As reported back in May, Funcom announced an update to their LEGO Minifigures Online game, changing it to a buy-to-play model in addition to other changes, including a “strong narrative” and an overall story.
Last Thursday, Funcom released a financial update on LMO.
Funcom N.V. (the “Company”) would like to provide an update regarding the launch of the LEGO Minifigures Online game and the financial situation of the Company.
LEGO Minifigures Online launched three weeks and three days ago and the Company has gathered enough information on the initial sales to provide an update. The game is currently not meeting internal revenue forecasts. This is mostly due to low sales on the PC platform.
Sales on the iOS platform have performed better, mainly due to the featuring in the Apple Store during the launch week, but as the price point of the game on this platform is lower, these additional sales are not enough to compensate for the low sales on PC for the time being.
The article went on to state that while traffic to the game’s website and app store listing increased after the game update earlier this month, the expected conversion rate has not been met, though the upcoming Halloween LEGO Minifigure series “may have an impact on the sales of the game.”
Funcom contributes the lower-than-expected sales to more limited exposure to “gaming press” and “in traditional gaming outlets” due to “among other possible factors, the fact that the game has been available since last year.”
The article also interestingly states that revenue from all of Funcom’s current games “are not expected to cover both operational expenses and the debt repayment obligations” and are working with their principle creditor “to resolve the situation in a timely manner.”
Personal observation and opinion here: it was only a matter of time before news like this came out. LMO has received much criticism and had large troubles since it’s launch in October 2014, from micro-transactions to boring gameplay and overall weak sales from the beginning. I, as well as many others, saw the buy-to-play transition as the nail-in-the-coffin for LMO, and with the undeniably massive success of LEGO® Worlds, I still feel it is only a matter of time before LMO, if not Funcom itself, is shutdown.
What is your reaction to this news? Surprised, excepted, indifferent? Let me know in the comments!