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Message From the King

Glen "Famine" Swan from Funcom's Age of Conan answers questions, and discusses the game, life, and the industry. Let us know what you would like to hear about.

Author: FC-Famine

Don't worry America your nipples are safe with us.

Posted by Athelan Thursday February 7 2008 at 12:18PM
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So ever since we initially announced that we would have different versions of the game that would censor different things based on the regions ratings boards we were getting flack about it. Now it isn't that we wanted to censor anything we just felt that we had to, the versions we were showing the ratings boards had no censorship whatsoever, but we demonstrated the technology we could use to censor to them also.


I caught this yesterday


and thought it very appropriate and that this was something those of you who haven't heard about would be interested in knowing.


We have indeed confirmation of the fact we can retain the nipples in the nudity in the American version.


P.S. sorry for being a bit quieter I am currently sick. Looking forward to getting that Beta diary started

streea writes:

OwwieowOW! *in reference to that comic*

How big of a part of the game are the nipples/breasts? Will characters be able to toggle shirts off and on (for both men and women) like cloaks or helmets in other games? Are there only a few outfits out there for players that work this way? Will it be seen more with NPCs then players?

Thu Feb 07 2008 12:27PM Report
ashamita writes:

everyone talking about nipples all this week lol

Thu Feb 07 2008 12:30PM Report
Axus1 writes:

Nipples are GO!

Thu Feb 07 2008 12:47PM Report
Kyleran writes:

Glad to see things worked out this way. People here in the states were in an uproar over not having access to their nipples.

Well, get yourself better and I hope to be playing AOC in May.  (seriously, get that game out the door guys)


Thu Feb 07 2008 1:03PM Report
BadSpock writes:

I just hope/pray that in order to show some skin you have to NOT wear a few pieces of armor - i.e. you character stats suffer.

If it's a toggle on/off to show it's a REALLY bad idea.

That way it's more of a RP thing rather then a "hey I'm 15 my parents bought me this game not knowing I was going to walk around flashing the whole God d*mn time"

Thu Feb 07 2008 1:56PM Report
todeswulf writes:

Yep I can see all the kiddies jumping up and down topless now...... between that and the wowification of the game I'm glad I cancled my pre-order.  I was really hoping to finally have a Mature MMO,  fat chance here.

Thu Feb 07 2008 2:15PM Report
Kordesh writes:

Oh good, AoC has its boobs back. Looks like it might actually sell now since that's the only decent thing it has going for it.

Thu Feb 07 2008 2:46PM Report
Athelan writes:

I am sorry that you feel that way.

To me the nudity has always been window dressing and not substance, its part of showing the world as Howard wrote about it. But apparently it was a big deal to a lot of people who felt they were getting "jipped" by not getting everything as we made it. And thats why I re-posted this clarification.

Really Age of Conan is so not WoW in so many ways, but if your goal is out to draw similarities thats easy to do pretty much between any MMO and any other MMO.

There is social clothing which won't be useful in combat, and there are armors that cover less than others. Some of the styles in the world of Hyboria are still going to have good stats but are very intricate and more revealing, both for men and women. Some people want to have that gladiator, loincloth wearing barbarian look and they should be able to, same as some people will want to wear chainmail bikinis on females while others will want something that looks more protective its a matter of taste.

Thu Feb 07 2008 5:53PM Report
Siphaed writes:

I think what todeswulf  is getthing at for the "wowification" of the game, Athalen, is with all these current feature cuts and changes to the game.

Prestige Classes--A unique RPing element that also added great buffs, great guild benifits, and an overall choice factor. ~   Now, they're said to be removed and only possibly in a new feat tree, but that tree part has yet to be confirmed or denied.

Hell--This element was used to signify that magic was/is considered a bad thing in Hyboria and punish those that over extended the use of it.~ Now, said to be removed by you devs on account that it didn't properly cater to raiders and it annoyed them. So, now removal of the feature just to give raiders more time to obtain 'phat lewts'.

NPCs attacking player cities--This one was supposed to be really fun and give value to a guild's player city. Once city construction started, a parallel NPC city would build up across the way and eventually attack and siege the player city every now and then unless the player city made a preimptive strike against their city.~ Now, with it said to have been possibly removed to cater to carebear crafters so that their precious selling areas or crafting areas aren't desturbed.  It's just sad, sad, sad.


All those changes are the ones that make this game feel less unique, less challenging and semi-hardcore,  but instead it's feeling more and more carebearish with every change done.

Thu Feb 07 2008 6:42PM Report
Thornrage writes:

To me it was never about the nipples or the "wowification" of the game.  It was about the new combat system and mounted fighting.  There are other things that appeal to me including the fact that it is the world of Conan.  I have been a fan of Conan since I was old enough to read.

