Age of Conan relaunching free and unrated this summer

Funcom's fantasy MMORPG dropping subscription fee and adding "barbaric and sexy" content, in-game store; sales top 1.4 million; movie tie-in pack in development.

Funcom's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures was well-reviewed when it debuted in 2008. It welcomed a major expansion pack--Rise of the Godslayer--in May 2010, and now its developer has announced the next major new change for the game.

The Unrated version gets bloodier than this.

Age of Conan will relaunch sometime this summer under a new name: Age of Conan: Unrated. In addition to the new title, the game will go free-to-play, joining big-name MMORPG Lord of the Rings: Online in adopting the business model.

Gamers will be able to choose if they wish to play for free or pay for a premium subscription. The differences between free and premium include character slot allotment (two for the free model and eight for premium), raid offerings (two for the free model and full access for premium), and others. For the full breakdown, check out the FAQ page on Age of Conan's website.

Funcom is also adding an in-game store with the relaunch of Age of Conan. The virtual marketplace will be available to both free players and premium status subscribers and will sell "exclusive" content like weapons and mounts.

Age of Conan was rated M for Mature when it launched, but according to Funcom, when it's rereleased as Unrated, the development team will be able to "stay even more true to the original works of Conan author Robert E. Howard," using "more of the barbaric, brutal, and sexy setting that is Howard's Hyboria."

Funcom says it is developing new locations, monsters, equipment, and storylines for the Unrated version of the game. The developer did not elaborate further on this point but did note that some of the new content will be a movie tie-in adventure pack, which will bring characters and content from the upcoming Conan the Barbarian film into the game.

For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, as well as GameSpot's review of the Rise of the Godslayer add-on.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

43 comments
dude102
dude102

@Delrothness That is only the beginning area after level 20 the game goes to a more open world where you dont have to worry about night and day missions atleast thats how it was durring launch when i played it.

Intheend4226
Intheend4226

*playing cod all day long* *hear about aoc coming f2p* J*** IN MY PANTS!!!

Citteh
Citteh

@emperiox I guess you're not the only one who would get angry at this news, but going into court to get those money back is rather rediculous. I'm pretty damn sure there are other people who spent much more money than you that are angry as well, but probably have the decency to accept it as it is and not pull FunCom to the court.

emperiox
emperiox

@Frosty192 They'd be paying the court fees as usually standard for the winner.

Frosty192
Frosty192

@emperiox small claims huh? ok lets break that down: State rep. $600 Court fees:$300 May lose: Pay for all those fees yourself May win: Pay half the the win to the State rep. Your total gain: -$200 Yep, not worth it sorry bro.

Wiltsfk
Wiltsfk

And whinig continues lol. I spent in "EVE" more than $1500 and now I don´t like it anymore. oo my god give my money back!!!

emperiox
emperiox

I've spent over $165.00 on the game, expansion, and 3 times cards. I better get a refund, or I'm taking Funcom to small claims court -.-

lapiza
lapiza

i remember the disappointment when i left the starting area, it felt like i was playing an entirely different game, one that waas unfinished.

Archzen19
Archzen19

Another MMO goes free-to-play. I wonder why people still surprised?

Divine_Stryph
Divine_Stryph

Heh..it's free and I still can't try it. Ho-hum.

Delrothness
Delrothness

I tried this game about six months ago, it is definitely a unique mmorpg. The combat is pretty cool but I couldn't get into the game enough to get past the beginning area. I didn't like how enclosed it was, it didn't have that sense of freedom an mmorpg should have. I also really didn't like how a lot of the quests had to be completed during night mode which when activated, basically turned it into a single-player rpg. But like I said, I only played the beginning of the game, I have no idea if the whole game is like the beginning area or not. So I can't say the game sucks since I barely played it. I just couldn't get into it but I think I might try again soon.

ThePedoBear
ThePedoBear

Failcom has done it once again. Disappointing me, and I'm not even playing the game right now. Kudos.

