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Funcom taken off stock market in Norway, accused of insider trading


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#1 Lafazar

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:44

Hi, i just registered here to ask what the consequences of this will be for Red Thread Games and TLJ:

 

Summary by Neogaf Member tcf:

In short:
Funcom have been taken off the stockmarket before it started this morning. Two cars from "Økokrim" (financial investigation) is at their office in Oslo.

Not much details as of yet. Will updated as I see more.

updated

Bit more details about the reason behind this. Sorry for bad translations

- Funcom have not given any stock reports on their numbers since the third quarter of last year. Compared to the previous year, their turnover have been cut in half. From $10.9 to $5.3 million. And the end result despite this vent from a loss of 449 000 dollars to a profit of 108 000 dollars.

Neogaf Thread:

http://www.neogaf.co...ad.php?t=759764

 

News articles:

http://e24.no/boers-...funcom/22740513

 

http://www.newsweb.n...essageId=344653



#2 Tina

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 13:03

Quoting what Silje and Tore just said in another thread (because it belongs here)
 

Oh wow, so Funcom is under investigation for what looks to be insider trading. :o
This morning, there are cars from Økokrim (The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) outside their offices, there is apparently a meeting going on, Økokrim employees have been seen carrying empty cardboard boxes inside, and Oslo Stock Exchange has ceased all share sales.
 
According to this article (in Norwegian), Funcom has been under investigation before, in August 2012, when the market price plummeted before and after the release of The Secret World. Before that happened, some of the people in the management had been selling off substantial shareholdings.
Apparently, it has happened again. On Monday (article also in Norwegian), Funcom's major shareholder, Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Group, sold a million shares at a rate of 5,42 NOK/share. At the same time, KGJ Investments redeemed some bonds and bought 5 million shares at a rate of 2,27 NOK/share.
I am pretty clueless about stocks and bonds and shares and godknowswhat, but even I can see that there's something fishy going on here..

 
 

There are a few things this could impact.
 
If the legal side of the licensing is in order, no effect on RTG. I believe it is, so no big worries there.
Future use of the TLJ universe may be a problem is FunCom goes down and someone else buys the intellectual property from the estate. Perhaps a new KS to help RTG buy it?
Tablet/phone version of TLJ is even unlikelier, I guess.

 
 

This just in: All employees have been sent home for the day. Økokrim is charging Funcom with possible violations of the Securities Trading Act (pdf in English). This is something they would've done before entering the Funcom offices, as they wouldn't have been able to do a razzia otherwise (the law apparently states that charges must be made before a razzia can be done).
 
From the Oslo Stock Exchange website:
 
"Økokrim (the Norwegian National authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) has charged Funcom N.V. based on suspicion of infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act with regards to the financial information given to the market regarding The Secret World from August 2011 until the launch of the game in July 2012 and the two months following the launch. In the view of Økokrim, there also exists a probability that the company has not maintained the required log of information within the company during that time.
The Company is fully cooperating with Økokrim."


Tina: RTG fangirl and forum moderator.

#3 Lafazar

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 13:16

Thanks for that.

 

Kickstarter to buy the license for RTG sounds like a good idea actually, but I sincerely hope it doesn't have to come to that.



#4 skadet

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 13:31

Here's a link to an article in English, for all you non-Devilspeakers :P


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#5 Happy Tree

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:05

Kära nån!



#6 Jecica

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 15:51

I read somewhere just now that Funcom is already back on the Stock market. That was quick.

 

Now, what I'd like to understand, how can all this affect RTG-team and DFC. What happens if, God forbids, Funcom is forced to shutdown? Of course, it's all speculation for now, we don't know exactly what's going on...


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#7 Ringtail

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 16:57

Wow. Weird. Sounds like the investigators are seizing computers and stuff. It also sounds like it's a follow-up to an investigation of a former executive that happened in late 2012.

I think Tore's thoughts are right - if all the paperwork on the licensing agreement is solid, this probably doesn't mean much for Chapters. Depending on what the agreement says about future games in the TLJ universe (if anything), TLJH could get harder to make if Funcom goes under and the intellectual property is bought by someone else. But there's no way to tell how likely that is from the limited information we have.

Please keep sharing any news you hear! This is very interesting!

#8 Jecica

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 17:57

I think Tore's thoughts are right - if all the paperwork on the licensing agreement is solid, this probably doesn't mean much for Chapters.

This part right here is what I'm worried about the most. I know of examples where licensors went bankrupt or had to shut down and their licensing deals had a contract clause specifying that they are no longer valid in those cases. I hope RTG have all their bases covered.

 

About TLJH, if the worse happens, then maybe RTG could buy the license, unless it's an open bidding, then someone else might grab it before RTG. Arghh... This is all speculating, but still, it's worrying.


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#9 Lee-m

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 18:19

It won't effect DF Chapters, the game will be out before a worse case scenario can run its course. It would be a problem if Funcom is sold, goes bankrupt and TLJ IP ends up in the hands of the evil empire (EA) so some such. omg I cant even think about that.

Realistically it would only have an impact on TLJH and anything else going forward. There are currently no signs that anything that bad will happen. Maybe a few ppl will get fines, lose their job at funcom, maybe even jail. But I think Funcom the company is safe.

#10 Ringtail

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 18:28

Those are all good points, Lee - particularly the one about Chapters being finished before any legal proceedings run their course.
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#11 khh

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 18:39

I doubt this will have much impact on DFC, TLJH or even RTG in general. They don't seem to be after the company itself, but the investors.

 

p.s. No, I won't be helping you.

Psjt, you'd be the first to jump on the 1a bandwagon :P


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#12 Lee-m

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 18:56

A few solutions for the worst scenario:
 
1. All fans start business training, dedicate their entire lives to becoming wealthy and influential, then pull some not-so legal triggers to give RTG all the licensing rights as well as necessary funds to create TLJH.
1a. A part of fans start military training, learn martial arts, and best torture practices to assist the corrupted group mentioned above.
 
2. All fans start mastering things useful for game development, starting with C# programming in Unity, to flawless voice imitating. A few people follow 1.a (see above), after which they kidnap the whole RTG staff, ehem... 'acquire' the script and make the game themselves. Then they release it for free, illegally, in the name of greater good.

3. Move RTG to china and make the game anyway, copyright law means nothing there :)

#13 AstralTraveller

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 19:19

I think Tore's thoughts are right - if all the paperwork on the licensing agreement is solid, this probably doesn't mean much for Chapters. Depending on what the agreement says about future games in the TLJ universe (if anything), TLJH could get harder to make if Funcom goes under and the intellectual property is bought by someone else. But there's no way to tell how likely that is from the limited information we have.

 

This, definitely. Nothing needs to be added :)


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#14 Nilaii

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 19:57

3. Move RTG to china and make the game anyway, copyright law means nothing there :)

瑞安四月.

I'd already get confused by a Chinese version of April's name. :)
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#15 Ragnar

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 23:44

If you're planning on kidnapping us, you ought consider doing the planning in a forum the WHOLE WORLD CAN'T READ. I'm not sure, but I think Interpol might be able to use this against you, somehow.

 

You're mad, the lot of you.

 

On the not-so-mad side: let's keep the speculation and rumour-mongering (not sure there's a lot of mongering going on, but I do like the word) to a minimum. In fact, I'm closing this thread now because it's not particularly relevant to Red Thread or Dreamfall Chapters.

 

Feel free to continue planning your kidnapping in another thread. I'm quite keen to know exactly HOW you're going to do it.

 

On a completely different note: does anyone know any good bodyguards? Asking for a friend.


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