Thursday, May 26, 2011

Age of Conan goes F2P, Unrated This Summer

Wednesday Funcom announced that its barbarian-laced MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will be re-launched this summer as Age of Conan: Unrated. The new name seemingly indicates that the game will receive an extra injection of heated naughtiness during the hottest time of the year, and indeed that will be the case. But more importantly, the game will feature an additional free-to-play model so that everyone can feast in all the barbaric "assets" without having to shell out a monthly subscription fee.

According to Funcom, Age of Conan: Unrated will feature a "hybrid" business model: players can roam Conan's backyard for free or go old-school and cough up a monthly subscription fee. As seen with other free-to-play models, an in-game store will be inserted into the realm so that players can purchase exclusive content such as weaponry and mounts. But naturally there will be limitations placed on free accounts so that players get hooked to the point of going premium.

As seen here, there will be several major differences between the Free and Premium accounts. Those who don't want to take the subscription route will be locked down to four available character classes. They'll also have access to non-premium dungeons, two raids, two characters slots (although there's a max of 18), and only basic mount training. Free players can't partake in sieges, they only have 50-percent of the personal bank space available, they can't level offline and they can't earn veteran points.

As for the extra dose of naughtiness, Funcom said that going "unrated" means the development team has the freedom "to stay even more true to the original works of Conan author Robert E. Howard, and use even more of the barbaric, brutal and sexy setting that is Howard's Hyboria." New locations, monsters, equipment and storylines are already in the works, and will even incorporate the previously-announced ‘Conan the Barbarian’ movie tie-in adventure pack.

"Everyone on the team is excited about opening up our world to an even larger audience," said Creative Director and Executive Producer Craig Morrison. "The online world of Hyboria is constantly expanding as we continue to introduce new gameplay features and new content, and we truly believe that ‘Age of Conan: Unrated’ will offer something truly new and unique to both new players and to those have already experienced the brutal online world of Conan the Barbarian."

The original Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures launched back in May 2008 and is now available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Polish localized versions, and has also launched in Korea. Funcom didn't provide an exact date of when the MMORPG will get the re-boot, so stay tuned.

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