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News & Features Discussion  » Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures: Hybrid F2P Q&A with Craig Morrison

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 15083

OP  5/25/11 7:31:02 AM#1

With today's huge announcement that Age of Conan will be utilizing a hybrid free-to-play / premium subscription revenue model, players are bound to wonder about some of the specifics of the decision. Industry Relations Manager Garrett Fuller caught up with AoC Executive Producer Craig Morrison to talk about those decisions and more. Check it out and then leave us a few comments.

Will there be a player shop to buy various items that allow you to advance in the game?

Yes, we have already been selling those types of convenience and progression benefits for some time through the game’s account pages, so this just places those kinds of items into a store setting similar to that you would find in other free to play games. This is already something we have integrated in the Korean version of the game, and our backend for that type of service is already well established and tested as it currently runs the store in Anarchy Online.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Age of Conan: Hybrid F2P Q&A with Craig Morrison.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/08
Posts: 920

nanu nanu

5/25/11 8:22:09 AM#2

Finally! One of my favorite MMO's all time is going F2P! This is fantastic and welcome news. Looking forward to the population increase similar to how it was at launch. Congrats Funcom on a very smart decision. Looking forward to logging back in and taking on the world of Hyboria. 

  User Deleted
5/25/11 8:24:46 AM#3

Ok, who won the office pool for May 25?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1800

5/25/11 8:34:49 AM#4

Finally I can try this game :)



Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/10/03
Posts: 602

5/25/11 8:45:14 AM#5

and then all the free players discover the game is not free, would have cost alot less than a monthly fee did and then vacate the game once again, however this time the monthly fee subscribers will also leave.

Shame as when i tried it i thought the game had potential, just a sever lack of players put me off, those that were in game just told you to skip all the dungeons and group quests and level as fast as possible to max level. So one was expected to bypass and miss 90% of the game alias why i left.

Now this move to me = had to go free play because its failing and we need some sort of life support (item shop), once that fails they will try to go with 1 server untill its final demise.

Someone really needs to pull that plug, not just on this one but all the ones on life support.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 240

5/25/11 9:01:53 AM#6
Originally posted by Manestream

So much rubish in one place. I bet you never even have seen AoC but consumed alot of chit-chat.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 3394

5/25/11 9:12:03 AM#7
Originally posted by Manestream

and then all the free players discover the game is not free, would have cost alot less than a monthly fee did and then vacate the game once again, however this time the monthly fee subscribers will also leave.

How can it cost more? If you want to pay a sub, you can always pay for premium and get access to everything.

AoC is not doing well at all. And there is no hope that the game will pick up. So they try something new to revitalise their game. So they have 2 options:

1. Change nothing. Their game remains unsuccessful with 100% certainty.

2. Change to this new model. Two outcomes. New model fails and it doesn't get too many new players. Or it can attract tons of new players and actually become much more profitable.

A 100% fail situation or ?% that your game may turn out to be a success. I don't think you even need to think twice about this.

Mission in life: Vanquish all trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.



Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 16463

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

5/25/11 9:41:52 AM#8

Nice after returning for the recent free promotion and seeing the population problems on Tyranny, I can't say they could have made a wiser decision. I really do enjoy AOC, I just can't stand the fact there's hardly anything going on in terms of player interaction.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 2022

5/25/11 9:47:05 AM#9
Originally posted by fivoroth

How can it cost more? If you want to pay a sub, you can always pay for premium and get access to everything.

AoC is not doing well at all. And there is no hope that the game will pick up. So they try something new to revitalise their game. So they have 2 options:

1. Change nothing. Their game remains unsuccessful with 100% certainty.

2. Change to this new model. Two outcomes. New model fails and it doesn't get too many new players. Or it can attract tons of new players and actually become much more profitable.

A 100% fail situation or ?% that your game may turn out to be a success. I don't think you even need to think twice about this.


I think AoC is dead enough that P2W will probably be a better option, but that does depend how cash dependent it becomes.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/05/11
Posts: 3

5/25/11 9:49:09 AM#10

Hopefully the AH isnt restricted and you can join/make guilds otherwise fremium model sucks


Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/10
Posts: 9

5/25/11 10:00:14 AM#11

are they will make game like LOTRO and D&D


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/05/08
Posts: 134

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.~Aristotle

5/25/11 10:08:37 AM#12

 May give it a try again.  I did like Hyboria and the world FunCom created, but too many issues back at launch.


