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Free-to-play switch boosts Age of Conan

Sees "significant" number of new players.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A "significant" number of new players have joined mature fantasy MMO Age of Conan now that it's free-to-play, developer Funcom has said.

Age of Conan went free-to-play last week and re-branded as Age of Conan: Unchained.

Free-to-play members get a choice of four character classes and two character slots. Bank space, adventure zones, dungeons, raids and mount training are limited. Sieges, alternative advancement, offline levels and veteran points are unavailable. A premium subscription unlocks all the content. This costs €12.95 a month.

As a result of the switch player numbers have been boosted, game director Craig Morrison told Eurogamer.

"Obviously something like this lowers the entry barrier for people coming in and trying the game," he said. "So we've seen a lot more players coming back. The activity on the servers is up.

"The reception from our community seems to be going really well. We haven't had any major issues with the way we've integrated the business model change.

"There's the odd minor quibble here and there, but overall people seem to be accepting. We've found decent price points and it's a fairly reasonable offer and the players seem to be enjoying it."

As a publicly traded company, Funcom is unable to reveal internal figures for player numbers.

"But you only have to look at public sources like Xfire to see the game has seen a significant increase in traffic since the weekend," Morrison continued.

"Those public sources are indicative of what we're seeing at this end as well.

"There's a significant number of new players coming into the game and trying it out and returning and playing again."

Age of Conan is the latest in a string of games that have made the jump to free-to-play.

Last month Hi-Rez announced that upcoming MMO shooter Tribes: Ascend will launch on PC as a F2P game.

City of Heroes, Lego Universe and Team Fortress 2 have all made the jump.

And recently Blizzard announced that the first 20 levels of World of Warcraft had become free to play as an extension of its trial.

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