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Funcom closes Beijing studio, layoffs in Montreal and Raleigh offices

Developer Funcom will close its Beijing studio, the headquarters for art and animation for The Secret World, as part of its current restructuring plans, the company announced today.

"As a natural result of the completion of the development on The Secret World, the Beijing studio, which primary responsibility was delivering art and animation to that project, will be closed down this year," reads a report from Funcom to its investors released today.

All development on The Secret World will be moved to Funcom headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., which also heads development on the company's two other massively multiplayer online role-playing games, Anarchy Online and Age of Conan.

"The live team in Raleigh, North Carolina, has up until today only housed our billing/tools, community, customer service, operations and quality assurance teams," says Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner stated in the report. "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."

"By bringing the developers on our live games to Raleigh it allows us to build a stronger, more unified team."

Both the Raleigh and Montreal studios have also seen redundancies in certain departments. Montreal employees who were not relocated to Raleigh and who are not working on new projects have been let go.

According to the report, the Montreal studio is heading development on a number of projects for tablets and smartphones to push Funcom into the mobile games sector. Montreal will also continue to work on the company's Dreamworld technology, the platform powering its MMOs.

"This [restructuring] 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," Schreiner explained.

The string of layoffs at Funcom began last August when half the company, including The Secret World lead designer Martin Bruusgaard, was let go for "cost-adjustment initiatives." Earlier this month the company announced it would continue to restructure and would close some of its studios as a result.

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