“What is best in life?” Free-to-play MMOs, of course! …well, that’s perhaps what Funcom believe anyway, announcing that Age of Conan will be making the leap to the freemium club, making the game freely available for everybody, but throwing in some premium memberships for extra shiny content.
[img_big]center,237,2011-05-25/ERLIK__1.JPG,(We told you it was shiny…)[/img_big]
With over 1.4 million copies sold, glowing reviews for both the core game as well as the expansion, and a healthy player base ever since launch in 2008, there is no doubt that ‘Age of Conan’ has been a true success story for Funcom.
“Now we turn to another chapter in this story as we thrust ‘Age of Conan: Unrated’ into the world of free-to-play games, a gaming space that is becoming rapidly more popular and profitable across the board.”
Want to play for free? That’s your choice. If you want to fork over a little cash though, premium subscriptions are on offer, and the new in-game store will offer exclusive content (including mounts and new weaponry) as microtransactions regardless of your account type.
…but what’s all this “Unrated” about? Age of Conan has always been a fairly grown-up, “mature” gaming experience, but the new Unrated interpretation is designed to stick even closer to the original works of Robert E. Howard, creator of the original Conan. Hyboria’s set to become more barbaric, brutal (and sexy), as the game develops tie-ins with the upcoming Conan the Barbarian film adaptation.
Craig Morrison, Creative Director and Executive Producer on the game, explains:
“Everyone on the team is excited about opening up our world to an even larger audience.
“The online world of Hyboria is constantly expanding as we continue to introduce new gameplay features and new content, and we truly believe that ‘Age of Conan: Unrated’ will offer something truly new and unique to both new players and to those have already experienced the brutal online world of Conan the Barbarian.”
For more information on the new business model, or this whole “unrated” arrangement, head to the [surl=http://community.ageofconan.com/]Age of Conan Community Website[/surl], or just wander into Hyboria. I’m sure someone there will help you out!