'Age of Conan' relaunches as free-to-play

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures relaunched as the free-to-play Age of Conan: Unchained on July 1.

Compulsory subscriptions are scrapped in favor of raising income via item shops, content passes, and premium level memberships.

The change comes ahead of the new Conan film, which debuts mid-August, and the online game's tie-in, the Savage Coast of Turan expansion.

Lord of the Rings Online, another massively multiplayer game based on fantasy fiction, experienced significant success since becoming free-to-play in September 2010.

Subsequently, Champions Online, Pirates of the Burning Sea and APB (in the form of APB: Reloaded) have made similar transitions, with LEGO Universe and City of Heroes announcing their intentions to follow suit.