ThePedoBear
ThePedoBear

I just read the FAQ section, and this is honestly horsesh*t I was a loyal customer for 2 years, from Beta, until the expansion, and If I decide to go Free to Play, I get sh*t on by not being able to play my Sin, or my HoX who have full T3? I stopped playing because monthly subscription is too expensive, whats the point of going F2P in Conan when in this game, where EVERYTHING you have done shines endgame with raids and seiges. By reading this, I would doubt you can even hit the 80 max from only being able to go around the free play stages.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@FriendBear, you should have seen Anarchy Online. They actually had to shut it down for a month after the launch date. Worst launch ever. Now FunCom is going to be releasing Secret World. If they don't get this launch right...

Neo_Sarevok
Neo_Sarevok

So the premium model pricing will be the same $14.99/month model, I assume? It sounds to me like what a person can do to save money is power there way as much as possible in free mode with the two characters they have available to them (assuming they're fine with the available four classes), then switch over when absolutely necessary. Stuff like sieges aren't advisable until upper-levels anyways.

lapiza
lapiza

i'm hooked, was planning to give it another try anyway :D

emperiox
emperiox

Anyone have an idea of what I'm going to get for buying the retail version of both AoC and the expansion? Thanks.

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

Nice. I'll definitely be giving this a go.

megakick
megakick

only way to save the game go f2p.

-Saigo-
-Saigo-

By Crom! Conan! What is best in life? Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women....and apparently Conan f2p

cheater87
cheater87

Digital only because stores ban unrated games...funny because unrated movies are received with open arms.

Marasca2
Marasca2

Hellgate London, Ghost Recon, Battlefield, LOTRO, Age of Conan... Everything's turning free-to-play now.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

I hate MMOs, but I had a lot of fun with this one. I will definitely be playing it again now!

pH347m3
pH347m3

People still played AoC after 2008?

Mograine
Mograine

Agree with FriendBear. Eightied a ToS in the first two weeks, got nerfed to death and found myself with nothing to do and quit. I picked it up again twice before the first exp pack and nothing really changed other than fixes for those things that shouldn't have been broken in the first place (Wounded Child, oh my).

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

@FriendBear In other words, you only played when it was free?

FriendBear
FriendBear

I played the game from closed beta to launch and then quit after the failed promises of content, and bug fixes which never really happened, I logged in several months ago during a 'free' welcome back trial only to see that things hadn't really changed, a lot of rare weapons that had literally no stats at all still hadn't been fixed so even though this is going free to play, I still have my doubts.

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

I liked the game but I stopped playing it because I didn't feel like paying a monthly fee.

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

Every thing is free. Battlefield F2P , Ghost Recon , and Age of Conan.

Origination
Origination

I played the game on release for about a year and a half. It was a fresh addition to the MMO world and I loved it, especially the beginning, if only it would have maintained that polish throughout the end game. I'll most likely try the free to play version to see what's changed, but I'm waiting for that "next big step" in the MMORPG genre.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Played this when it launched (took a 1.5 yr break from WoW) and I was impressed; it was obvious this game was both fun and had a lot of potential. Heard they've really added a lot to it. Can't say I'll ever drop WoW for it, but I hope it pans out for them. It's definitely one of the better MMOs out there.

mortalsting
mortalsting

Great News! This will get a lot of new players to the game, i will sure try it.

firedrakes
firedrakes

that was my main issue with this game. seeing i read the books and played a bit of this game and thought they took alot of content out of it

winnazdaluza
winnazdaluza

@ziproy sure it may seem nice at first but it's a sort of compromise.Free games definately have some content that you pay for.But it makes sense to wet your whistle first before telling you what content you *may* wanna pay for.Depending on what they offer for sale on their market.It would be ncie to have a "cost saving" sub available for those who want to appreciate the full package without having to pull out the wallet every now and then.

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

I checked out LoTRo when it turned into free to play, and I must say its awesome; it has the quality only a pay to play game could have to offer, and it's free now, and it's being more lucrative than before. Great, always wanted to try Age of Conan!! Someday, we will have only 2 kinds of mmo: World of Warcraft, and the f2p ones.

fabz_95
fabz_95

Awesome news, I didn't even know LOTR was free; I'll be sure to check out both games.

icym
icym

hh. haven't played a mmo in years.. been tempted since quite a few MMOs are free to play now. nice move funcom, ya got me thinking about it

Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

So many Subscription based MMO's going Free to Play, this is why I wait it out before investing in an MMO.

ziproy
ziproy

this is the future of mmo's.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Free Sex is their new business model. I can't see how this could possibly fail.