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The Great Hyborian Waiting Game

"Originally there was enough early access for everybody. Then came Conan, foreign king of the Aquilonians. With his great muscles and legendary swordsmanship, he cleaved the early access in twain, bellowing, 'Hyboria's Full! Go away!' Of the tiny sliver that remained, Funcom gave it to Germany and France, as only quality beer, wine, bratwurst, and cheese could soothe the rage within the savage barbarian."

It seems Funcom greatly underestimated the number of people who are sick of World of Warcraft. They've both had over 1,000,000 open beta registrations (which would be a highly unusual number of subscribers) and have closed their early access registration. Many (most?) people, regardless of if they pre-ordered or not, are going to be waiting until the 20th.

The Conan the Adventurer cartoon series was relatively good at maintaining the spirit of the books, except for the lack of gore and sex, and Needle who is essentially the phoenix equivalent of Jar Jar Binks.

It seems Age of Conan is off to a popular start, but to bring some perspective to this is a little disheartening. The Early Access was closed to because the servers are full, by their calculations. It's entirely possible that the game will be close to unplayable this weekend. Come the 20th, they'll either have more servers up or the game's taking a nosedive for however long it takes them to catch up to their unexpected demand.

This demand will snap back shortly because no MMORPG really keeps the subscribers it has on the opening week. A great deal of players will treat MMORPGs like they would any other game, get shortly bored of it and quit. It's the remaining players, the "core subscribers," that are the actual players. Although I've gotten in trouble for my future casting before, I'd put that number at about 60% of the original subscribers on account of how Age of Conan is a pretty decent game. A second major infusion of subscribers should hit when Age of Conan is released for XBox360, currently slated for quarter 3 of this year.

Well, I've got another 21 1/2 hours to burn until early access starts. Saturday at 10am PST, I cease to function as a human being and begin anew as a citizen of Hyboria... at least until I'm thoroughly bored of it or the servers refuse to function (whichever comes first). To burn the time until then, I've been spending time browsing the forums, reading up on Robert E. Howard's work on Project Gutenberg, playing a bit of Sonic Rush Adventure, and finishing those eternal chores that really can't wait.


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