Let me say this, first thing: I love Funcom. My very first MMORPG was “Anarchy Online”, which I have fond memories of, and still play on occasion. One of my favorite MMORPGs ever was “The Secret World”, which has been supplanted by “Secret World Legends”, a game I actively play. All in all, I would say I’m a Funcom fan.
That all said, I’m not a fan of the direction Funcom has taken the last few years. Very little development on their MMORPGs, being “Anarchy Online”, “Age of Conan”, and (arguably) “Secret World Legends”, with seemingly all of their efforts being directed towards games of smaller scope. Funcom made their name as a developer of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, and it is frankly sad to see them virtually abandon this genre, chasing the next popular trend.
Now, I do get it. Funcom is a business, and they need to make money. That’s why so much effort has been put into games like “Conan Exiles”, which has been a big money-maker for the company, but I find it distressing that seemingly little of the profits being made have been funneled back into their stable of MMOs.
“Age of Conan” sits virtually untouched. “Anarchy Online” is effectively in Maintenance Mode. “Secret World Legends” is in Maintenance Mode, which is ironic, since it was the game meant to replace “The Secret World”, when it was placed in Maintenance Mode just over two years ago.
From what I’ve heard, Funcom is developing a game based upon the “Dune” franchise, which may or may not be an MMORPG. I would like to hear that it is, because they make great MMORPGs, and should not abandon this genre simply because they have had a few mis-steps along the way.
Let’s be frank here: If Cryptic can keep developing “Champions Online”, a game with a playerbase much smaller than any Funcom MMORPG, then Funcom can put some development into their MMOs!
I’m not asking for much here. I’m not saying Funcom should run out and hire hundreds of developers, and start pumping out quarterly content updates for each of their MMORPGs (although that would be appreciated!). But I am saying that Funcom needs to remember that their MMOs aren’t just Microtransaction vessels, built to extract money from their players, with little to no development put back into those games. We are not Piggy Banks that Funcom can shake a few coins out of when they want to, without giving us something… anything… back, in return!
It is great that Funcom does at least turn on the Holiday content for their MMORPGs, when appropriate, at the very least. I will give them that much. But that’s not really much, when we watch them put massive resources into their other, newer projects. Frankly, it’s sad, to be honest. Cosmetics and Toys are fine, especially at the holidays, but it simply isn’t enough.
Not for your long-time fans.
Not for the people who have supported Funcom, through good times and bad.
Especially the bad times. Just saying.