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Interviews

Age of Conan, part two

We return to Hyborian adventures as our chat with Funcom about one of this year's biggest MMORPGs concludes

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You recently announced development of an Xbox 360 version of Age of Conan had been green-lighted. What's the status of that version, and when are you expecting to have it released?

Erling Ellingsen: The development of the Xbox 360 is steadily on the way, and we've put together a separate team with a separate Game Director to work on this version. So it's getting all the attention it needs. We have just as high hopes for this version of the game, and we're confident in its success because of how well it sits with the action-oriented audience. Combat in Age of Conan is dynamic, real-time and hands-on - something that will make it work much better on a console than what has been possible with other MMOs. We can't really say anything about the release date of this version yet, but I can confirm that it will be after the release of the PC version.

It's important to note that this is not going to be just a port from the PC, but we're actually going to great lengths to make a tailored version for the Xbox 360.

How are you tackling the user interface and user input issues that one might associate with an MMORPG on console?

Erling Ellingsen: It's a bit early to say at this point, but with an entire team dedicated to this project, I'm confident that we'll be able to present a very user-friendly interface on the Xbox 360 version. There are, of course, a lot of issues that have to be addressed when it comes to putting an MMO on a console. We're working on these challenges right now, and we hope to be able to reveal details on this in the not-so-distant future.

One thing we're wondering is whether PC gamers will be able to play with/against Xbox 360 owners - what's the story here?

Erling Ellingsen: There are several issues with mixing people on the same server. Will they be able to communicate well enough with each other? Will the console users be less responsive than the PC users? There are many issues that must be addressed. We're toying around with many different solutions to this, and one is having some shared servers and some servers that are not shared - simply to give players the freedom of choice. What solution we actually do end up with is something we will have to reveal later.

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