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'Age of Conan' Troubles Dissected

TylerColfax
20 Comments

Posted July 28, 2008 - By TylerColfax

Over on wowriot, you'll find a laundry list of problems with the new Age of Conan MMO, although it's funny that you'll occasionally find a Conan banner ad at the top of the page, a discrepancy we're sure they'll fix soon.

The list includes things like misleading press releases, inflated user numbers, and angry Funcom investors who want value for their gaming investment.

It's a strange phenomenon, the MMO desertion. Obviously, a strong community of players is necessary to people a game filled with other online humans, but it sucks for the people who are enjoying playing the game. It's not like you're playing Frogger and loving it, but the number of users starts to drop off and suddenly the cars and logs start to disappear.

So, what's this all about then? We sat down with (actually just shouted across the office) with G4tv.com's Patrick Roche-Sowa and Brian Leahy to get a little insight into what the hell is going on with Conan.

TC: So, why are games like Pirates of the Burning Sea and Age of Conan struggling?
PRS: It has do with longevity and forward-planning on the part of the game's developers, but shutting down servers is not necessarily a bad thing if it consolidates the user base.
BL: It's like hearing how great a party is going to be, then showing up and it's just you and a grinning dj.
PRS: Right.
BL: One thing that people don't seem to think about is that maybe MMOs are really hard to make and Blizzard is just really good at making games.

TC: What does it generally take to keep an MMO massive and multiplayery?
BL: The magic number seems to be around 100,000 users in order to keep a game afloat and be able to pay for all the servers.
PRS: But with the number of WoW users well over 10 million, it doesn't look like any rivals are going to be taking it down despite the fad of entire guilds abandoning WoW for Conan.

TC: So, WoW cannot be stopped?
BL : The only thing that can stop World of Warcraft is Blizzard.

Well, we didn't necessarily want our discussion of the Age of Conan's troubles to turn into a WoW discussion but when you're talking about MMOs, WoW seems to be like Devo. That is to say, any discussion of music will eventually lead to people talking about Devo, just as WoW will indoubtedly infiltrate any MMO conversation.

So, what about you, User X? What do you think about the Age of Conan? And try to answer without mentioning WoW. We dare you.

wowriot.gameriot.com: Funcom Investors Jump Ship as Age of Conan Founders

'Age of Conan' Troubles Dissected
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