Conan Exiles Is Funcom’s Open-World Survival Game

Funcom’s enemy-crushing, lamentation-hearing MMORPG Age of Conan arrived years too late in the MMO rush, just another wanderer scavenging for scraps in the lands World of Warcraft pillaged and salted. Funcom today announced that they’re joining in the fun of 2013’s hottest craze with Conan Exiles [official site], a multiplayer open-world survival game set in the barbarian fantasy world. This summer it’ll launch into early access, as open-world multiplayer survival games will. Still, I do like the sound of sacrificing players to please gods.

Yep, this’ll be that new Conan game we were hearing about. Here’s what Funcom have to say about it:

“You are an exile, one of thousands cast out to fend for themselves in a barbaric wasteland swept in sandstorms and besieged by enemies on every side. Grow crops or hunt animals for food. Harvest resources to build weapons and tools. Build a shelter to survive. Ride across a vast world and explore alone, or band together with other players to build entire settlements and fortified strongholds. Unleash your fury in savage, fast-paced combat and execute bloody and bone-crushing attacks that will see heads rolling and limbs flying. Fight other players to dominate the exiled lands, and even call upon the wrath of the heavens to aid you by sacrificing enemy players on the altars of the gods.”

As well as having public servers, it’ll support private servers and singleplayer.

Ah, I don’t know, maybe this might have a shot. While WoW was the undisputed god-emperor of subscription MMORPGs, the survival world does seem a bit more fluid, with games like DayZ, Rust, Unturned, and Ark rising and falling, jostling for dominance. Maybe the genre’s permadeath and social isolation make it easier for players to move on to other games. Maybe Funcom are hoping to make an impact in the less-contested lands of consoles. Maybe Funcom are hoping prettiness will lure players away from the competition. Maybe? This just seems awfully late.

Here, this trailer will tell you very little about the game:

45 Comments

  1. Blackcompany says:

    Another multiplayer only bandwagon hop. Another game off my radar with its first announcement.

    Set a trend for once, as opposed to copying.

    • Askis says:

      I think you missed a line there:
      “As well as having public servers, it’ll support private servers and singleplayer.”

      • Blackcompany says:

        Saw private servers but yes I did miss single player.

        Thanks for that.

        • Chem says:

          Keep in mind that supports single player doesn’t mean it will scale properly and very likely ends with you having to do work that takes multiple people 5 hours by yourself for 15 hours

    • DevilishEggs says:

      Given how long it takes to develop a AAA game, isn’t it a little less like copying and a bit more like when you name your kid “isaac” or “avery” thinking you’re clever and then you turn up at preschool and half the other kids are named … isaac or avery? Certainly they’re on a bandwagon, but it was probably a less crowded ride when they first clambered aboard.

  2. NephilimNexus says:

    Someone in Funcom’s marketing department came out of their cocaine haze long enough to log into Steam for the first time in ten years and noticed that it was keeling over from the sheer bloat of survival games and, without bothering to see if anyone was actually buying any of them, immediately decided that this was the Next Big Thing. Knocking over an empty Jack Daniels bottle, he called his boss, the boss called their programming gnomes working out of a ghetto internet tea house in Bejing and two days later this new game slowly squelched out and plopped unceremoniously on Funcom’s table. It stood there, glistening and giggling, already giving off a faint order of methane, as their board of directors were already popping open champagne bottles.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      WTF man?!?!?!?! You know, if you’re not making a living out of making people laugh, this world definitely isn’t worth of your presence.

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      phuzz says:

      If one of the developers woke up and though “hey, didn’t we create a whole massive map for that MMO, why don’t we just re-use that?” that would actually be quite a cunning plan.

    • Kerr Avon says:

      Haha well said! Totally agree too.

  3. Oridan says:

    Oh no.

    • Oridan says:

      Well, at least the setting works well for the genre. So it might work.

  4. IRLAlex says:

    Don’t underestimate the amount of people who want an anywhere decent Multiplayer Online Survival game without guns. (Reign of Kings is awful).

    I’ll be looking into it anyway and hope it do decently well.

    • kderby42 says:

      Yes, I have hundreds of hours in these types of games. They are glorious fun for a while but eventually they get stale. I am more than ready for a new one.

      • Cik says:

        Me too. Honestly, paying ~$20 for a game and playing it for months is remarkably worth the money.

  5. Turkey says:

    AAA’s been insanely slow at jumping on the survival bandwagon in general. I guess they don’t like money.

  6. gabrielonuris says:

    Age of Conan was one of the two MMORPGs that I’d actually found interesting and a breath of fresh air (the other one was The Secret World, fortunately made by Funcom too).

    My only complaint about them, is that I would gladly pay $60 once, and play forever, completely ignoring the microtransactions; but the subscription model from AoC, and the p2w nature from TSW kicked me out of the experience completely. And no, a f2p model wouldn’t suffice.

    I’ll surely keep an eye on this one.

  7. CutieKnucklePie says:

    Yet another promising premise of a game turned into another asshole simulator.

  8. Anthile says:

    Conan! What is worst in life?

  9. Zaxwerks says:

    I would prefer a survival game where you have to survive against the onslaught of survival games, maybe make it a rogue-like with zombies…

    • Mud says:

      I prefer giant ants….

    • Ufofighter says:

      A survival game where you are a zombie living peacefully and randomly generated psychotic npcs with names like “1337player1996” able to build AK-47s from rocks and wood will chase you endlessly.

      • Phantasma says:

        Or rather ignore you and your ilk because they are too busy bullying each other.

        Sounds a bit boring tbh.

  10. Ufofighter says:

    Conan, what is best in life?

  11. Phantasma says:

    Oh Funcom, always late to the party.

