Free-to-Play Age of Conan Doubles Revenues

Free-to-Play Age of Conan Doubles Revenues

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Funcom's Age of Conan MMO has added a pile of new users and more than doubled its revenues in its first full month as a free-to-play game.

It looks Funcom is the latest MMO company to figure out that sometimes the best way to make money is to stop asking for it. Like Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online before it, the switch to a free-to-play model that went into effect at the beginning of July has resulted in a windfall for the long-troubled Age of Conan.

"The activity levels on the servers are booming with a fourfold increase in players during July, we more than doubled the revenue generated from the game, and we have experienced a positive development in subscriber numbers," said Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas. "This definitely gives us great hope for the game's future."

Like other F2P MMOs, Age of Conan now offers players unlimited play at no charge, with the option to purchase in-game items like weapons, armor and "premium services" on an "a la carte" basis through the in-game store. Serious fans also have the option of continuing to pay the monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to everything.

Funcom also revealed that the Age of Conan team is currently at work on the Savage Coast of Turan adventure pack, a tie-in with the upcoming Conan the Barbarian movie. The pack will add new world areas, monsters, characters and equipment, and will go live on August 18 to coincide with the release of the film.

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Good for them! I'm glad to see this sort of model becoming more mainstream and paying off.

I'm happy for them, I really am. I tried AoC when it was that "free forever trial, then you have to subscribe" model, and I can't say I hated it. I certainly can't say it convinced me to stay, but I thought it was good.

See, these are the kind of MMOs I might actually start playing.

A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Lol, just goes to show that "free to play" games will take more of your money than anything else. God knows how much I've spent on LoL...

koroem:
A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Not sure about AoC, but most F2P MMOs do better than they ever did P2P without offering anything that really beefs up your character. It's just a matter of getting more people to start playing in the first place. After that they're more willing to give up cash because they can better understand what the level of quality that they'll be getting is.

It really is a good model. Just doesn't work for every game or every genre.

Hmm...

I'd look at these carefully to see if the long term playability keeps up as opposed to short term boosts of investment and then a slow decline as the game did in the past and declined...

Currently we are seeing the short term effects and not wondering if this surge will fade away and eventually weaken profits or not.

Meh.

Good luck to em though!

A properly shopped F2P game can make intensely more money than any P2P model. Most P2P games charge $15 a month. And that is it, that is all they get from you a month aside from the initial purchase of the game(which most games don't even have anymore) A F2P shop you can walk in and buy whatever they have for sale whether it be poorly thought out with unbalanced weapons/armor/potions etc, or a various amount of vanity items. People will buy sparkly shit, just because it sparkles.

Well mabey I will have to try this game out.

I have mixed reactions towards this game. Overall, it's amazing, I didn't have this much fun with an MMO in a long time, BUT the way Funcom asks for money is a lot more restrictive than other succesful Freemium games (for a better term instead of F2P).

There's a lot of content without paying a dime, but if you're serious about playing this game and I mean raids and PVP (especially in the Deathwish server), then you need to pay for a monthly fee. They offer the expansion in their store, but almost everything that the expansion offers is restricted to Premium subscribers, making it completely useless to even consider buying the expansion.

Also, I'm quite pissed off by the hideous customer service the game has, they banned me once, because they didn't register my payment (1 month), I contacted them and they unbanned me, they were nice enough to give me an extra week of gametime. BUT, due to my region, the currency displayed in my "territory" is in Euros, not in US Dollars. Last time I checked, Mexico wasn't located in Europe and I refuse to pay double than what I was willing to pay.

Resuming, the game itself is awesome, the company itself sucks hard.

but does it last?
you only ever hear good numbers after a few month and of course new players are flooding to something that is f2p but do enough stay and pay over let's say a year.

i may try conan, i played it on launch but after i got my mammoth i couldn't be bothered to continue playing.

koroem:
A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Yes. The cash shop absolutely sells power. Potion packs, mounts, stat-buffing pets, weapon kits, and +XP potions/gear. That's actually one of the things that led me to cancel my subscription.

targren:

koroem:
A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Yes. The cash shop absolutely sells power. Potion packs, mounts, stat-buffing pets, weapon kits, and +XP potions/gear. That's actually one of the things that led me to cancel my subscription.

