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Funcom 'charged with infringing Security Tradings Act'

Secret World studio reportedly under investigation for 'providing misleading financial information'

Funcom has been formally indited for breaching the Securities Trading Act in relation to information disclosed regarding EA-published MMO The Secret World, according to reports.

Newsweb reports that the Norway-based studio has been charged due to "suspicion of infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act".

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It is believed that financial information given to market regarding The Secret World from the period of August 2011 until the launch of the game in July 2012, and the two months following the launch, was either false or misleading.

ěkokrim, Norway's economic crime investigation unit, also alleges Funcom "has not maintained the required log of information within the company during that time".

Norwegian news site E24 reports that employees at the studio were asked to leave by ěkokrim officers at midday on Wednesday. They went on to seize documents from the studio, it's claimed.

Neither Funcom nor EA have released an official statement addressing the claims.

In addition to The Secret World, Funcom is known for its Age of Conan games, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, and Anarchy Online. This morning Funcom's stock ceased trading on the Oslo stock exchange.

The Secret World was released in July 2012. On the day of the game's launch, and one after announcing a licensing agreement with Lego, Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas announced he was to step down as CEO.

In a statement released at the time, Aas said "the company's financial position is strong and the foundation of the company's long-term product and technology strategy is in place".

In August 2012 the studio confirmed it was in the process of laying off approximately half of its global workforce as part of an effort to reduce operational costs.

Disappointing sales of The Secret World were said to have forced the studio to narrow its focus to smaller titles.

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