Monday, November 24, 2008

Age Of Conan - 6 months lifespan?

I discussed this in a comment on Hudson's blog, but I also wish to note it here for future discussion.

I think we cannot say anything about the fate of Conan or Funcom at least for another 6 months.

With major changes still in play, a discussion of a full blown "comeback" campaign at the beginning of next year, and releases set for Korea and Russia...we may see it actually pick up.

The layoffs in North Carolina I think if anything reflects the US market.

We suck here in the US for commitment. Admit it. We do not commit well to relationships, to religion, to politics..I could go on.

And lets not forget the MMO hopping that is pretty prominent as part of our society.

If anything, I believe Funcom and AoC have a much larger EU audience and can be shown based on the communication and discussions on the EU forums compared to the US.

In the EU forum alone, there are no less than 9 different conversation with the noted FC icon showing some type of CM/Dev comment being made.
At the same time, the US forum had 4.

And civility is also key on their forums...but that is another discussion...

The fact remains, Funcom may be screw ups when it came to fixing the game, but with the new Director in place, and a commitment to still getting the game shaped up, with reviews of the new content being some of the best in the game, this is a good start.
The forward looking graphics engine, the change to how combat is done, and the reliance on skill more than gear spells a game which could keep a niche after the comeback tour.

But, I call 6 months. If the game does not pick up, then we can say that it will go the way of AO or even close it's doors.

I am of the mind that the game can survive. Even now I feel like playing it again. Something about the game attracts (and has nothing to do with nipple gate), and players do go back.

There now.... commited my comments to Funcoms future, and we will see how things look 6 months from now.

Good luck Funcom!


Bildo said...

They also had 800,000+ in sales, right? They needed a ton of CSR people then. Now? Not so much. That accounts for the layoffs more than anything. It's simple cutbacks to keep the game profitable.

I'm sure it'll be fine. If they can turn AO around and make it a cult hit, they can do the same to AoC.

Brendan said...

I think AoC will be fine as well, but always a small game in relative terms. An MMO *can* recover from a poor initial showing -- EQ2 did so, after being blown out by WoW a few weeks after it released, but never really reached the level of subscriptions that SOE would have liked for its EQ sequel. AoC would be doing very well if it could follow EQ2's path, I think. The core of the game is good, which is also a strength -- it provides a foundation to build upon. In this respect, I think AoC is better positioned than Warhammer is, because Warhammer really has core design issues that would require some substantial surgery in order for the game to be "fixed", whereas AoC's basic design is sound, and the many issues that the game has are more fixable.