Age of Conan developer loots $30M

Funcom secures major funding for its upcoming Robert E. Howard-inspired MMOG; microtransactions headed to Anarchy Online.

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All good barbarians know that the more time spent sharpening weapons means the less time spent sacking villages and making off with booty. Funcom has apparently been putting this age-old adage to the test with its upcoming massively multiplayer online game, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Initially slated for a 2006 release, Age of Conan has been delayed several times. The PC version of the game is set to be published this October by UK-based publisher Eidos, with an Xbox 360 version to follow at a later date.

However, Funcom today sends word that instead of plundering willing gamers' pockets for funds, it's gone the diplomatic route by securing roughly $30 million from a private lender. According to Funcom, the investment will be used to ramp up marketing and operational capacity prior to the game's anticipated October 30 launch date. The developer also announced it plans to investigate the casual MMOG market, though it did not mention any specific titles.

In related news, Funcom also revealed today it would be introducing microtransactions to its six-year-old sci-fi MMOG Anarchy Online. In addition to the current subscription-based business model, the developer will be adding a point-based system where players can purchase in-game goods, content, and services. Point packages run for $10 and $20, and game subscribers will receive a stipend of points as part of their monthly fee.

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