Okay. It only seems like things are bad for Funcom and their MMO Age of Conan. A few days ago, we reported that the company’s CFO, Olav Sadnes, resigned after revealing a nasty 23.3 million dollar fourth quarter loss. In the same story, we mentioned AoC’s decline in user base as a sign of weakness at a point in which the game should be thriving.
I recently shared a brief e-mail exchange with AoC project manager, Jorgen Theraldsen, and asked if the gloomy financial news had any impact on development of future content in AoC. He was optimistic, but also wrote that Funcom has some work to do in order to retain its dwindling user base while simultaneously courting new players.
Hitting the break for his response.
“No, the development of Age of Conan will not slow down. If anything the evolution over the past few months has been highly positive for the game, so we keep on investing heavily in it with [the] 120 people still on the team,” wrote Theraldsen. “As a positive confirmation that we are doing the right things we have seen a clear trend towards people enjoying the game more and playing longer, and this is definitively the defining aspect of what we do. Only by making sure our current players have fun and speak positively about the game will more players come in, and this is what has happened over the last period. So we are actually seeing positive trends, and this means a continued focus on delivering new content.”
Funcom’s “focus” on supporting the PC version of AoC is real. When I asked about the Xbox 360 port of the game, Theraldsen assured me that it was still coming. However, development won't come at the expense of the PC version.
“We are still working on the Xbox 360 version, but the status remains the same. It’s only a small dedicated team, and almost all of our focus keeps on going into the PC version,” Theraldsen wrote. “The PC gamers are the customers we already have, and it would be a folly to dedicate more resources to a new version before we are content about their experience.”
Theraldsen's comments indicate that Funcom are still positive about AoC's success and they're obviously committed to bolstering an MMO that fell from grace post-launch. For those of you who still play AoC, is the experience getting better? If you quit, could you share what would bring you back?