Yeah thought so. People sadly get addicted to this type of crap and spend way too much money to have a hope of winning. All the people who don't spend money continue to get their asses smashed but play because for some reason they enjoy the game despite the imbalance. Glad I'm not into MMO's anymore. I remember playing AoC in beta and not being particularly impressed. I tried out the Tempest class I think? The mage one with the lighting. From what I understand from friends that continued playing it actually ended up being quite an OP class. Anyways are the items available to non-paying players through crafting or NPC sales?

I played AoC on release, and while it wasn't the game for me, it's definitely nice to hear about a game in crisis actually swinging upwards for once, rather than the "we expected it to fail, and it did, like usual".

SupahGamuh:

Resuming, the game itself is awesome, the company itself sucks hard.

Yeah, I remember when their policy was to outright ban anyone who used an exploit, but they wouldn't let anyone know what was considered an 'exploit', because they didn't want anyone to know how to do it. This was days after launch. I have to say that the best way to endear people to a newly released game for which they have to pay money to play continuously is NOT to treat them all like potential hackers...

koroem:

targren:

koroem:
A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Yes. The cash shop absolutely sells power. Potion packs, mounts, stat-buffing pets, weapon kits, and +XP potions/gear. That's actually one of the things that led me to cancel my subscription.

Yeah thought so. People sadly get addicted to this type of crap and spend way too much money to have a hope of winning. All the people who don't spend money continue to get their asses smashed but play because for some reason they enjoy the game despite the imbalance. Glad I'm not into MMO's anymore. I remember playing AoC in beta and not being particularly impressed. I tried out the Tempest class I think? The mage one with the lighting. From what I understand from friends that continued playing it actually ended up being quite an OP class. Anyways are the items available to non-paying players through crafting or NPC sales?

Targren's statement is false, although they *almost* went on to sell "power" items in the store, but it was rejected by the player base before it went into the patch. (mounts and XP pots have nothing to do with power, derp)

They do have 4 hour stat potions, of which you can stack 1 "regen" type (either stamina OR mana OR health) - an offensive one (either combat rating OR critical rating) - and defensive ones that only work in PvP.

That said, these potions - even the blue rarity ones - give my character a whopping 0.2% improvement in it's given ability, which is hardly even noticeable. So leaving or being angry because of them is an overreaction, they're just luxury and don't affect any balance in the game.

Then there are "combo books" which grant the last rank of 3 combos/abilities per class, but these are attainable through PvE in expansion content, it took me 2 weeks to get all 3 books on my newest character (a Bear Shaman)

So the answer, finally, is no. There is no (real) power in the item shop.

And it seems that once again the magic ratio shows up. 4x the users, 2x the money.

So if they dropped their sub fees to half and got 4x the users that way, they'd be making the same, right?

koroem:

targren:

koroem:
A free to play PvP MMO with a cash shop making more money then a subscription model? Something tells me the shop might have health potions, weapons/armor, or upgrading materials that can give advantages in PvP and people with deep pockets are spending to keep the advantage. Anyone playing shed some light on it?

Yes. The cash shop absolutely sells power. Potion packs, mounts, stat-buffing pets, weapon kits, and +XP potions/gear. That's actually one of the things that led me to cancel my subscription.

Yeah thought so. People sadly get addicted to this type of crap and spend way too much money to have a hope of winning. All the people who don't spend money continue to get their asses smashed but play because for some reason they enjoy the game despite the imbalance. Glad I'm not into MMO's anymore. I remember playing AoC in beta and not being particularly impressed. I tried out the Tempest class I think? The mage one with the lighting. From what I understand from friends that continued playing it actually ended up being quite an OP class. Anyways are the items available to non-paying players through crafting or NPC sales?

The Item shop will happily sell you all sorts of social skins that don't do anything other than look cool, but it does also sell the first tier of PvP gear and a selection of weapons and armor for various power levels.

The regular "rare" items they sell are about on par for what you'd be sporting just through regular gameplay at 40, 50, 60, etc, and the PvP gear is the same exact stuff you can get from the PvP reward NPCs in-game. So nobody is buying themselves epic raid drops or the like. Really they're capitalizing on people who are either lazy or have extremely bad luck + disposable income to burn, you really don't need to and shouldn't even want to buy the actual "power" sets on sale (the purely social sets though are pretty neat looking, and I hear from a lot of players who are quite tempted to buy them or already have).

 

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