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Funcom to close over half of Conan servers

49 realms cut to just 18 in order to improve overall player experience on remaining servers

Funcom has published the list of planned server mergers for its fantasy MMO Age of Conan, revealing that it will be cutting the total number of servers from 49 to just 18.

The reduction is more dramatic in North America and the Oceanic regions, where 24 servers are being merged into just six. In the US, only one player-versus-player server and two player-versus-environment servers will remain, with each combining the populations of six or seven existing servers.

In Europe, 12 servers will remain, due to the need to provide a variety of server types in each of four languages. English-language European servers are being cut from 13 to four.

Following the successful test merger of two Oceanic servers last week, Funcom expects to do the rest in two job lots - US and European - this week.

With servers in every regional sub-set reduced to the bare minimum of one of each type, the merge list is the clearest indication yet from Funcom of the extent to which Age of Conan's player-base has dwindled since launch.

However, the mergers will certainly provide a better experience for remaining players, with busier and more dynamic surroundings, more combat and healthier economies on the remaining realms.

Funcom will continue to flesh out the game's high-level content this year, and is also forging ahead with the first expansion pack. Although player numbers have fallen, Age of Conan remains Funcom's only way to make money until it releases its next MMO The Secret World - likely to be next year at the earliest - so it's unlikely to be shut down entirely.

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