Age of Conan woos former players

At launch in May 2008, Funcom shipped more than 1 million copies of its M-rated massively multiplayer online game, Age of Conan. Despite that effort, its subscriber base stood at 415,000 only three months later. However, Funcom has reported that the game's user base has since stabilized, with...

At launch in May 2008, Funcom shipped more than 1 million copies of its M-rated massively multiplayer online game, Age of Conan. Despite that effort, its subscriber base stood at 415,000 only three months later. However, Funcom has reported that the game's user base has since stabilized, with servers being consolidated in January and a wide-ranging update going live on June 24. Now, the company hopes to bolster the game's ranks with a new promotion aimed at bringing back players who left since its May 2008 release.

Recently, Funcom announced a new "re-evaluation campaign" for the title, allowing former subscribers to play free for two weeks with "no strings attached." Those eligible can reactivate their accounts from now until July 22. However, the new promotion will suspend the previous free-trial offer that was extended to the general public, in order "to ensure the best play environment for all returning players." Currently, the game costs $20 with a monthly fee of $15.

Returning players may notice some new changes in Age of Conan's mature-themed world of Hyboria, which is based on the fantasy fiction of author Robert E. Howard. The game's recent update, Gangs of Tarantia, adds a new location and implements fundamental changes to several of the core systems. For more on Age of Conan, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

26 comments
dablood777
dablood777

suppy and demand geez. why is almost every game stuck on $15/month. if you are a smaller game like AOC or WAR you need to lower your monthly price. i am not supporting playing for free as you normally get what you pay for, but just because WoW charges 15 doesn't mean you have to. i would go buy this game today if i only paid $10/month like i do for LOTRO.

Spikedjester
Spikedjester

I used to love mmo's back in pre-wow and wow just coming out days. Now there are just too many for the genres good, way way overpopulated genre now days. Sure this game looks fun to me, if it was this, wow, and a few others, i might check it. But not with games such as WAR already out and The Old Republic on its way. Sorry conan

FBIoh3
FBIoh3

you two (you know who you are) little girls do know that it's not RL, right? LOL

The_AI
The_AI

This is good. AOC is standing firm, even when people thought it was on life support. Now it's time for WAR to get back up over 500,000.

alixkid
alixkid

LOL @lannyboy334 and i'm trolling.Say what you want, i watched the game grow and what it is now is easy street for guys like you. you can say what you want i did have fun playing wow at one point. and then at oen point what wow was changed, it went to the casual gamer over the hard core gamer, and now what you see is a great user base, at the lack of a deep game, wow is such a shallow game, and for that reason i think even if Conan had its bugs, its more deep and rich than wow. still theses days 400k people playing a game says something, it might not be as good as wow, but at least i don't have to listen to barrens talk and allthe rest of the crap.

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

In conclusion, alixkid, your double-fisted, needlessly cruel response to a generally cynical observation of your overall heedlessness to the state of an extremely popular MMORPG is nothing more than trolling. You are the exact kind of illogical and generally illiterate person that finds simple joys in name calling and, as the kids call it, "hatin". I respect Age of Conan for what it tried to do, but it failed. The game lacked any form of enjoyable end game, and this is not in comparison to another, greater video game, this is an individual analysis. Although leveling and building up your own little base of sorts was fun, any and all innovation, such as the melee combat, was not enough to save the game from falling into the same "press 9, 8, W, X, and back" routine. Don't even waste your time responding if you hope to intimidate me with names such as "whore" and "beggar". I am neither of these things, I am simply a fan of Blizzard and the products they put out, they are great games, always have, always will be.

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

@alixkid The remark you made, if you read it again (or you need a translation of what you yourself said, seeing as you seem utterly incapable of reading), was in reference to the current and future state of WoW. You did say that WoW was initially buggy, I don't disagree with that because I couldn't play the game the majority of the time I participated in the Open Beta, nor could I properly play my free trial in June of 2006 due to server issues and goofy gameplay (yeah, that's right, I did not play the game a whole lot pre-TBC, I am not here in defense of pre-TBC WoW). The SWEEPING, GENERAL comment you made was in reference to the current status of the video game and its continued support, and it was in error because the game is very playable and an exceedingly vast majority of the bugs have been worked out. Trying to solve every minute issue of a video game is nearly impossible, especially one as expansive as an MMO, so flaws will remain, but whatever bugs existed when I obsessively compulsively played the game for hours on end from February-April 2008, then a break, then May-June 2008, were not substantial enough to take any of the fun out of WoW (check the dates, like I said in my previous post, I played the game POST-TBC). The actual game and gameplay may have flaws, but these are not issues that you addressed, you strictly referenced the games "bugginess".

BlueRaptor7
BlueRaptor7

I got the email, but I'm just not interested. I feel as if AoC already failed, a long time ago.

