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Age of Conan Delay

The Age Of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Website announces another delay for Funcom's upcoming MMORPG, saying the game is now due May 20, 2008. They again choose to specify an exact date in spite of the game's history of delays (story, story, story), the last of which predicted a March 25 release. Word is another two months of development time is for polishing:

The highly anticipated MMO receives 8 more weeks of development, allowing Funcom to deliver a more polished MMO experience when the game launches on the 20th of May 2008. Despite great feedback on vital aspects like immersion, fun factor and the exciting combat system, the management of Funcom has decided to polish the game even more. Eight weeks of development work is therefore added to stress game systems and polish the game further leading up to launch.

Funcom is fully committed to its communities and the quality-level they demand and deserve, and has previously postponed the Age of Conan launch. The changes implemented as the game was moved to a 2008 release have proven to greatly improve the experience for newcomers, while introducing a more involving and accessible character progression throughout the game. Press and beta feedback in the aftermath of these changes has been very positive. As a result, the ongoing presentations of the game have continued to increase the anticipation for Age of Conan. To date, Age of Conan has received more than 20 magazine covers and 15 industry awards, and is widely considered to be one of the most anticipated MMOs in development.

Funcom has great faith in the Age of Conan game, and feels certain that further polish is in the best interest of the hundreds of thousands of gamers who follow the game. “The companies standing apart in the gaming market today are those with a relentless drive to achieve quality. Even though we regret delaying the launch, I am certain we made the right choice. I hope that our followers and fans will support our decision, and respect our commitment to quality,” said Gaute Godager, Producer and Game Director of Age of Conan.

Funcom will also continue the beta efforts for the title with continued testing on its large server parks in North America and Europe. Players can already sign up at pre-order programs in several countries and enjoy the recently released website at www.ageofconan.com, displaying part of the wealth of marketing and game material already prepared for the game. A special Collectors Edition of the retail box is available for pre-order at select retailers. Thousands of players have been invited to the beta of the game, and the number will continue to go up as Age of Conan moves towards launch. If you too want to join the Beta of Age of Conan you may sign up for the Beta on www.ageofconan.com

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24. Re: Informative Jan 22, 2008, 02:23 JohnBirshire
 
I found this interesting...

Thank you for posting this, it actually was very interesting.

I'm not sure if I exactly agree on every one of the author's points, but he made some good ones. He seems to know what he is talking about, if I can use the fact that he referred to this as a "niche" game and the fact that Funcom may be over exaggerating the number of potential players for example. He was also concerned about the release date being awfully close to Warhammer Online, which is of course a major concern.

One of the points I believe he is off on is the number of subscribers this game will possibly have. 30k to 200k seems like it would be among the lowest of potential expectations. As for the estimate of $54 million, he gave the game 3 years. However, if this game does in fact become even halfway successful, it'll have a stronger run that 3 years. After all, Ultima Online was released to insulting reviews and a plethora of problems, and over 10 years later it still has more subscribers than it did 3 years after release. Eve Online I also believe has more subscribers now than it did years ago.

That being said, was still a good read. Can't wait to see how Age of Conan plays out. *no pun intended*

 
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23. Re: Informative Jan 22, 2008, 00:25 Kxmode
 
Not to throw Funcom under the train they are an independent developer and publisher. Very few of them exist in the video game industry. It's worth noting there's actually many indy developers/publishers in the MMOG industry today. I've always wondered why.

Anyhow, Blizzard had tons of financial backing from mega parent VU. They also had a proven track-record. It's entirely possible Funcom wants to deliver a game that lives up to the expectations of three different crowds of gamers: the Robert E. Howard fans, MMO fans, and hardcore PVP players. That's not an easy task esp when Funcom is its own worse critic as it seems they are. Of course investors expect to see a return on investment. As a long-term investor I understand buying into an investment with the understanding that dividends will be paid at a later date. If I was looking at Funcom from an investment viewpoint I would give them one more year but then all bets are off after that.

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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
 
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22. Informative Jan 22, 2008, 00:10 Kxmode
 
I found this interesting...

http://gameinvestors.blogspot.com/?gclid=CKvX4cWJiZECFSFaagod902eHQ

Launch 2006! NO: 2007! NO: 2008! …?
For the fourth time in two years, Funcom pushed back the release date for its highly anticipated MMOG, Age Of Conan. While the long term case represent significant upside to valuation, visibility regarding what is going on is low, and we will look for more clarification before recommending investors buy into the story ahead of the new release date. We change our recommendation to HOLD with a target of NOK 22. Track record of announcing delay every 5-6 months…

So whats the problem with Funcom?

1. They have lost a lot of talent. Of the team developing Age of Conan, only 10-20 have actually done previous game development.
2. The management is lying to the press. Again from AGB Sundal Colliers August Alert on Funcom: In July 2006, Funcom delayed the Q4 ’06 launch of AoC due to a “crowded MMO launch window” before Christmas that year, but maintained that the game was in fact ready for launch as originally planned. Now, one year later, they push the launch from a very attractive Q4 ’07 into a possible head-to-head with its strongest competitor, Warhammer Online, because they want to make changes to how the game combat sequences are operated.
3. The game is made for a small niche of gamers. But the compere the possible number of players with those of Blizzard's World of Warcraft.
4. The games director, Gaute Godager, has a track record of making games with a high barrier of entry, and only playable for the most hard core of MMO-gamers.

There's more...

