Norwegian MMO developer and publisher Funcom is under investigation for insider trading, according to this Eurogamer report. According to the report, staff were sent home today as Norwegian authorities collected documents related to an investigation into insider trading, though specific details about the investigation remain unknown as of this writing. Funcom's stock has also been temporarily frozen on the Oslo stock market.
The allegations of insider trading are being investigated by Norway's Økokrim economic crime unit, which has charged the Secret World developer with "false or misleading disclosures made to the market about the development of The Secret World between August 2011 and the game's launch in July 2012, as well as for two months after," notes Eurogamer.
The allegations seem to revolve around the departure of former Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas, who left the position just days before the game launched
The Secret World, which the brainchild of its creative director Ragnar Tørnquist, did not do as well as expected at launch, and eventually shifted from a subscription model to a "buy-to-play game," allowing those who purchased a copy of the game the ability to play without a subscription - though those who continued to subscribe received additional membership benefits.
How any of this will affect the company and the games it continues to operate, remains to be seen.
We will have more on this story as it develops.
Editor's Note: There were a few errors in the story that we have since corrected including that fact that The Secret World is an original IP not based on anything from White Wolf and our false categorization that the game was "free-to-play." We have corrected the errors and apologize for them. Thanks to Technogeek for pointing them out.