Funcom's Gaute Godager • Page 4

On launching Conan - and what comes next.

Eurogamer: One feature that hasn't been mentioned for a while is Drunken Brawling. Is that still on the cards?

Gaute Godager: We have Drunken Brawling - it's still in there. The thing is, though, I feel like it needs more polish - and I don't see players complaining about not getting it. That's why I'm saying, yes, we will give it out - but we're not doing it now. We have it, and it's a fun feature, but it's one of those things where I feel that with the fixes we have coming to other, bigger, more important things, putting too much focus on that could actually lead to criticism. People would ask why the hell we're doing Drunken Brawling when.... Well, enter issue here!

It's a social feature, first and foremost, and it's something that we should do when we feel that we've nailed the most important post-launch issues.

Eurogamer: Where are you seeing most success for Age of Conan at the moment? Is it mostly in Europe, or is North America taking to it as well?

Gaute Godager: What we're seeing is almost a fifty-fifty split in terms of player-base in North America and Europe. I must say though that I feel that our game is a lot more European than many of the other MMOs which have come out. It seems to be the only European successful MMO. I think that as we open in other territories, localise in Polish and Russian, for instance, I think our game will shift towards being a more European success story.

Right now, though, it's fifty-fifty - and also remember that Conan is, of course, an American IP. They have a big love for the big brute! It's only natural that we get support in the US as well.

Eurogamer: What do you think it is about the game that makes it so European in its flavour?

4

Gaute Godager: Oh, how should I put it... It's in the style. You can find The Witcher, you can find Gothic, you can find those series which are produced in Europe and which the European players love in our RPG style and in our visuals - and in the fact that we go with realistic graphics and those kinds of aesthetics.

I'm not sure that that's something the Americans don't like - I'm not saying that. I'm speculating, but it seems to me that very many gamers in the US play both console and PC games, it's a bit more mixed - and they like the same type of games on both types of system. They enjoy a visual style that's more colourful, not that realistic.

In Europe, a lot of people don't have consoles, and they use their PC for gaming to a bigger degree. Many European countries also have better internet connectivity than many parts of the US, and PC gaming has for many years promoted the consumption of high bandwidth, not only through legal means but also through piracy.

I enjoy playing WOW, I enjoy playing Lord of the Rings Online. But you know... I'm going to be a bit cheeky now, but if you've been to McDonalds for four or five years, and had your burger and your coke, sometimes it's great to just have a great steak and a glass of good wine. I think that's what we're trying to do. It's more expensive, it's not for everyone and perhaps it's not as easily accessible as WOW is. But it could be more meaty. [laughs]

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