More harsh news in game development today: The Verge (opens in new tab) reports an unknown number of employee cutbacks occurring at The Secret World developer Funcom.
"Funcom is in the process of reducing operational costs, and this process includes temporary layoffs as well as other initiatives," a company statement said. "As we are currently in the middle of this process, we can't provide any further comment at the present time. Rest assured, we have long-term plans for the company, and we remain fully committed to all our games."
The Secret World's mixture of monsters, mythology, and conspiracy in modern times formed an appealing setting for MMO players seeking an alternative to playing as elves with long ears and stabbing dragons repeatedly in the kneecap. Yet, middling Metacritic scores (opens in new tab) cropped up after the game's July 3 launch. Our own review (opens in new tab) highlighted TSO's "innovation, atmosphere, and charm" but lopped points off for weak combat and a shackling structure.
An investor update (opens in new tab) released earlier this month revealed Funcom's dissatisfaction with The Secret World's reception among critics and subsequent share price slump, saying, "Funcom is of course disappointed with achieving such a Metascore. A game like The Secret World, which isn't based on a well-known brand, is normally dependent on positive press reviews to achieve successful initial sales, in addition -- but not limited to -- other factors such as word-of-mouth."
What do you think? Did poor review scores keep you away from The Secret World?