Regular readers will know that I don’t think too highly of Funcom’s truly awful Age of Conan. Part of the pain/hate/call it what you like, is that I wanted the game to do extremely well and, yes, I believed Funcom when it said that it would take the lessons learned from Anarchy Online and apply them to AoC’s development and launch. Huh, what hollow words they seem now.
Some might think this is an overreaction, but I felt that Funcom had personally visited my house, pissed in my Wheaties and slapped me in the face for good measure when it pulled its lets-make-the-first-20-levels-really-good trick, resulting in beta testers and games reviewers assuming the whole game was just as good and pumping out quick reviews that rate AoC far, far, far more highly than they would of if they had actually played through the full game.
Anyway, enough bile for now, I saw a piece this morning where AoC’s Erling Ellingson has commented to Massively about the game and has confirmed that with over 800,000 boxes sold, only 400,000 people remain subbed, three months later. This figure had been thrown around on the official AoC forums for a couple of weeks following the latest Funcom quarterly report which revealed as much but, as you’d expect, a small army of Funcom fanboi’s over there actively denied it was possible and the game was in great shape and the naysayers were only a small part of the forum community only. Wow. I wonder how those guys are feeling now? The stats were right, guys.
I mean, the 50% drop just staggers me. Sure, a game will NEVER retain 100% of its subscribers after the first month, but to lose 50% of them in just three months seems like a rather high figure to me. What about you? I just can’t see this being healthy at all.
And as some other online pundits have already said, that figure of 400,000 current subscribers would undoubtedly include (i) People who are on their first free month and, like 400,000 people before them, definitely won’t be resubbing and, (ii) People who bought six-month subs who could very well be no longer playing the game out of pure disgust, yet will get counted as subscribers for some months to come. So the overall population might not have finished dropping yet.