Funcom – publisher of MMOs The Secret World, Age of Conan and others – has been raided by Norwegian police following allegations of insider trading.
Økokrim – the Norwegian authority that handles economic crime – seized documents this morning and Funcom has ceased its trading on the stock exchange.
All staff members were sent home early pending the outcome of the investigation.
The allegations center around MMO The Secret World and information disclosed to market traders about it.
The Secret World was the pet project of industry veteran Ragnar Tørnquist. Though it was released initially to lukewarm critical reception it later relaunched, ditching its requirement for subscription fees and subsequently enjoyed a massive boom in player numbers.
Funcom has had a difficult time of late, laying off a large number of its staff, restructuring its business and attempting to keep the wolves from the door. Whether this latest development is related to that – and what it spells for the future of the publisher – is uncertain.
We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.