The Secret World Hit With Trade Infringement Charges

The Secret World Hit With Trade Infringement Charges

The Secret World screen

Norway's economic crime unit ěkokrim suspects MMO The Secret World developer Funcom of trade infringement.

This morning Norway's economic crime unit ěkokrim conducted a raid at the Oslo, Norway office of Funcom, the developer behind The Secret World. ěkokrim charged Funcom with infringement of the Securities Trading Act between August 2011 and July 2012 for allegedly providing false information pertaining to The Secret World.

Funcom is fully cooperating with ěkokrim, an official statement read. ěkokrim believes Funcom likely has not maintained the required log of information from August 2011 to July 2012.

Funcom went into a trading halt on the Oslo Stock Exchange this morning at 9:30 a.m. Norway time, resulting in a stopping of company stock trading and delisting the company. Funcom's listing has now been reinstated. Employees have been sent home as the investigation continues. ěkokrim staff members entered the Oslo offices with cardboard boxes and carried out carts of equipment from Funcom premises. ěkokrim officers were present as employees arrived this morning.

Layoffs hit the company in September 2012, and former Funcom CEO Trond Aas came under investigation for insider trading based on insider knowledge. Aas stepped down as Funcom CEO the day before The Secret World launched. Funcom's stock has dropped eight-fold from the game's launch to investigation.

Funcom is currently developing Lego Minifigures Online, a licensed Lego MMO, and the company has also created The Longest Journey in 1999 and Dreamfall in 2006. The Secret World has failed to recreate the same success.

Source: e24 (Norwegian), News in English

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Well this is interesting. I vaguely recall the thing with the previous CEO... wonder if they'll turn up anything when they sift through all of that.

I must admit I don't really understand the charge here. Infringement of the Securities Trading Act?

Didn't know that about their former CEO, nor about their stock. A shame, I think their MMOs are among the better ones and that they are a good gaming company. I have Secret World still installed but haven't played in a while. Very good game but not enough content. Probably changed since I last logged in. A shame that it isn't more popular though I can entirely understand where the "It should have been an offline" game thing comes from. A brilliant world, interesting story, unique setting and mechanics and then they slap an MMO onto it and make you fetch 5 beaks, escort an NPC and deliver a package.

Normal person trades/sells stock before a company tanks? Pretty smart felluh! Wow, you got lucky, dewd!

CEO/higher up does the same thing? OH MY GOD WHAT THE FRELLING DREN YOU PIECE OF TRASH THIS IS EXTREMELY WRONG YOU SHOULDVE GONE DOWN WITH THE SHIP SOMEONE INVESTIGATE THIS GUY

Alpha Maeko:
Normal person trades/sells stock before a company tanks? Pretty smart felluh! Wow, you got lucky, dewd!

CEO/higher up does the same thing? OH MY GOD WHAT THE FRELLING DREN YOU PIECE OF TRASH THIS IS EXTREMELY WRONG YOU SHOULDVE GONE DOWN WITH THE SHIP SOMEONE INVESTIGATE THIS GUY

The difference is a "normal person" isn't in charge of the company that's going down the shitter. Chances are, a "normal person" isn't even aware of the problems that the CEO may have directly caused.

In addition, international corporations are subject to the laws of the countries in which they operate. Some of which may involve investigating corporate employees suspected of insider trading.

Alpha Maeko:
Normal person trades/sells stock before a company tanks? Pretty smart felluh! Wow, you got lucky, dewd!

CEO/higher up does the same thing? OH MY GOD WHAT THE FRELLING DREN YOU PIECE OF TRASH THIS IS EXTREMELY WRONG YOU SHOULDVE GONE DOWN WITH THE SHIP SOMEONE INVESTIGATE THIS GUY

The charge is predicated on access to insider information, not on whether a CEO or other executive should "go down with the ship", CEOs and other executives have access to pertinent information about the health of a company that a normal employee does not. Acting on the information before it has been released to the public is highly illegal. If a CEO jumps ship after all pertinent information has been released to the public, he has no more committed an offense than another employee who does the same.

My only thoughts here are that I hope the company survives and that the development team survive, because I actually really enjoy The Secret World, and have followed Funcom's games ever since I first saw The Longest Journey. I've been looking forward to Chapters for a long time, and I don't really want to see a load of bad news for the company. If the former CEO has been doing some shady stuff though then I hope he gets the full force of the law thrown at him. I just don't want to see any collateral damage harming the actual developers and their IPs...

So glad Dreamfall:Chapters is being developed by another company entirely.

ěkokrim is one awesome name for an economic crime unit.

Not sure where the trademark claims are coming from, played the game for a couple months. Pretty deeply flawed mechanics and redundant quests, but fairly interesting story/world.

Trivun:
My only thoughts here are that I hope the company survives and that the development team survive, because I actually really enjoy The Secret World, and have followed Funcom's games ever since I first saw The Longest Journey. I've been looking forward to Chapters for a long time, and I don't really want to see a load of bad news for the company. If the former CEO has been doing some shady stuff though then I hope he gets the full force of the law thrown at him. I just don't want to see any collateral damage harming the actual developers and their IPs...

I have nothing against Funcom, but thankfully Dreamfall Chapters went the kickstarter route and are now independent from them.

And here I was thinking it was King suing them for having "The" in the title.

The former CEO is suspected of insider trading as he quit the day before the launch of The Secret World, then selling his stock worth approximately 1.6 million dollars shortly before the company stock plummets tenfold. (It went from 25 nok to 2.6 just in the summer of 2012.) It also seems that Funcom has mislaid the required documentation about who had access to which inside information in the same period of time

Funcom were always a little bit dodgy. But they made some really fun games at the same time. They could of been a lot more successful with the right man at the helm, instead of a cut-and-run while the gettin's good boss. Still, Anarchy Online is my favourite Sci-Fi MMO experience to date (here's looking at you, Star Citizen) and I did have a lot of fun with The Secret World for a couple of months. Plus The Longest Journey which is the greatest story ever told in a video game, obviously.

 

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