Today Funcom released its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, and it includes some interesting information about the recently-released open world survival game Conan Exiles.
The developer mentions that the game performed “extremely well,” with 480,000 copies sold in 28 days since the beginning of early access (the number indicates net sales, after returns and chargebacks). Funcom initially set a 12 month sales gooal on PC of 487,000 copies and that should be reached within the first 30 days.
The game costed $4.5 million to develop up to launch, and costs were covered within the first seven days. It’s currently profitable, and Funcom predicts profitability to continue for the time being.
The “huge” initial success of the game is mentioned as laying a solid foundation for continuous success in 2017 and beyond.
More information and analysis of Conan Exiles‘ performance can be found below.
- Conan Exiles is the third game under the new strategy, and so far all three have reached all internal goals. The company will continue to work under the new strategy of making smaller experimental projects like The Park and Hide & Shriek, as well as larger projects like Conan Exiles.
- The business model in Conan Exiles is buy to play (B2P). You pay once and can play forever. We will evaluate offering paid Downloadable content (DLC) only after the game has exited Early Access and launched on all platforms.
- The game is planned to continue in Early Access for around 12 months after its initial Early Access launch on PC. Early Access is a concept provided by Steam where developers can launch fully playable games, but with less content than a full game. Bugs and technical issues must be expected as players under this concept develop the game together with the developers by providing valuable feedback on features, content and bugs.
- As with many other Early Access games, the company acknowledges that the game has technical issues and bugs in addition to the initial capacity problem we encountered that we are still working on mitigating. This is affecting player ratings negatively which currently stands at 69% positive on Steam user rating.
- The team is working extensively to fix these issues and the number one priority for the company, above all else, is to fix these issues and prepare the game for future updates.
- So far the team has delivered 18 larger and smaller updates to the game which has garnered praise from the players in the Early Access community. The speed of updates will be reduced in the coming weeks as the team enters into a more sustainable production rhythm.
Interestingly, Funcom plans to increase investment, with an accent on the upcoming console releases, since there is less competition on Xbox One and PS4.
- Due to the rapid success of Conan Exiles the Company has evaluated its investment level into the project and decided to increase it, as we believe this to represent the highest ROI for the next 12-24 months.
- Some milestones have been moved as part of the additional investment plan, to maximize the quality and thus the revenue generated by those activities.
- The additional investment will be in the 5 to 10m USD range throughout 2017 and early 2018, to deliver technical and content updates, PR & marketing activities and campaigns, as well as support for Xbox One and Playstation 4 launches.
- As part of the evaluation to invest more in the console version, the fact that competition in the genre on both Xbox and PS4 is limited, has played a major part. So far only ARK and 7 Days to Die have been released on those consoles.
- Future potential of the game is dependent of many factors, player and media reception of the game and the company are both factors investors should consider together with the potential the title has in its genre, together with its initial success and future full launch and launch on consoles. For more information regarding risk factors please see point 27 in the 2015 annual report.
Last, but not least, we also get an update on the plans for the future of the game, including the Xbox One Game Preview release and an additional biome (a new part of the map with a completely different environment compared to the current desert) in Q3 of this year, while a full release on PS4, Xbox One and PC will come in Q1 2018.
- Regular Patches, which will happen every one to two weeks:
- Performance and Stability updates.
- Bug Fixing to continuosly polish the game experience.
- “Quick Win” small features and additionsto the game to respond to the requests from the community.
- Game Updates, less frequent but with significant additions to the game:
- Examples of content are the Trebuchet/Siege weapons, Dye system, mounts, etc.
- The current plan is for 4 – 6 Game Updates during the Early Access Period.
- 2-3 Game Updates during H1 2017.
- 2-3 Game Updates during H2 2017.
- 1 Game Update during Q1 2018.
- Major Releases, for new platform launches and large content updates:
- Xbox One Game Preview and an additional Biome during Q3 2017.
- Xbox Game Preview is similar to the Early Access program but on the Xbox platform.
- A “biome” is an addition to the existing game map with a different environment, adding new terrain, monsters, equipment, avatars, etc.
- Full Release on PC, Xbox, and PS4 in Q1 2018.
On top of the news on Conan Exiles, we also get an interesting update on Funcom’s older MMORPG The Secret World, with a “relaunch” planned for the first half of this year.
- The Secret World will be relaunched during the first half of 2017.
- The goal of the relaunch is to broaden the appeal of the game through:
- Redesigned new player experience
- Major improvements to gameplay including combat.
- Introduction of new retention systems such as daily rewards.
- Adjustments to the business model, including allowing access to the story content for free.
- Relaunch activities will begin in late March.
- This relaunch has the potential to have a significant impact in the game and company’s revenues
- As with any business model adjustments there is a significant risk attached to this change.
Conan Exiles is currently available in early access for PC only on Steam, while The Secret World, also for PC only, was launched back in July 2012.