Funcom said in its fourth-quarter financial report today that 2018 was the most profitable year in the company's history: Revenues are up, cash flow is up, and earnings per share is up, all good news for investors. For those of us more interested in the "games" side of things, there's a different sort of good news in the followup statement from CEO Rui Casais.
"We are very excited to announce an exclusive gaming partnership with Legendary Entertainment to develop a line of video games based on the works of Frank Herbert’s Dune," Casais said. "Dune is one of the world’s best-known science fiction universes and a personal favorite of mine. To work on Dune games is a dream come true for many of us in Funcom."
Funcom said in a separate statement that the Legendary partnership is a six-year deal for a minimum of three games on PC/consoles, one of which will be an "open world multiplayer" game that will begin pre-production later this year. That's what the studio is best known for: The best known of the bunch is probably the Cimmerian survival game Conan Exiles, and it also publishes the older MMOs Anarchy Online and Secret World Legends.
It publishes single-player games as well, though, most recently the very good tactical game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, which Funcom said in its financial statement was a "successful" release that established the company "as a reputable publisher of third party developed games." It's a bit of a stretch from there, but if that means the Dune RTS series could make a comeback, I won't mind in the least.
I've emailed Funcom for more information about the deal and will update if I receive a reply. Now check out this classic Westwood intro from 1992.