Funcom employees were greeted at their office in Oslo this morning by officers from The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime. Staff were then sent home at midday, and officers were seen leaving the building with enough documents to fill several boxes reports Norwegian site E24.
According to another Norwegian site, News in English, the MMO developer behind Age of Conan and struggling The Secret World has been charged with breaching the Trading Securities Act relating to information disclosed about The Secret World from August 2011 until July 2012. It is also being investigated over whether or not Funcom kept an accurate list of people who had access to inside information across that period.
Funcom has now stopped trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
According to Communications Director Per Eikrem at OSE trading halts are usually short but can go on for a couple of days, but he had no more information on the situation with Funcom or what the company planned to do. “It’s the company that has control over when the message comes,” he said. “It would be wrong of me to disclose anything, but I expect it will arrive today.”
This is another in a long line of problems that the developer has been dealing with since the launch of The Secret World, starting with CEO Tronde Arne Aas stepping down just before the game launched. The title never gained traction resulting in it moving to a free-to-play model while Funcom let go of half its staff.
Hopefully this won't negatively impact The Secret World and its players.
Cheers, Games Industry International