Today was the quarterly report from Funcom on their financial's for their various games, including Age of Conan.
The outlook is actually pretty good.
Thanks to the new trial, and advancement on the game in stability and content, everything from addition of new customers to customer retention seem to be higher.
The report can be read here in PDF format.
A few standout lines are pretty good to see.
"The positive indications on subscriber retention from January 2009 has
been reinforced and strengthened in the following months for the Age of
Conan game. This combined with an increase in new customers in Q1
2009 has led to a stable and solid subscriber base for the Game."
"The average customer acquisition cost through marketing for Age of
Conan has been lower than the estimated customer value, and the
Company will increase marketing spend in the next months to test if it
can grow the game profitably."
Awesome news. Also, a translated report made on a Norway website has some great discussion on the game...noted here.
"We have significantly more customers in the first quarter than we had in the fourth quarter of 2008. Activity among the players is significantly higher and longer subscription times. I can disprove speculation in the press that we lose customers. Customer Loyalty and the subscription period is more stable."
Seems he had to go on the defensive there a bit. But there is no doubt that Funcom operated at a profit this go round, and the game is actually picking up.
An item of note in the reports and the translated article makes it sound like they may be looking to enable the old players accounts for a period of time to allow return players to test out the new changes. This will most likely be after the launch of Patch 1.05.
Also from earlier I saw Craig made a comment on his Twitter, that he is in some more testing of Patch 1.05 and it is getting close...
Could it be their anniversary next week will be the launch of this patch? It may be too soon...but, I have had some change of heart regarding the patch and could see this actually happen pretty soon.
A recent update took place on the Testlive servers which made the mobs damage more in line with the changes for characters, thus making it easier to survive multiple mob combat, the one feature I feel saves AoC from being like most MMO's. It feels more Diablo/Guild Wars like in that respect, where you are not in danger if your're facing more than one mob at a time.
Massive combat action, makes for a less dull combat experience...thats for sure.
I plan to get back and put some time into this new patch on TL and see how I am feeling about the new changes. I hope it really makes a difference.
For now, it looks like the doom and gloom crew who spelled the end of Conan by now, will have to sit on those premonitions a bit longer.