Funcom’s Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures drew some attention for several reasons when it was released in May 2008. It was a Mature rated MMORPG (yes, that means vicious violence and bare breasts), it had a more realistic visual flare than most MMOs (based quite a bit on the look established in the Conan comic book), and it had a nearly 30 gigabyte install. Well now, less than seven months after its release, the MMO is getting attention, but likely not the kind Funcom hoped for. It seems server load is much lighter than they were hoping, and to increase interaction between players, they’re closing over 60% of the servers worldwide.
This is actually good news for those playing the game. With only one U.S. player-versus-player (PVP) server and two mission servers (PVE), players can expect to see many more possible friends and foes running around than they currently do.
The closures come in the midst of a recession in the U.S. that seems to be expanding worldwide; this obviously is not the ideal economic climate for a pay-monthly-to-play game. Of course, World of Warcraft continues to fly in the face of this, proving that if you just make the experience fun and accessible enough, people will continue to support it. Steep system requirements and the M rating have likely restricted the game’s growth more than anything else, so this doesn’t spell doom for MMOs just yet. With City of Heroes recently released for Mac, and Champions Online and DCUniverse Online coming later this year, the future still looks bright for more-piggers.