    And maybe i’m wrong but this all seems somewhat desperate to me. Resusing their assets, first with that Secret World Jumpscare Horror Park thingie and now with this one?

    Not that i wouldn’t pay full-price for a *decent* Secret World turned singleplayer RPG (with the awful MMO combat and progression grind out of the window) but i don’t really see them pulling off something disctinctively great.
    They already seemed overstretched and burnt out before their spinoff attempts.

  12. Rizlar says:

    I would totally play this. The format suits the setting, perhaps better than an MMO ever could. And I do have a continuing soft spot for ridiculous barbarians living by their wiles in exotic and unforgiving lands.

    Funcom, simply grant us visceral first person combat, sensible mechanics and player settlements to pillage and raze to the ground. And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!

  13. Mkohanek says:

    Does not interest me in the slightest. However, I would love to see a single player Conan game that uses some of the same systems from the the FUncom MMO. That battle system was a lot of fun I thought, and I would love to experience it in a story driven game that does not want to bleed me of every penny it can. Heck I would be happy with a single player version of the MMO, just with everything like inventory unlocked. Ahhh that game was fun until it went F2P

    • shenzahn says:

      Totally agree. I had a blast back in the day playing on private WoW servers (or which half the time I was the only person playing). I liked the Conan MMO, played it for a bit, but I can’t really dedicate the time to game without having the ability to speed up my progress (easy mode, cheat codes, whatever). A single player / private server Conan would be great. Give me a little cotrol over things, and I’d pay real money even for a several year-old game that was re-jiggered to suit my single-player whims.

  14. Pretzelcoatl says:

    Balls. Is it too much to ask that they just flog the licence to the Shadow of Mordor devs?

  15. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    There are surprisingly few Conan games even though the IP is public domain. Same thing with Lovecraft.
    Are they still owned in America? Even though Robert E. Howard has been dead for 80 years and H.P. Lovecraft for 79.

    As a sidenote, on Dec 15th this year it’s 50 since Walt Disney died. It’s still author’s life +50 in Canada and most of Asia.

    • Darth Grabass says:

      Robert E Howard’s books are in public domain, but the Conan character is not. You can’t make a game/comic/movie/whathaveyou without purchasing the rights.

      Lovecraft’s copyright status is also complicated: link to lovecraft.wikia.com

      Disney properties will never go into public domain.

    • April March says:

      My cursory research suggests that Conan should be in the public domain already, but Paradox Entertainment (!) claims to own the copyright through their USian branch. It’s unclear whether they own the copyright to the character itself, to part of the stories, to specific adaptations of the stories which are all in the public domain, or to bugger all but they do have a lot of lawyers.

      Project Gutemberg does have a few Conan stories in them, apparently, even though they didn’t have any of Lovecraft’s last I checked.

  16. xalcupa says:

    The first 25 levels of Conan was the best I had played in a loong time, mainly due to the rather good story telling, ambiance and glorious music (did anyone notice the music?).

    The MMORPG and in a sense also survival concept feels a bit saturated, but I maybe give it a whirl, only because of Funcoms historical innovation achievements.

  17. Arglebargle says:

    When I played AoC, the Pvp servers were empty of anyone except gankers striving to run off any newbie foolish enough to roll on that server.

    However, if Funcom does actually deliver private servers, it might be worth doing.

  18. ProfitMargin says:

    “… pillaged and salted.” That was super. Few games have salted the earth as they pass through their launch as well as AoC mind you; having lost the entirety of my family before my majority, May of 2008 still plays host to some of my most painful memories and biggest disappointments.

  19. Zikz0r says:

    I’m curious about this game. While survival games as such aren’t very original I see potential with this one. It doesn’t focus on zombies which is a good start. Plenty of those games already.

    I like survival games and I hope the conan setting lets funcom do something original with this game.

    Will wait and see what the early access players have to say about it.

  20. EkoAzarak says:

    UGH…. Funcom should not be making games anymore. Funcom is fundamentally unable to produce a MMO that does justice to the IP’s they get. Please give Conan to another developer because this is just going to be another FAILCOM MEDIOCRITY.

  21. minijedimaster says:

    Well at least this one won’t have guns. So we already know it can’t turn into the next wannabe Call of Dooty simulator.

  22. Mortivore says:

    After being involved in a relationship with Age of Conan lasting merely 3 years I can confidently say that I refrain from buying any product marked with the Funcom brand. One can only take so much abuse, one can only take so much disappointment.
    We fell in love which launched our relationship to great heights but over the years it became clear: She who once presented herself as one had become the direct opposite and over the years it we both came to understand that the only future we’d have was on where we would part ways.
    Just before we decided to say our final farewell we decided to share one more act, one last moment together. So like all good couples we went for matching tattoos, something to remember the great years by, together with all its ups and downs. We browsed to a catalogue of tattoos but picked our own simple text, a statement, our relationship in a nutshell.
    To this I still stare at this tattoo remembering the greater days, as it states: “R.I.P PvP”.

  23. killmachine says:

    funcom’s unable to create a proper fun game. age of conan had potential and actually offered some innovation. but in the end it’s just average. secret world, too, had potential. great idea to make a mmorpg story driven. it feels and plays like shit though.

    maybe, if funcom is able to create proper tech and make the game feel not as stiff as their other games, conan could be a good survival game. i really love robert howard and would greatly appreciate a good game in his conan universe. i just don’t think that funcom is the right company for that.

  24. WiseGamer says:

    Another Funcom failure in the making it looks like. You’d think that by now, the company would have either folded or come up with the magical game formula to put it at the top. Sadly, neither has happened and they apparently continue to limp along, rolling those dice in the hopes that they’ll stumble onto a success. Go away already Funcom.