Developer and publisher Funcom will close 31 out of 48 Age of Conan
servers this week, likely a result of lower-than-expected subscriptions for the massively multiplayer online role-play game.
The closings are most significant with its North America and Oceania operations, which the company will consolidate from 24 servers to just six. The merged user populations follow the successful combining of two US servers in the previous week.
Europe will retain 12 servers due to the company's need to provide German, French, and Spanish-specific servers, but Age of Conan
's English servers in the region will be cut from 13 to four.
The mergings are likely a response to the MMO retaining fewer than expected subscribers. Though Age of Conan claimed a user base
of 415,000 since its May 2008 PC launch, Funcom says that the average subscription period has been lower than expected, leading to a reduction in subscriber levels.
The company, which has its U.S. offices in Durham, North Carolina, recently laid off
an unspecified portion of its U.S. customer service and QA staff, attributing the cuts to "ongoing cost based efficiency and performance initiatives that are vital to any business."
Funcom intends to ship Age of Conan
for Xbox 360 later this year, and has also revealed plans to release an expansion for the MMO.