The videos and screenshots and the constant weekly updates have kept me patiently waiting for this game which was first announced to be released Fall of 2007 and then push to Early 2008 and now to near Summer 2008.  LOL.  I am still patiently waiting and have already pre-ordered my CE of Age of Conan!

Thu Feb 07 2008 9:07PM Report
eric_w66 writes:

//Hell--This element was used to signify that magic was/is considered a bad thing in Hyboria and punish those that over extended the use of it.~ Now, said to be removed by you devs on account that it didn't properly cater to raiders and it annoyed them. So, now removal of the feature just to give raiders more time to obtain 'phat lewts'.//

It wasn't just raiders. It was "groupers" too. And punishments that are that harsh are almost never going to be "hit". People avoid them at all costs, so no one would have seen hell past their first time anyways.

My problem with the nipplegate was that Funcom had said nothing had been changed to get the rating of M+... and when the original announcement came out, it was obvious that something had been changed... I couldn't care less about the nipples themselves, but I was irritated at the falsehood. Fortunately, it turned out to be a miscommunication rather than blatant lie, so I forgive Funcom for that. Now I'm still holding a grudge about not being in the beta yet ;)...

Fri Feb 08 2008 9:09AM Report
jadan2000 writes:

Thoughi dont feel that the game has become "wowified", by cutting prestige classes, npcs village raids, and prestige classes, you guys took some big steps back to looking less creative and more like regular MMO's. I think athelan you will see very soon, that your new combat system alone is not going to do it. If this game is supposed to feel like nothing else out there then you need to be more innovative. So those pieces didnt work the way you guys wanted to.... why not hold them back to be revamped instead of scrapping them?

Fri Feb 08 2008 2:38PM Report
Paks writes:

I think the outcry this issue caused from many prospective players says the idea of seeing nipples in an MMO is a very important part of what has drawn them to this game. 

Is that a bad thing? 


Time will tell how bad though.  I still hope the number of mature players attracted to the game for it's 'real' features outweigh those who just crave salivating over nipples on screen.

Other then that, I am disappointed that a few actually important things were cut or changed, but overall the game is looking fantastic.  :)  Thanks for sharing with the community here.

Fri Feb 08 2008 3:34PM Report
Alalala writes:

Can I equip my nipples?

Sun Feb 10 2008 7:51AM Report
CalDruid writes:

Kudos to Funcom for not shying away from possible controversy and the squeaky wheels that want everything to be sanitized vanilla flavor.  The (now disproven) removal of nudity in AoC was not what made me upset when the initial news came out.  What made me upset was that an 'M' rated game was watering down artistic content for the U.S. market which would have set up a bad precedent for artisitc freedom and freedom of choice.  Anyway, can't wait to play this game, nipples and all.

Tue Feb 12 2008 7:12PM Report
TeranHawkins writes:

Great comic you linked Athelan.  To me the whole issue is, it would just look weird without nipples!  Even on male toons it would look very odd for a barbarian to be running around bare chested and no nipples.  I'm glad for that reason that it's staying in the game and cant wait until May.  Wow what a week, AOC and Indiana Jones movie!

Tue Feb 12 2008 7:49PM Report
Jester238 writes:

I have to say I am glad that you guys didn't remove the nudity from the game. I could really care less as to whether or not I get to see naked laides... I don't need to pull up an MMO for that! (Haha) what makes me glad to see this still in the game is the fact that you guys aren't shying away from the ESRB, it's really good to see. As for the game being "wowified," I feel this just isn't true. Between the fact that the game is dark, the exciting new combat system, and the amazing fiction and game world, I think this game will be very different than WoW. Will it blow all other MMOs away and become the most innovative game out there? Probably not. However it seems that the overly innovative games either end up as vaporware or they end up being terrible. My beta app is in, and my CE is reserved!

Sun Feb 17 2008 9:23PM Report
Archahic writes:

@ Athelan, on a totaly different subject. I have heard about blood money, and how that would drop in PVP. But do you have any plans for a partial loot system, or to implement that in the future on one type of server?

Mon Feb 18 2008 6:42PM Report
Tiurinn writes:

Are you still sick Athelan? We're looking forward to that dev diary :) (and more blog posts!)

Sat Feb 23 2008 6:15AM Report
ulfr writes:

Man, am I going to get flack for this, but you know what? This needs to be said, since I don't see it said anywhere else.

What are we doing, as an industry of consumers and producers? Nipples? In Conan? I'm not really suprised, but I expected a little bit better from those developing games in general.

Is this really for "breaking barriers" or are we using that phrase as a mask to the blatant sexual objectificiation we are letting slide into games? Is this really the way we want to go as an industry?

We talk all the time about how there aren't many female gamers in gaming in general; an easy observation that it doesn't take a scientific study to find out. But why, and why do we want them to join games in general? Do we want female gamers to join the MMO community in a larger force because they are a possible large market that has thus far been completely ignored? Or do we want them to join the MMO community because we want them to be our "online g/fs, who play video games with us and sometimes cyber with us." In other words, do we want them because they're individuals who should be respected, or because we just want to have sex with girls who like video games. It all seems like a depressing ruse to me.

