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Funcom Acquires Full Control Of Conan the Barbarian and Dozens of Other IPs, Developing Unannounced New Title

by Rainier on Sept. 14, 2021 @ 1:11 p.m. PDT

Funcom announced the acquisition of Cabinet Group, home to dozens of intellectual properties, including Conan the Barbarian, Mutant Year Zero and Solomon Kane.

Cabinet Group’s entire portfolio will be incorporated into the IP studio and Funcom subsidiary Heroic Signatures. Funcom CEO Rui Casais said he has high ambitions for the IPs and noted at least one unannounced project is already in development.

“We are currently overseeing the development of an unannounced game which will combine many of the characters in the Robert E. Howard universe,” said Casais. “And if you combine Funcom’s knowledge of games with Heroic Signatures’ knowledge of the TV/entertainment, publishing, and licensing industries, it makes us perfectly placed to take this venture to the next level. It’s exciting times ahead for us and for fans of the IPs.”

Fredrik Malmberg, co-founder and CEO of Cabinet Group, will remain onboard as President of Heroic Signatures.

“We took Cabinet Group as far as we could as an independent studio, but in order to achieve further growth, we were in need of bigger financial investments and infrastructure,” Malmberg said.

The Heroic Signatures President was responsible for acquiring and reviving the popularity of multiple IPs. Most notably, licensing deals with companies such as Penguin Random House, Panini, Titan Books, Monolith and Funcom enabled Conan the Barbarian to reach a whole new generation of fans around the world. Marvel Entertainment is publishing a new Conan comic book every month, and there is also a Netflix series based on the same IP currently in the works.

Malmberg said he’s delighted to become a fully integrated part of the Funcom family, after a relationship which dates back to the development of the online multiplayer game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures in the early 2000s. While Malmberg has pioneered an alliance across all areas of the entertainment industry, including video games, television, print media and tabletop games, he said he believes we’re only now approaching the pinnacle.

“The entertainment industry is rapidly becoming more ‘techified.’ We’ve seen brilliant examples of how games have incorporated IPs in innovative ways to reach audience numbers that vastly surpass previous levels. 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 sitting down with other entertainment companies who share our vision and wish to take part in the exciting journey we have ahead,” he says.

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