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Daily Column

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First, the Ten Ton Pulse, your finger on the beating heart of the MMOG industry.

Conan remains on the throne. The big mover today is EQ2, jumping 10 BPM and taking over the #4 spot from Lord of the Rings Online. We now show the Top 20 and Top 50 lists as well, available to everyone on our homepage. (What is Pulse?)

  1. Age of Conan - 200 BPM
  2. World of Warcraft - 103 BPM
  3. Warhammer Online - 44 BPM
  4. EverQuest 2 - 33 BPM
  5. Lord of the Rings Online - 30 BPM
  6. Lineage 2 - 27 BPM
  7. EVE Online 25 BPM
  8. Vanguard - 17 BPM
  9. Guild Wars - 17 BPM
  10. Tabula Rasa - 14 BPM

Age of Conan is tearing up our network, with more visitors looking for information about this title than any other, including World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online. In fact, the traffic to Age of Conan is larger at the moment than the combined traffic of WoW and WAR. The hype behind this game is enormous, larger than Oprah's need to be in the spotlight or the Duke Nukem Forever development schedule. That's big in a way that I find hard to fathom.

Where WoW took aim at the rated "T" market, Age of Conan is taking aim at what has to be a much smaller segment, choosing to go "M" for Mature. In an industry that has many of its inhabitants attempting to create products similar to WoW, Funcom has taken the road less traveled. Is it the correct choice? After everything is said and done, there must be a reason that nobody treads down that road.

Games rated Mature comprised 12% of total games in 2005. This is all games in all genres, not just MMOGs. In 2007 that percentage had dropped to 6%. These are ESRB numbers. Given that every game in every format is rated I'm going to suggest that part of the pressure downward for "M" games is due to the success of the Nintendo DS where finding a "M" rated game is nigh impossible though my idea for Nintendogs in Heat would change all of that.

Is the market for Mature games large enough to float the Age of Conan war galley? I'll point to the Grand Theft Auto franchise as confirmation that yes it is. The fact that Age of Conan is also planning to eventually be available on a console gives it another leg-up. Remember, WoW isn't a console title. This is new ground, broken successfully only by Final Fantasy XI, but it is a prodigious new ground that dwarfs the PC market.

The road ahead for Funcom isn't on any map, but I trust that their cartographers are up to the task. My only disappointment thus far is that I know I won't be playing this game with my son or daughter, which in the case of WoW has kept me playing long beyond what I would have done if I were going it alone.

Was "M" rated the right choice? Tell us in The Loading... forums.

Do you feel the need to contact me personally with naughty pictures or derogatory comments? Here's my E-mail.

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12 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 227 so far in February! 504 so far in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to

  1. Age of Conan: Jason Stone Interviewed at GDC '08
  2. Turbine's Craig Alexander Video Q&A from GDC '08
  3. Dungeons and Dragons / Gleemax Developers Interviewed at GDC ' 08
  4. Stargate Worlds: Preview From 'GDC 08
  5. Lord of the Rings Online: Jeffrey Steefel Book 12 Interview at GDC '08
  6. 38 Studios: An Interview with Brett Close on the BigWorld License
  7. Dungeons and Dragons Online: Kate Paiz Video Q&A From GDC '08
  8. Earth Eternal: Interview With Matt Mihaly From GDC '08
  9. Tabula Rasa: Creature AI Changes Video
  10. GameOver Podcast #14 - Abusing Superpowers

Real World News (100% Phil "Ralphedelominius" Comeau Created Today!)

Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.

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