There's been a lot of complaints about how the Early Access to Age of Conan was handled. Funcom have now issued an official statement.
Funcom has been working very hard towards setting up gaming server capacity to launch this game comfortably for all the people who want to play Age of Conan. We are estimating that on Day One, a very high number of gamers will want to enter Hyboria.
The Open Beta finished on Sunday and we have been prepping those servers to be used as Live game servers, with the first ones to be used for the Early Access Program. Once those are set up and ready, we’re doing final adjustments to the other servers to prepare for full launch.
We measured how much capacity we thought we would need for this program and registrations have been on pace for this capacity – until two days ago. On Monday the registrations spiked and on Tuesday they increased even more. Early on Wednesday the capacity limit was reached and automatically shut off. The entire program is now mostly sold out globally, with some local variation. We had no way of anticipating the spike we saw at the end.
Our goal for Early Access was always to provide the best possible gaming experience for the ones who would get into the program. We scoped servers and download capacity for the 15gb client for a set number, based on our best projections. Those have been soundly surpassed. We are of course extremely humbled by the fact that so many players can’t wait to play the game.
We understand that there’s been some unfortunate confusion about the pre-order keys in some markets. Early Access has been a special limited offer that was exclusively available through the Age of Conan billing pages once you registered your pre-order key. Just to clarify there are no ‘Early Access keys’, and all pre-order keys do of course give the exclusive mounts and item benefits to your account as intended.
Now we have few choices. We could shut down the Closed Beta and reformat those servers to set them up for Early Access instead, but the fact is that the Closed Beta is supplying extremely valuable information that we would not want to miss. Quality is always our first goal and we would not want to compromise that but rather focus on the experience for all of you at launch.
Our best course of action is to move as quickly as we can to finalize the adjustments of the full range of launch servers, and to concentrate on being completely prepared for launch. It is only a matter of days even for those who are not in the Early Access program to set foot in Hyboria.
We are looking forward to greet you there!
Funcom Development Team