Slacker6000
Slacker6000

lol guild wars is horrible, it has to be free or nobody would play it

alixkid
alixkid

@lannyboy334 hhmmm lets see i played the beta, got the game played the game watched people not be able to log onto there servers, Ah not working properly, what else oh Patch day wow eveyoen who played pre BC knows all about wow patch day, you were never garanted to be able to play. at one point people were so pissed blizz game them two months for free. and if you think patch day was once a month it was everyweek so not being able to play for two days in a week is BS, add that up over a month. lannyboy334 you were probley one of the wow players who came in after BC, or one of the guys that whined to Blizz, that you couldn't get loot go beg for gold in front of AH like you used to do or Ninja loot. wow crack whore break the addiction. Only good wow was pre BC.

NuKkU
NuKkU

Man the monster that is WoW destroys all MMO's except Guild Wars

Excedra
Excedra

conan rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ASnogarD
ASnogarD

I am trying the 14 day retry and there is definetly improvement to the engine... its pretty stable and runs decently on my aging rig (AMD Athlon 64 x2 +4600 and GTX 260) with high settings and DX 10 on Win 7 64 RC. My only real beef with the game is that Funcom will still not allow PayPal ...so my sub options are limited to buying those 60 day cards from that website for $34. Its worth a re visit if you basically liked AoC when it was launched but didnt like the bugs and performance, just be prepared to download about 2 gb of patch if you use your original install disks.

bigelf72
bigelf72

Anyway, I got the email but I am far too busy with Darkfall (my one and only love)

bigelf72
bigelf72

That's BS, I know many people with $800 computer that can run it with max settings. Until you have played it, don't post worthless comments.

robbieeeeee
robbieeeeee

I knew people with 5,000 dollar computer set-ups who were unable to run this game adequately. So, not a fan.

pwnzord
pwnzord

Yeah I got the email too. But I've got too many other things to do right now then check out what changes they've made. I'm sure it's better. But I would also bet that even after those two weeks I wouldn't subscribe. AoC failed a long time ago.

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

@phudabulah. I remember this being the topic of an article, I want to say that a million were shipped and 250k of them lay dormant on store shelves, the game peaked at 700-750k or so, it took a few months for that number to hack in half, mainly because the game seriously lacked sound end game content. @alixkid. You should know you are in extreme error to make such a sweeping comment, my god. I had to quit playing WoW because it would suck me in so bad, and I only played a few months post-TBC, to say that the ORIGINAL WoW had serious bugs that remain to this day unfinished is so foolish and full of apparent bravado that you deserve a million gamer slaps. *slap slap slap*

Alex_09
Alex_09

I can't believe anybody plays WoW when this is around, but MMOs are just cheap in general. The amount of money earned is never shown in the games made.

phudabulah
phudabulah

When the article says a million copies shipped - does that mean sold to customers or just shipped to stores and remained on the shelf?

alixkid
alixkid

I'd rather go back to playing this game than wow. Wow has had and still has its share of bugs,you could say when it shipped it was unfinished also and still is. I at least applaud these guys trying to make a unique experiance over a wow clone.

Inconnux
Inconnux

The MMO market is very unforgiving, when people buy a game and it is shipped as an unfinished bugfest, customers will leave in disgust and move on to another game. This is the #1 reason why WoW is still dominating the market. Good luck getting customers back.

Zironn
Zironn

Actually, making a game that listened to it's players and followed through on promises made during beta would have been the best thing they could have done. They didn't and lost 2/3 of their player base from release onward.

robfield
robfield

Conan is clearly not being competitive considering they charge just as much as WoW monthly. If you want to beat WoW you have no choice but to be cheaper.

philonious_matt
philonious_matt

At launch in May 2008, Funcom shipped more than 1 million copies of its M-rated massively multiplayer online game, Age of Conan. Despite that effort, its subscriber base stood at 415,000 only three months later. However, Funcom has reported that the game's user base has since stabilized, with servers being consolidated in January and a wide-ranging update going live on June 24. Now, the company hopes to bolster the game's ranks with a new promotion aimed at bringing back players who left since its May 2008 release.

Recently, Funcom announced a new "re-evaluation campaign" for the title, allowing former subscribers to play free for two weeks with "no strings attached." Those eligible can reactivate their accounts from now until July 22. However, the new promotion will suspend the previous free-trial offer that was extended to the general public, in order "to ensure the best play environment for all returning players." Currently, the game costs $20 with a monthly fee of $15.

Returning players may notice some new changes in Age of Conan's mature-themed world of Hyboria, which is based on the fantasy fiction of author Robert E. Howard. The game's recent update, Gangs of Tarantia, adds a new location and implements fundamental changes to several of the core systems. For more on Age of Conan, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

[video=6191977]