Funcom, Eidos and IGN have announced that the open beta for the upcoming MMOG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will begin on May 1.

The beta program will be hosted exclusively by FilePlanet, as well as offered through other IGN partner sites including GameSpy, Ten Ton Hammer and WarCry. Applications for the open beta are available at FilePlanet, with more information being provided to applicants chosen for a beta key. Preloading of the client software will begin prior to the launch of the beta, which will take place at 9 a.m. EST on May 1.

“When we started development of Age of Conan four and a half years ago we truly wanted to move away from the standards of the MMO genre,” said Age of Conan Game Director Gaute Godager. “We wanted to bring something new, exciting and fresh to the gamers. As we get ready to show everyone what Conan’s savage world is all about, we need final stress testing. Teaming up with the Beta Masters at IGN was a perfect opportunity for us! We simply couldn’t ask for a better partner for this crucial stage of our beta.”

“The IGN and FilePlanet audience has consistently told us that Age of Conan is one of their most anticipated games of the year, and we are very pleased to partner with Funcom and Eidos on the open beta,” added Jamie Berger, senior vice president at IGN. “The Funcom team has developed a truly unique, visceral gaming experience that players will have to see to believe.”

Funcom will not be making the entire game open to testers during the beta period in order to better allow them to focus on server stress issues, and all players will be capped at level 13. Complete class and culture variety will be available, however, and Funcom said the beta will still provide gamers with “hours and hours of entertainment.” More information about Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, scheduled to launch on May 20, is available at

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