One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about playing MMORPGs is that you will never know who you might meet. One day you’ll be chatting with guildies from your own country and culture, the next you’ll be grouping up with someone from a completely different culture. If you keep your eyes and mind open, you can learn a lot about other people.
Unfortunately, that’s been changing over the last few years. World of Warcraft effectively divides players between the European and US servers (Aussies effectively play on US servers.) Now it appears that Funcom are going a step further.
The folks at Gaming Shogun emailed Funcom for an update on the censorship issues of the last week or two. What they were told was that Age of Conan will be heavily regionalized. It turns out that players who buy the game in one region will not be able to play it in any other regions.
So if a German player buys AoC from the United States because he wants to experience the full impact of the games combat, something his government doesn’t like, then he will not be able to play it on the European servers. The same goes for players in other regions who want to experience the game in a way not pre-determined for their part of the world.
I’m still not sure what restrictions will be placed on Age of Conan for Australian players. I emailed Funcom the other day, but haven’t yet received a reply. I originally thought that I’d be able to buy the game online and do a digital download, but if Funcom are this serious about restricting how players can play the game based on regional censorship codes, then maybe us Aussies will be out of luck.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
While we’re on the subject, don’t forget Februarys Poll on Game Ratings. Head over and have a vote, or add your opinion in the comments.