Funcom is celebrating a one-year anniversary of Age of Conan, their MMORPG [Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game] and a supposed increase in player base numbers. According to the released information, Funcom claims that the game shipped in over 1.2 million copies around the world. The press release claims that new players are joining every month. While this might be true, it is weird that we constantly hear about constant server migrations and reductions in number of game servers.
Then again, I really wonder what are they actually celebrating? Faux numbers, phantom subscribers or their ability to milk the money out of naive suckers who believe that the propaganda of an exciting, brutal and sexy MMO is true. We have already addressed the issue of Mature-rated MMO games in "reality vs. released artwork" in our previous article.
This was the promised Conan - wild surroundings, freedom, lack of censorship...
Maybe they are celebrating the fact they did not deliver massive and rich world of Hyboria, meaningful player versus player action, sex buffs and bar fights or that they twisted Howard's vision into a cheap Guild Wars knockoff yet still have enough cash to keep the game going. According to current Game Director Craig Morrison he is very proud on the work they did on the game so far and they are focused on bringing more adding more content, improving existing and adding some new gameplay features. He assures that player feedback is important to Funcom and will continue to be as they continue to improve the game.
Yeah- we'll take those statements with a pretty large grain of salt. A grain size of Stonehenge. While I am pretty sure this is the case as it has been before and after the game came out, with devs not listening any good suggestions and even destroying the things that barely worked in game. Weakening players and buffing mobs to delay players reaching the non-existing end-game and other lousy tricks in same style - is a definite sign that the developers aren't interested in listening to its customers.
...this face probably says everything about what AoC turned out to be...
To award players who sticked out with paying for this piece of... everyone will receive fireworks with which they can color the skies in some gimmicky festivity contest to win "fabulous" prizes. Very brutal, sexy and exciting indeed - definitely Mature-rated. R.E.Howard is probably turning in his grave and Conan in a smaller versions of his grave hidden in the author's now long rotten brain. But guess what, that is not all. Those who played for six months or more get a free character slot [a feature that will soon become available for cash].
My advice for people from Funcom, Mythic Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks would be to not celebrate but hide under a rock and don’t come out until you can produce something even remotely playable.