Age of Conan Going Free-to-Play

Conan! What is best in life? Apparently it’s a free-to-play model.

Funcom announced today that they will transition Age of Conan from a subscription service to a free-to-play model this summer. They’ll also be changing the name of the game to Age of Conan: Unrated.

Much like the model Lord of the Rings Online adopted, AoC will refer to players who continue to pay for subscriptions as premium members. They’ll retain access to all game content. Those who choose play the game under the new free-to-play model will have to pay for expansions and items, but will be able to level a character all the way to 80.

Along with the switch to free-to-play, Funcom will be releasing some new content. You can expect two new solo story-based dungeons called The Breach and The Forgotten. Once the launch of free-to-play is behind them, Funcom plans to launch a fall adventure pack titled Savage Coast of Turan that will tie in the upcoming Conan movie with characters in the game.

Free-to-play and premium players will share the same servers, and to make things easier, Funcom plans to merge all their servers at the same time that free-to-play launches. You’ll be able to choose from a PvE, PvP or a hardcore server. Since there will only be one of each, the choice should be simple.

Discussing the upcoming changes with Eurogamer, Executive Producer Craig Morrison had this to say:

The time is right for Age of Conan now as we recognised the opportunity presented by the increased profile of the license, with the new Conan movie coming out this Fall.

That meant that we felt that the time had come to make the switch to ensure we had the best possible position and availability for when that interests increases, so that we could draw in even more users to this wonderful world that we have brought to life.

All that remains now is to see if Age of Conan can post the same improvements to player numbers that LotRO did when it switched to free-to-play.

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