With the amount of hype, advertising, positive reviews and media attention Grand Theft Auto IV has received over the past few months, we wholly expected it to remain on top of the software sales charts until our video game consoles grew sentient and attempted to purge humanity from the planet. Strangely enough, a dark horse recently overtook Rockstar's well-received crime drama in many European territories -- a horse mounted by a brawny, rippling Cimmerian.

Yes, Funcom's decapitation-rich MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures recently outsold GTA IV in a number of European locations, including Germany and Sweden. Since Rockstar's latest opus is still selling like freshly baked hotcakes in North America, we can't help but wonder if GTA's themes of living the American dream and hooker brutalization got lost in translation as the title crossed the Atlantic -- or whether Age of Conan's musclebound mascot reminds German gamers of a certain pop culture icon who is quite revered in their country.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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