Funcom to shut down Beijing studio

Funcom to shut down Beijing studio
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 25th 2013 at 2:26PM

Further redundancies hit Canada and US offices

Secret World developer Funcom is to close its Beijing studio this year as part of its business-wide restructuring process.

The China-based office was responsible for creating the art and animation on the studio’s flagship MMO, but its operations have now been moved to the company’s US branch.

Despite the US studio taking on extra responsibility as Funcom looks to centralise its ‘live’ operations, the Raleigh-based outfit has also seen a number of redundancies.

The US branch will be primarily responsible for expanding and enhancing the company’s three live games and support the communities.

The Montreal team has also been downsized, with a number of developers leaving the company while others have been relocated to the Raleigh-based studio. The Canada-based office is currently developing unannounced projects for tablet and mobile, as well as working Funcom’s Dreamworld tech.

“The live team in Raleigh, North Carolina, has up until today only housed our billing/tools, community, customer service, operations and quality assurance teams,” said Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner.

“By bringing the developers on our live games to Raleigh it allows us to build a stronger, more unified team that can service and support our online games as they work to expand these worlds and create new experiences for the players who inhabit them. This will also allow us to have the team staying in Montreal focus exclusively on their new responsibilities of developing for tablets and mobile devices as well as working on new tech.”

Following low sales and a poor critical reception for its MMO The Secret World, Funcom announced last year it would be undergoing wide-ranging cost-cutting  measures with more than 50 per cent of its staff to be let go.

The developer also said it would focus on smaller titles with lower costs moving forward.