GDC – Funcom Still Wants ‘Age of Conan’ on Xbox 360, But Controller Remains Biggest Obstacle

Our last post covering Funcom’s “Age of Conan” hasn’t moved off the front page, yet Multiplayer is already prepared to share some more with you about the upcoming MMO. Sorry, no nudity this time (though we did see some during our presentation!), but we do have some news on the eventual Xbox 360 port that Funcom’s been kicking around.

The Game Developers Conference doesn’t properly start until Wednesday, but companies are taking advantage of the gathered press in San Francisco to show some 2008 wares. One of Multiplayer’s first appointments was an updated look at “Age of Conan,” currently scheduled to drop on PCs sometime in May.

But, it’s also coming to the Xbox 360 — eventually. While catching up with Funcom Product Manager Jorgen Tharaldsen, he updated us on the Xbox 360 version’s progress. Unfortunately, Funcom doesn’t yet have a timeframe for release, as the their resources are devoted to ensuring a May ship date for the PC version.

Once that’s out the door, however, Funcom can prep their move into the console space. Such a transition doesn’t come without substantial hurdles, says Tharaldsen. The four and a half years of developing “Age of Conan” on the PC means their work has been crafted around a mouse and keyboard.

While “Age of Conan”’s combat incorporates real-time combos not unlike “God of War”, the interface powering “Age of Conan” was built for a PC gamer. As such, the interface won’t necessarily transfer 1:1 onto a control pad, thus requiring a complete interface revamp. When asked if a PC user could hook up an Xbox 360 controller to their PC and play “Age of Conan,” Tharaldsen shook his head.

Still, Tharaldsen maintains “Age of Conan” will end up on Xbox 360. Is it coming in 2008? Probably not. Have they made substantial progress on the console interface? Not yet. Does the recent confirmed cancellation of “Marvel Universe Online” worry us? A little. But, Funcom remains confident, and you know what? At least they’re taking their time.