I’ll Be Back: Funcom Making New Conan Game

There’s a scene in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian where the musclebound protagonist asks chum Subotai about religion. “Who do you pray to?” he asks. “I pray to the four winds, and you?” his pal replies. “To Crom… but I seldom pray to him, he doesn’t listen.” Subotai laughs. Conan ain’t happy. Alas, sometimes prayers go unanswered. But maybe you enjoyed Funcom‘s 2008 MMO Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures – and its subsequent 2011 free-to-play guise Unchained – so much that you prayed they’d return to Cimmeria. You did? Friend, your prayers have been answered.

The game won’t be announced until January, but Funcom and rightsholder Conan Properties have announced a deal making the Norwegian developers are the “preferred partner for all PC and console games based on the Conan the Barbarian brand and the world of Hyboria.”

Funcom CEO Rui Casais said: “We are tremendously excited to be strengthening our relationship with Conan Properties. Conan the Barbarian is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest and most recognizable fantasy heroes, and as game developers, working with such a character and being able to draw from the fantastically detailed world of Hyboria is nothing short of a dream come true.”

Or a prayer answered.

While I’ve not played Funcom’s Age of Conan in quite some time, I always found it a fun and engaging MMO, if not slightly temperamental at times. Again, it’s been a while, but the fact that it’s still going suggests folk are still having fun. The official word is that Funcom’s latest Conan project will be “announced to the public in January next year.”

43 Comments

  1. razgon says:

    Im guessing its a MOBA.

  2. Keios says:

    I remember people saying Age Of Conan was going to be THE WoW killer, and being incredibly excited about it pre-release. Never played it myself, but from what I hear it lived up to very little, if not none, of the hype.

    • montorsi says:

      Everything was the WoW killer back then.

    • Arkayjiya says:

      As every Funcom game, it was too much for the budget and time they had. They clearly had the ability to do a serious concurrent to WoW at the time, they just did not have the mean.

    • LexW1 says:

      Let’s be fair – literally every MMO that came out during that period was touted as a “WoW-killer”, even if the devs explicitly disavowed that, the press suggested it was anyway, and in the case of AoC, it was largely due to the press and a rabid fanbase screaming that it would be amazing.

      The main problem it had, actually, was that it started pretty strong, with a fairly engaging intro area with voiced quests, a clear-ish storyline, and fairly fun combat, and so on, then, after that area (which you left somewhere in the L10-20 range, I forget), you went into far more poorly designed/bland areas.

      The second problem was that the controls were utterly godawful for the ridiculously complicated combat system they’d come up with. It wasn’t a terrible system in theory, and more engaging than a lot of them, but it was rather hellish to try to work through the standard setup.

      That’s ignoring how horrifically buggy it initially was, too.

      They got the general tone, pitching it somewhere between the stories and the 1982 movie (the right place to pitch it, frankly), but they just hadn’t put together the whole package.

      I think they could do a good Conan MMO, but they’d have to have learned a hell of a lot and start a lot smaller than last time, frankly, for there to be a chance. A Conan MOBA seems like a recipe for a shitshow.

      • DarkFenix says:

        Yeah it looked and sounded great, but the content was (very) sparse and controls were mediocre at best.

        If memory serves there was a great big content gap in the 40-50 range at release, not a single quest or anything meaningful to do. Oh and there was of course no endgame.

    • horrorgasm says:

      It had its moments. One of the worst things about it was the almost complete lack of class balance though, which is extra awful when the game world is a pvp free for all. Like I remember starting with a fighter class and one of the caster types could just hit you with this root spell and then just sit there shooting you to death from a distance while you’re absolutely helpless the entire time. There was nothing you could do about it at all.

      • Jediben says:

        The great truth is that only WOW is capable of killing WOW, and it is becoming increasingly adept at doing do.

    • Stropp says:

      If Funcom had put as much effort into the post-20 game as they did in those early levels, and had fixed a few more bugs prior to release, then it may have given WoW a run for its money.

      • Sakkura says:

        Sane itemization would have been nice too. God that was awful. Truly, truly awful.

      • MisterFurious says:

        I think they, and almost all developers at the time, had this misconception that it would take people months to get through the early content so they focused on the the early game stuff first, thinking that they had plenty of time to do the late game stuff after launch. They didn’t realize how OCD a lot of the player base would be and they blew through the early stuff far quicker than the developers anticipated. That happened to a lot of games.

    • Spacewalk says:

      MMOs please you, Funcrom so grant me one request. Grant me a WOW killer! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

    • NephilimNexus says:

      “WoW Killer” is just marketing speak for “WoW Clone.”

  3. icecoldbud says:

    As I remember I had a great time when it released years ago until I hit higher levels I think 50ish or so and it just ran of quests, content and things to do.

