Norwegian developer Funcom has received $10.6m (88m Norwegian kroner) of investment from Swedbank Robur as part of a joint venture deal with Cabinet Group. This deal includes the creation of a new company, Heroic Signatures, with split ownership by Funcom and Cabinet Group, which will manage the IP rights of American writer Robert E Howard and classic Swedish pen and paper RPGs.
These include Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, Mutant Chronicles and Mutant: Year Zero. Funcom has experience in this area, having created an Age of Conan MMORPG and the studio is currently working an open world survival game set in the franchise, called Conan Exiles.
As a result of this deal, Funcom plans to start focusing on co-development with other studios in order to create games set in Robert E Howard’s franchises. “These partnerships are intended to leverage the core strengths and markets of Funcom, with focus on quality – rather than quantity – of projects,” the press release says. “[Funcom] hopes to secure two such product launches per year starting from 2019.”
"Any developer or publisher will be able to license these properties,” says Rui Cassais, CEO of Funcom, via GamesIndustry.biz. “And our ambition is to see a multitude of games grow from these worlds and to see the properties strengthened across the board to the benefit of everyone who works with them."