Funcom have acquired the Cabinet Group, the company which owns the intellectual properties Conan The Barbarian and Mutant Year Zero. Funcom have already developed several Conan games by licensing the IP, including the MMO Age Of Conan and more recently the survival game Conan Exiles.
The announcement also mentioned that a new game is currently in development which will star Conan and "many of the characters in the Robert E. Howard universe."
That new game is unannounced and there are no other details.
The Cabinet Group and its various IP are being incorporated as Heroic Signatures, which previously existed as a joint venture between Funcom and Cabinet focused solely on the latter's videogame licensing. Fredrik Malmberg, co-founder and CEO of Cabinet Group, will serve as President of Heroic Signatures, and continue to manage the licensing of Conan out for monthly comics from Marvel and a Netflix series that's "currently in the works."
Aside from Conan, Cabinet Group owned several other IP, including Solomon Kane and Mutant Year Zero. The latter post-apocalyptic setting and its bipedal animals were recently used in the turn-based strategy game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, which was published by Funcom.
I've not played any of the Conan games, but Age Of Conan launched in 2008 and is one of the few MMOs from the period to have endured. The company said that the game remains profitable in an interview with GI.biz. Conan Exiles has likewise held onto an audience, despite launching amid a sea of other survival games. Funcom themselves were acquired outright by Tencent in 2020.
Whether there's exciting things in Conan's future is anyone's guess. In the interview with GI.biz linked above, Malmberg seems specifically excited about Fortnite, positing a hypothetical "Heroes Online" game where a character like Conan could appear alongside other heroic characters such as Batman. "We’ve seen brilliant examples of how games have incorporated IPs in innovative ways to reach audience numbers that vastly surpass previous levels," says Malmberg in the press release announcing the acquisition. "What Fortnite has done with The Avengers, for instance, or the impact a live in-game concert can have on awareness. We are looking forward to sit down with other entertainment companies who share our vision and wish to take part in the exciting journey we have ahead."
Conan, what is best in life? To do the Carlton dance with your transmedia pals in the metaverse.