    • icecoldbud says:

      *edit above..ran out of quests, content and things to do.

  4. skyturnedred says:

    Conan Souls is a game I’d pay good money for.

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, I’d definitely want to play something in that vein, but like Razgon said my money is sadly on a MOBA.

    • EhexT says:

      Then you’ll wanna play the original Souls game: Severance – Blade of Darkness. It’s basically off-brand Conan with an early Souls combat system – extremely strong enemies, no filler enemies, non-regenerating health everything from movement to attacks being attached to a stamina bar (with about amount of attacks-per-bar as DS) and combat being about the actual weapon hitbox intersecting the enemy, not giant hurt-boxes being flung around.

      • skyturnedred says:

        I played the shit out of Severance when it came out. Great game. I even played the shitty Conan game that came out a decade ago, and I loved it simply because it was Conan. Then there was the god-of-war-clone, that only came out on consoles, and I loved it despite its flaws. That said, Conan, if anyone, deserves a GFG (Great Fucking Game).

  5. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I always liked Crom in the stories. A brooding asshole whose great gift to mankind was the means to kill each other and avoid being killed, after which he pretty much wiped his hands of humanity – except to randomly smite people from time to time.

    As for the game, Funcom’s making it, so it’ll be either a MOBA, as suggested above, or a MMORPG, and therefore I couldn’t care less. I’d absolutely adore a Witchery Conan experience, though. *puppy dog eyes at the game industry*

    • FrozenHobbit says:

      Conan Witchery? Someone get this man a dev studio!

    • Zenicetus says:

      A Witchery Conan game would be great. Lose the magic abilities, focus only on melee skills, and otherwise the same great open world creation and quest writing. There is certainly enough material in the source novels (I read ’em all as a kid).

      Sadly, it won’t be this particular game, but someone will do it. Especially now that the Witcher saga is officially over.

      Someone should also resurrect the Fritz Leiber “Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser” tales as a singleplayer game, where you could freely alternate between the two characters like AC Syndicate. Plenty of source material there too.

      • Jediben says:

        I would hope the lamentation of the women to be appropriately voice acted. Perhaps by that bird that played FemShep.

      • Furius says:

        Where to start with Conan? I’ve always fancied it but can’t work out the best reading order.

        • Mkohanek says:

          There have been multiple Conan authors. Robert E. Howard was the original and the best. The Complete Chronicles of Conan has all of his Conan stories in the best order to read them so just get that and you are covered

  6. razgon says:

    I loved the world in AoC – such a great worldbuilding they accomplished. If I let my imagination run wild, they are going to make Age of Conan 2, and do it EVEN BETTER, but….we all know its going to be way less in scope.

    I fear the days of (new) big MMOs open world, explorable MMOs are over, sadly.

  7. tomimt says:

    I really loved the opening area of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. I was hoping the MMO section of the game would have been more of the same, but it wasn’t.

    I’m actually hoping they’d do a single player game with the same spirit.

  8. The_Flail says:

    Ah…Age of Conan one of those games I have a hate/love relationship with.

    On one hand it had an innovative approach to most of its classes and the initial storyline was quite fun.

    On the other hand it got bland really quick and many of its classes where just incredibly underpowered.

    But I’ll always love it for one of the best attacks to ever apear in an MMO: The Herald of Xotlis “I eat your heart” which let you literally rip the heart out of an enemy and eat it.

  9. TWChristine says:

    One of the greatest parts of the game for me, was the music. I could listen to it all day. Then one day, I committed the ultimate sin and decided to read the Youtube comments. It was filled with racial hate and slurs, and it’s now made it impossible for me to listen to the music without thinking about white supremacists. :/

  10. jonahcutter says:

    The first 10-20 levels of AoC were great. I ran the beginning areas several times. And always lost interest after that. Never got a toon to max.

    Singleplayer, please! A Witcher 3-like would be my first choice. A Souls-like second. Either would make an excellent template to begin with.

    Imagining a Witcher 3 type experience in the Conan universe makes me all tingly.

  11. MadMinstrel says:

    Funcom is making a game without Tørnquist? Meh.

  12. Tommando says:

    Crom laughs at your four winds.

  13. Sin Vega says:

    There was a budget hack and slash Conan game on the funsquare 360 that was surprisingly fun. That is all.

  14. andu says:

    that game had one of the worst of all time game launches, first 20 levels there was content and then the rest of the game wasn’t finished basically. Travesty that we gamers are put through nonsense like that while being asked to pay monthly costs for it. Id never trust them again

  15. ikari says:

    All I remember about Age of Conan is that there was an odd glitch that made breasts jiggle around randomly.

  16. monkey_mischief says:

    As long as there are boobs !!!! I’ll buy.