Age of Conan now free-to-play, 'Unchained'

By Alice O'Connor, Jul 01, 2011 6:45am PDT

As promised, Funcom's barbaric MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has switched to the increasingly popular free-to-play model. Age of Conan: Unchained, as it's now called, is available now.

As is standard for the model, Age of Conan will be supported both by microtransactions and an optional premium subscriptions. Non-paying players will have access to fewer character classes, areas, dungeons, raids, character slots, bank space, and other assorted disadvantages. Premuium subscriptions cost the same $15 monthly fee they always have.

"The great potential provided by the hybrid business model, and with the ever growing interest for free-to-play games, bringing 'Age of Conan' into this market is undoubtedly the logical next step for the title," said senior VP of sales & marketing Morten Larssen in the announcement.

"For the team working on the game, going free-to-play is great because it opens up this great fantasy world to an even larger audience," added creative director and executive producer Craig Morrison. "Not only can players now enjoy the content for free, we will continue to add new gameplay features and new content and make improvements to the game."

The 'Unchained' revamp was initially announced under the name 'Age of Conan: Unrated,' reflecting the studio's intent to create new content that's "even more true" to the "barbaric, brutal and sexy setting" of Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories. One assumes that someone at Funcom pointed out the term "unrated" is more commonly associated with explicit pornography than violent video games.

Here's a trailer celebrating today's free-to-play launch:

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