Remember Age of Conan? The MMO based on Robert E. Howard's burly sword-swinging, princess-saving warrior? While it got off to a cracking start, it quickly lost gas and like many other so-called "WoW killers", faded into obscurity. Developer Funcom kept on trucking, but things weren't looking good for the Norwegian studio until this month, when its financial fortunes changed dramatically.
According to a story by Develop's Matthew Jarvis, Funcom has managed to secure over $US6 million in investment money, bringing it well into the black and in a position to continue work on Conan Exiles.
Announced at the beginning of this year, Exiles promises to be an "open-world survival game" set in the "brutal lands of Conan the Barbarian". With no mention of a massive-multiplayer aspect and an Early Access release planned sometime in the next few months, Funcom looks to be exploring very different pastures than those of The Secret World and Age of Conan.
That said, the game's description shares much with the current glut of open-world survival games:
Hungry, thirsty and alone, your very first battle is that against the harsh environment. Grow crops or hunt animals for food. Harvest resources to build weapons and tools. Build a shelter to survive. Ride across a vast world and explore alone, or band together with other players to build entire settlements and strongholds to withstand fierce invasions.
In Funcom's favour is the Conan IP, as well as what can only be a universe-sized notepad of lessons learned from Age of Conan.