Norwegian-headquartered MMO firm Funcom has announced that it has extended its free offer to play futuristic PC MMO Anarchy Online, and that it guarantees to offer a free download and free basic play for the title until at least January 15, 2007.
“The free initiative has been a great success,” says Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom. ”More than 400,000 new players have signed up during the last ten months, and extremely few MMO titles can show a similar increase in registrations in the same timeframe.”
Funcom originally announced the free offer back in December 2004, when it was valid for just one month, but has stepped up the promotion of the deal since it announced a deal with in-game advertising firm Massive Inc. Users of the free version of Anarchy Online will see a number of in-game ads in the world, most recently upgraded to include full-motion video and audio advertisements as well as static billboards.
The company, which is also working on PC MMO Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures, and announced at the end of August that it has secured a €5 million ($6.1 million) equity investment from venture capital firm Nordic Venture Partners (NVP), also intends to monetize free Anarchy Online users since the free version of AO does not include access to any of the three expansion packs. Should players wish to upgrade to any of the expansion packs, monthly subscription and client fees will be added.