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Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
 
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21. If anyone Jan 21, 2008, 22:47 The Half Elf
 
Has a spare beta key for this let me know as I'd love to give it a try and attmpting to get into the beta on my own has been, lackluster.

 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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20. Delayed because... Jan 21, 2008, 21:51 Kxmode
 
"Don't you know the Dewey Decimal System?" - Conan the Librarian

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19. Wish I could actually Beta Jan 21, 2008, 21:03 Golem
 
I've been in the beta for more than two months and was only given a two hour window on a Sunday almost two months ago to actually attempt to play the game. But it was a stress test so it wasn't worth the time it took to get in game. The monster lag and disconnects caused havoc with the NPC that accompanies you from the beach. I spent more time trying to un-break or drop the quest given than anything else since the NPC had vanished.

They offered another night (a Wednesday I think) to play the game but since I am in California and they are in Europe I would have had to miss work and lose a days pay to get frustrated a second time... so you know which I chose.

Since then I haven't heard anything about access or another small window of testing. At this point there isn't much more to say.

From what I have seen the delay is a good thing.

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 21:55.
 
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18. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 20:04 Toebot
 
...stop playing them people and we might have some decent single player games coming out.

Nope, it's MMO's and shitty console ports and every once in a while - a good console port. That's the way it is. It's what Microsoft means when they say Games for Windows, it's what they wanted when then made the XBox. It's the future, it's now. Deal.

 
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17. Re: No Subject Jan 21, 2008, 19:59 g_mann
 
No matter how long they delay it. it still going to suck when it gets released

 
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16. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 19:20 wtf_man
 
...I don't at all take this move as an indicator of how cooked the game is...

Well, I was going off Fion's comment that the game was "really buggy" still. I assume he's in the beta or knows smeone close to him that is.

So, while I agree with everything you just said, Fion's comment made it sound like the game isn't all that "cooked". Of course, I personally wouldn't know how cooked it really is.

 
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15. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 18:32 Some Dude
 
If it's still THAT buggy after long development, I fail to see how only 2 months will help.

You'd be surprised. Two months for a team in pure bug fixing mode is like... dog years, or lightspeed. This is a good thing. What usually happens is you don't get that two months to do nothing but polish the apple. This close to the end of a project you're typically in one of two modes: either you're scrambling because you're out of time and there are still major issues, or it's stable and the mandate is, "Don't ****ing touch it unless a flaming demon materializes and personally commands it of you." Granted, it's a little easier with PC titles because you're not tap-dancing around a submission to the electron microscope committee, but it still applies.

A fair number of recent releases have been on the disappointing side and I'm sure they're acutely aware of that. I don't at all take this move as an indicator of how cooked the game is. Rather, I think they're just going to make damn sure they cross as many Ts and dot as many Is as they can.

 
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14. What a bitches Jan 21, 2008, 18:20 Eldaron Imotholin
 
It's the only game I'm looking forward to because all the other games that will kick ass (Alan Wake, Warhammer Online) will probably take another year before they're released!

I really thought this game was almost within my grasp now...

Oh well it's for the best.

Seen those new movies from Age of Conan on gametrailers.com ? Man they kick ass!

I say I love it,
Vince

 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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13. NOOO! Jan 21, 2008, 17:03 Fausticle
 
Well crap. I was so bored I started to play Tabula Rasa...

Funny thing is it's not that bad at all, it's come along way since beta.

I wish I was a shill because then I would be getting paid for saying that

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 17:04.
 
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12. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 16:49 natx
 
Worst. News. Evar!!!!

Guess I'll keep playing vanguard another 4 months. But vanguard's new raid content is pretty kickass anyways and I'm having a blast.

 
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11. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 15:38 JayDeath
 
Whatever. If this game is supposed to be the WOW killer, let 'em take as long as they need!

 
Steam: Henry Krinkle

Why isn't there a remake of Westworld?
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10. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 15:33 wtf_man
 
The game is coming along wonderfully, it's just real buggy

If it's still THAT buggy after long development, I fail to see how only 2 months will help. (Probably needs more)

On the other hand... at least they're ATTEMPTING to not push it out TOO early... so may MMO companies ARE learning. (But I doubt it)

 
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9. Re: Remember AO? Jan 21, 2008, 14:23 SkavenUK
 
Oh FFS, how dissapointing. Im grasping at straws at the moment trying to find something decent to play. Ah well, hope POTBS can keep me occupied until this or War arrives :/

 
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8. Remember AO? Jan 21, 2008, 14:19 Dead Tired
 
I think they're just trying to avoid another Anarchy Online rollout. God that was painful.

 
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7. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 13:28 Fion
 
The game is coming along wonderfully, it's just real buggy lol. Another 2 months to fix it is great, cause less bugs and more polish at release = better game. The 'core' of the game is there and fun as hell.

 
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6. Re: Ugh... Jan 21, 2008, 13:24 Bilbo
 
Shit man you will play a game regardless of how boring it gets?! That sounds like either someone with no life and no other interests or something who is insane.

John seriousley theres more to life and MMORPG's try some games which don't take years to play. What is so special about Age of Conan which makes it stand out from the pack of generic WoW clones anyway?

Age of Conan has recieved more than 15 industry awards?! what for it isn't even out yet! (outstanding achievement in excellence?) Seriousley MMORPG's are out of control, stop playing them people and we might have some decent single player games coming out.

 
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5. NOOOOO! Jan 21, 2008, 12:48 Techie714 ©
 
Damn it! I have totally been waiting for this damn game to come out. I'm really bummed!!

 
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