So, I ask in all seriousness to Funcom, who is developing this; how are you breaking new barriers that is positive to the market by allowing nipples in game? Embracing sexual objectification is not embracing sexual freedom, even if you call it embracing sexual freedom. By objectifying women in video games, are we really allowing them to enter the MMO market; or are we setting them up to fit something they're not, and then saying "hey come join us, but you only get to play robbers in our cops and robbers game." Yeah, we're really breaking barriers right there guys.

If this was really about desexualizing females via a process of neutralizing a sexually objectified stimulus then this wouldn't be show in this light:

If it was really about breaking this seemingly childish "barrier," where the barrier is covering up women's breasts because they're sexualized, and we give a big "F-U" by saying "nah, they're no different than men's nipp's, which aren't that sexual at all," then we wouldn't have a response like this:

"I just hope/pray that in order to show some skin you have to NOT wear a few pieces of armor - i.e. you character stats suffer."

Yeah, cause you know those nipples are there for you too oggle at all day, even as you bash some heads in. Watch them jiggle around as you swing your sword over your head; now you're ready to take on anyone!

So Funcom, give me a response. You can give me some private message or post wherever, I don't care. What I want to know is how you have the guts to advertise this as a "M-Rated Barrier Breaking Game." To me, you just pulled enough strings on the ESRB board to get some mild sexist porn in your game. To me, it just seems like another company discriminating against a market that is invisible due to the companies' desire to appeal to all the horny fanboys. To me, you're hurting the future of the market, and that upsets me as a consumer, and an individual.

Sat Mar 01 2008 3:05AM Report
Kurohoshi writes:

Ulfr, I do not really see what the big deal is about showing breasts and nipples in video games. Open your eyes and stop letting the heavily beaten down and restricted American culture cloud your mind. Everyone in this country are always trying to beat things with a nerf bat making them seem less harmful. (Cripple becoming handicapped for example. Oh wait, it's now differently abled.) It really destroys a lot of the language. Even though the gore and nudity aspect has to be taken out in Germany, European countries have topless women in watch ads. At least in Italy they do.

Secondly, what is so wrong with women's breasts and nipples? I mean really. They're only an object of lust because we wear clothes and we like to see what's under them because we find it sexually appealing. Just as 90 years ago we would have thought the ankles of women were sexy. And now as the Arabs who practice the purdah think the eyes are especially attractive. The same people also find the clitoris as something unclean and cut it off at the age o f 7 or so, but hey. That's their prerogative. The answer to these problems would have to be nudism. Just for a brief explanation, if everyone is naked nobody really cares what you look like. At first their might be a backlash, but looking at genitals all day gets boring and you start looking for people for what they really are instead of objects. However, we don't live in a nudist society.

In fact, breasts are just modified, highly specialized sweat glands. They produce milk for children. If we're going to blur out or take out nipples and breasts, then I also do not think we should be allowed to see the udders on cows or the same type of organs on other animals. After all, they all serve the same purpose. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Nudity is part of the world and this game is based heavily off of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories.

And guess what? They contain nudity. Just like a ton of rated R movies. And guess what else? R movies require the same age to enter as is required to buy an M rated game, unless accompanied by an adult for both.  I also highly doubt people will be paying 50 dollars for a game and a certain payment a month just so they can see digital breasts. Sure, there will be those people, but it's much easier to just go to some search engine and find probably better softcore/hardcore porn.

Wed Mar 05 2008 8:26AM Report
svicente writes:

Guy...guys... worried about nipples in a game where you can cut people's head's off?

I don't care about gore, nipples or even a macro that makes your avatar have sex with another one (Funcom, use this idea if you want...). It's natural... those religious zealots can tell whatever they want but more sex less violence in TV would probably help society.

Anyway, about the game, personally I think that instancing is probably worse than have nipples (not that having nipples, both on men and women is bad LOL)... but that's just me.

Sun Mar 09 2008 3:10PM Report
Abdar writes:

Everyone here knows how easy it is for one to see a 'real' nipple on the internet right? Does anyone really think people are going to buy and pay monthly fee's for a game cause once in a while you can see a polygon tit? To say that its' mild sexist porn for horny fanboys is the dumbest stuff I've every heard.  Would you say that in ANY movie that shows a nipple it's mild sexist porn for horny fanboys?

Honestly, people need complain about EVERYLITTLEFREAKINGTHING these days.

Tue Mar 18 2008 4:35PM Report
TheSalad writes:

The idea is to basically rule out the 13 yearolds by putting an A rating on a game. Hopefully it'll work.

Mon Mar 24 2008 7:31PM Report writes:
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