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"We're naturally very pleased to see that so many dedicated gamers are signing up for the 'Age of Conan' Beta at such a rapid pace," says Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. "With more than 100,000 gamers signed up in such a short time-frame our confidence in the game's potential and its ability to be a major contender in the MMO genre continues to be strengthened." - 100,000 gamers signed up for 'Age of Conan' Beta during Easter
It would be interesting to find out how many have signed up for the beta since then, but needless to say the interest expressed in 'Age of Conan' back then probably exceeded Funcom's initial expectations, and was a good sign for them with the direction they were taking with the game (by the way, you can still sign up for the beta here, so get in before it's too late!).
On June 27, Funcom managed to secure additional funding to the mark of approximately 30 million USD to further the game's development as it approached its launch date.
"The game has recently received strong early sales indications from partners and retail channels both in the U.S. and in Europe and press and gamer expectations for 'Age of Conan' continue to grow strongly. To ensure an optimal launch of 'Age of Conan', Funcom and its key partners has through this round of funding strengthened Funcom's marketing and operational capacity prior to launch." - Funcom secures additional funding of approx. 30 million USD
This was the boost Funcom and 'Age of Conan' needed heading in to a new-look E3 this year, and it was on July 11 Funcom unveiled a very cool CG trailer for the game created by the Blur Studio (you can download a hi-res or low-res copy of the video here if you haven't seen it yet already). From July 11 to 13, Funcom was at E3 with 'Age of Conan', and it was here we saw a more polished, smoother-running, and better-looking 'Age of Conan'. After months of only seeing tid-bits and morsels of the game's progress since the game's delay announcement back in January, we were starting to see the fruits of Funcom's hard work and toil. In their presentation, we managed to get a look at a high-level zone of the game, Atzel's Approach, and a high-level dungeon instance, The Black Ring Citadel, where Jørgen Tharaldsen, Funcom Product Director, gave us some insight in to how a few of the unique classes in 'Age of Conan' would function and what raiding/dungeon-running would be like at the high-end level. It was in this presentation as well we were introduced to a massive scary-looking demon with a peculiar "obtrusion" between its legs. Funcom's presentation of 'Age of Conan' at E3 was only marred by a questionable internet connection at the hotel where the presentation took place.
With only three months to go until release, more questions were being asked of Funcom's progress with the game. Clearly the game had come leaps and bounds as it was evident in the E3 presentation, but with a sneaking suspicion that General Beta had barely any participants to really make it worthwhile, was the October release date still attainable for Funcom? On August 10, "I told you so!" was the call of the day and ultimately the flavour of the month, as Funcom announced yet another delay to the game's launch with the new launch date being set to March 25, 2008.