The big downer that I can see (and I do appreciate their reasoning), the lack of in game chat.  If people new to the game can't talk or ask questions, it can be frustrating at times.  

AoC Free FAQ

Proud member of Hammerfist Clan Gaming Community.

Currently playing: RIFT, EQ2, WoW, LoTRO
Retired: Warhammer, AoC, EQ
Waiting: SWToR & GW2


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3558

5/25/11 10:10:12 AM#13

This could be great. EQ2X seems to have a constant stream of new players because of its hybrid model. Anarchy Online used to have that too because of this.(havent played it for years, so not sure how its now)

I think that this could work for more ageing MMORPG's.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 6516

5/25/11 10:11:07 AM#14

Turbine has ruined LotRO with their F2P model (one that constantly moves towards selling more and more in game advantages and benefits exclusively in their store).

Is Funcom going to be honest about this or are they going to doubletalk through a bunch of marketing speak like Turbine does?

My bet is they will ruin their game for the hobbyist gamer and sellout to the insta-grat F2P crowd.

Curse you AquaScum!


Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/06
Posts: 1570

5/25/11 10:30:19 AM#15

lol, I like the way they are really burt-hurt about the fact that DDO is generally recognised as the first game to introduce Freemium.

Lets face it Funcom... AO is older than the moon and was never big news that it went f2p.


Turbine didnt follow you, they set the standard which you now follow..


As for AOC, too little too late.   End game is basically a korean grind and there is no open world pvp, just little pvp minigames and sieges which suffer from some horrible balancing issues that really, can never be resolved with the way your 'unique' combat system works.


I'll pass thanx, gl tho o/


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4414

Zombie - Dead. Just dead.

5/25/11 10:34:26 AM#16

This will give LOTRO some decent competition... something it doesn't have much of now.  I think that's good for the industry. My genre blog.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/09/11
Posts: 791

5/25/11 10:49:50 AM#17

I don't know... I like AoC but I am not sure this free to play model is as cool as they make it sound like. There was no mention on if free players will be able to be competitive in end game PvP.


freemium is pointless if it just has its hooks in at max level. I am not sure if it's even worth doing all the quests. AoC is another game where I see the road to max level as boring. If there is no gold for free players at the end, then I don't think I want to bother.



They try to fix problenms, but they are not dealing with the root of the problem. Like most other MMORPGs the quests quickly get old, AI and dungeons are the same, and it's just overall stale.


I would have a much larger initiative to spent my time with the game if it was not dragged out too such a long grind, and this is not AoC-Only related, but basically all these MMOs that are going free to play.



Like the others said, this game has some nice things going for it, and it's a cool setting but no. I've played these games so long enough that I don't think it's "worth it" just for the challange. It's too easy to hide flawed game design behind such a long grind. Give me a fantastic 10 hour game over a mediocre 10.000 hour game anyday of the week. I might replay the first game several times because it's actually good and not dragged out, and for the rest of the time, I can go out and play in the sun.


If F2P is their model then remove the grind and make it a tight experience. there is no challenge in this. It's just time consuming, waste of youth. At least for me. It ain't enough it's just free. it needs to be good too.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/09
Posts: 12

5/25/11 10:55:53 AM#18

f2p ok but the chat regulations will kill it off pretty quick or they will change that pretty quick, its way too boring to play a mmo without being able to chat, so if it wasnt for that part it seems like welcoming news, 


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 67

5/25/11 11:06:05 AM#19

This is awesome news. I played the free trial just a few months ago and the game is unique and really interesting.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1066

5/25/11 11:09:40 AM#20

At the end of last year I predicited AoC and Warhammer would announce free to play systems by the summer . Well guess I was half right . So far . I still think there may be an anouncement about Warhammer Online in the coming weeks .

I personally think Funcom did the right thing here .I know a lot of people hate the hyrbid free to play system because they see it in the same category as the asian cash shop models . It really isn't . Its essentially a none time limited free trial that allows you to get into the game and then you have the option to either use micropayments if you play casually or a standard subscription allowing you access to all the games features .

Great stuff . Most new games should think of using this model as very few of them are worth a monthly subscription . I would argue in at present only EVE ,WoW and RIFT are worth it .

Not that I like WoW paticulary but there plenty of people that do .

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