hit end of august for gamecards and 1 month subs and end of september for 3 month subs.

5) At least in germany AoC fell out of the better chart controls (Media control) quite some weeks ago, only a one vendor chart (saturn) kept it in the top 10 until last week when it dropped out. In comparison both WoW battlechest and BC are still in the top 10 for both charts. So new customer aquisition is bad also so short after launch.

6) Combining the high debts and high running cost to a fast dwindling playerbase the break even for AoC is postponed VERY far. The debt service for the around 20 mio alone amounts to about 1 mio / month or about 100K subs (transfer costs and service cost already deducted).

This really doesn't look good.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 3:38PM TwistedBishop said

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Funcom has no debt. They had unprofitable quarters, but they never took out loans (unlike Hellgate, who put their IPs up as collateral). Funcom has generated 60 million alone by going public and through private placement. Of which, they still have 36 million in cash. They're quite flush.

AoC is not going to sell like WoW forever. No one ever claimed it would. What it has done is sell exceptionally well for an MMO. The simple truth is, WoW is an aberration among the genre. Nothing sold like it before, or since. It's active subscriber base alone is orders of magnitude higher than anything else out there. You see this in console games, where things like GTA or Halo sell 10-15 million copies, but they don't stop the rest of the industry from considering 1 million sales as a tremendous success.

To your concern over their playerbase size as impacting competition: I played Everquest back in the day, which had around a 450k playerbase. There were many huge guilds on each server, numbering close to 200 players, and the competition was intense. Funcom likely does need to condense down their severs, though, since a lot of space is being wasted at the moment.

You really need to have some context before you complain that AoC has a fast-dwindling playerbase. Do you have anything to compare it to? Even WoW, which again is the aberration of the genre, doesn't retain as a player every copy it sells. Anyone who reads the PC 10 Top Sales chart every month can see WoW has a permanent spot high on the list. How many sales is that? And then how many sales is that per year? And THEN consider the chart is only for North American sales, while WoW's largest chunk of the playerbase comes from Asia.

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Posted: Aug 17th 2008 5:40AM (Unverified) said

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The game is dead. No point in even denying it anymore.

At this point, I am so pissed over the lies and deception by Funcom, that I want them to fail. I want the whole company to go bottom up; as a lesson to future gaming companies.

Don't lie to your customers.


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