Although the MMORPG space is dominated by Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, there are plenty of other games out there, and Funcom‘s M-rated Age of Conan has been fiercely hacking away at its rivals sine 2008, offering an immersive MMORPG experience based on the sword-and-sorcery universe created around Robert E. Howard’s famous pulp fiction character Conan the Barbarian. Gamers have generally given Age of Conan decent marks, and a major free gaming offer helped attract new players to franchise. Now, Funcom is taking it one step further, announcing Rise of the Godslayer, the first expansion pack for Age of Conan, will launch on May 11. Rise of the Godslayer will expand the game’s online world by adding the eastern empire of Khitai, where players will be able to interact with a new, ancient culture that’s battling its own dark enemies.
“We are now ready to publish the expansion and it feels great to sound the horn and let players into this great new world that we have created,” says Funcom marketing VP Morten Larssen, in a statement. “It is also very exciting to be re-engaging with retail together with our great distribution partners with an updated product that contains both the expansion and the original game, making this release relevant to both new players, previous players, and our current playerbase.”
The expansion pack will be available at retail and for download. Existing players who pre-order before the launch date will immediately receive a new in-game pet that fights alongside players; folks who buy the box version at retail (which includes the original game along with the expansion pack and a bunch of getting-started materials) will also receive the pet if they register up until May 25, and folks who buy the retail Collectors Edition optional upgrade will (among other things) get access to a flying fighting pet. Funcom is also releasing the soundtrack for the expansion pack, with a bonus DVD with a full 5.1 surround mix and a key that will unlock a bone flute n the game.
Age of Conan will remain rated M for “Mature.” One thing missing from Funcom’s Rise of the Godslayer announcement—besides a comprehensive feature list—is pricing information. Supposedly it’s all on the Age of Conan site but all we get is blank pages. Guess the Cimmerian has already vanquished us.