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415,000  Age of Conan  Users Drive Funcom's $13 Million Q2
415,000 Age of Conan Users Drive Funcom's $13 Million Q2
August 15, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

August 15, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Norway-based Funcom's Age of Conan has sold, both digitally and at retail, over 800,000 copies, the company says, and now has 415,000 customers.

The successful launch, Funcom says, helped propel it to second quarter revenues of $13 million, exceeding its own estimations by $1 million primarily thanks to higher box sales than Funcom expected, while losses totaled about $5.7 million, largely in AoC launch costs.

Funcom expects revenues of $16 to $20 million in the third quarter, primarily from AoC subscription dollars, while the company says it'll aim to maximize the length of current user engagement while earning new subscribers.

The company says it's been issuing an average of one patch per week, and will continue to "commit enhancement and corrections" to AoC based on player feedback, as part of its retention strategy, with a focus on the "high end" parts of the game, along with items and bug fixes.

Funcom also says that the average playtime per player is lower than it expected, and suggests this might be due to the fact that the average player, at age 29, is older and likely has less time for long sessions, and that at this time during the year many are on summer vacation trips.

The company plans to enter the Russian and Polish markets with new localizations, and says it's also negotiating in the Asian markets to launch there in the second half of 2009. Finally, the company is "in the early development phase" of the Xbox 360 version of Age of Conan.

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jake blaine
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This game is unfinished and very crash prone. Just read some of the Age of Conan forum messages left by players and now mostly former players on the state and quality of this game. It would be nice to see some basic editorial investigation by this online game review instead of blindly posting game company news advertisements.

Nick Halme
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Funcom's point of view should be taken with a grain of salt here; from my own experience I played for smaller chunks of time not because I was especially busy, but rather because the content that followed Tortage only went downhill in terms of quality (losing voiced characters, an intertwining central plot, gameplay quality losses from excessive griefing).

It's quite the subjective bend to assume their playerbase is more 'mature' and therefore have less time to dedicate. No Halo would ever boast how little time players spend playing their game. How fun does the game seem to the outsider now, who is deciding to buy the game?

I respect a lot of the individuals at Funcom and who worked on AoC, and I am, like anyone else, glad to see it standing up to WoW and perhaps spurring some competition in the MMO market, but as a whole the game is quite broken.

I left the game not only because my female character was broken (finding this out later only made everything clearer) but because the game quickly devolved, as if it were a politician who proposed something new but was really just the same as every other politician.

I'm ranting now, but it would be nice for news updates such as this one to be delivered without the slight tinge of PR speak, which plays up the apparent strengths and downplays the elephant-in-the-room problems that are a reality.

stefan küppers
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is there reference to other mmo games and their ability to keep subscribers after the initial box sales ?

loosing half of the subscriber base after the first few month wouldnt lead to much optimism in my book.

Tom Kammerer
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I have been playing this game since launch and i must say it is the right launch pad i was looking for. If you all remember correctly WoW was almost even more broken than most MMO's coming out. There are still videos today of lvl 50 warriors losing to lvl 10 murlocs because of the 2 handed bug that they didnt fix for 6 months. Everyone bashes MMO's for not delivering there expectations but everyones expectations are boggled by the well established giant with 5 years of tweaking. Age of Conan is the most advanced technical launchpad available to MMO players. Before it was Tabula Rasa but there post development team is the worst thing since sliced bread. AoC graphical engine, core gameplay mechanics and overall battle system blows other games away. The View distance alone makes it worth the subscription, being able to pvp seeing someone riding there horse with a 3000 meter draw distance is emaculate. But hey, you cant hide the subscription numbers, The lack of content is easily to blame but personally the only MMO i have played that had full fleshed out content to end game was LOTRO. My love for AoC is merely for its greatness to withstand time, the only other game that they still cant make the right hardware for is Crysis.

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AoC is a far cry from state of the art. Really the only thing going for it is it has nice looking graphics. The bugs, the lack of content, PvP problems, itemization problems etc. can possibly be fixed. These things are to be expected in a new game. However the fact remains the game was designed with an old zoned and highly instanced architecture. By contrast WoW, which is now an old game, has a beautify designed seamless and open world. While it's true the raw polygon density is less than in AoC, overall Blizzards approach is far more advanced.

On top of that Funcom routinely lies to its customers. I played AoC for a few days until I figured out they are basically a rip-off company. They distributed preorders cards with the expressly written promise that this would grant you early access to the game. Unfortunately the oversold these cards and thousands of people were left out in the cold. Then instead of admitting their mistake and trying to make some sort of amends they tried to claim that early access to the game was first come fist serve basis even though this was stated nowhere on the preorder cards.

In my view it seems they want to sell as many boxes as possible before players figure out the sorry state of the game and quit. Why else are they spending time and money at DragonCon when they should be fixing their game? As is stands their stock has fallen though the floor.