Age of Conan is to become a free-to-play online game during summer 2011, with another significant update due to coincide with Conan the Barbarian's August movie outing.
Set 20 years after the film adaptation, the Savage Coast of Turan expansion is to include content from the movie, as well as additional material based on Robert E. Howard's fiction.
The free-to-play model has been used by a good number of other Massively Multiplayer Online games which, like Age of Conan, previously operated on a subscription basis.
Lord of the Rings Online (based on Tolkien's fantasy) and Champions Online (originally a Marvel Universe project) have both boasted of much improved revenues since dropping mandatory fees.
Like them, Age of Conan plans introducing an in-game shop which will sell character enhancements and equipment, while maintaining paid membership for those that want premium benefits.