Rumor has it that Age of Conan sports less than 100,000 paying subscribers. This according to analysts at DnB NOR Markets, who are bringing this up as a follow-up to chief financial officer Olav Sandnes resignation due to the poor performance of the company. Funcom is reporting a loss of $23.3 million, whereas Age of Conan is responsible for $22.8 of those. Ouch.
On the other hand, Funcom is estimating that the first quarter of 2009 will bring in revenue in the range between $6 and $8 million from Age of Conan. That’s assuring for the players at least, the game shouldn’t be in peril just yet, and with a movie on the way, along with the Russian expansion and whatnot, the game’s just not over for Age of Conan just yet.
Funcom’s Q2 financial papers reveals that Age of Conan has got 415,000 subscribers, and have sold over 800,000 copies. Not too shabby. The same papers points to World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King, and Warhammer Online, as the major competition. The latter looks really good, by the way.
Blizzard, makers of World of Warcraft, president Mike Morhaime, said the following to Edge in a conference call the other day:
Age of Conan released with some initial success a couple of months ago, and we did see some of our players leave to try the game. However, we’ve seen about 40 percent of those players return to World of Warcraft.
He then goes on talking about how huge World of Warcraft is, their service and such.
However, the key is this: 60 percent of the players coming to Age of Conan from World of Warcraft stays. Since this is from the Blizzard head honcho himself, and no Funcom PR machine, I’d say those a pretty reliable figures.
World of Warcraft is still the dominating MMORPG however, with 10.9 million subscribers. Funcom reported 700,000 a month after launch.
So this is cool, 700,000 player accounts is massive. Eurogamer compares:
To put that in perspective: long-running space-trading cult EVE Online is known to have around 250,000 active player accounts, while World of Warcraft famously has 10 million. Korean hits Lineage and Lineage II are thought to have around a million subscribers apiece.
However, although Funcom can celebrate, I think it is a bit premature. Trial accounts are still numerous, if the game’s sales are anything to go by (and it is, of course), and the true attachment rate after 30-90 days is a much more interesting number. Still, nice to see.