Anarchy Online was released in 2001, and as such, the current graphics don't quite hold up when compared to games of this generation. Since the game has been receiving a lot of new players from their free-to-play offer, the team at Funcom decided to do something about the lackluster environments by developing a new rendering engine for their graphics system. They have also made a teaser trailer available to show off their hard work, and it can be seen in two different resolutions here. With this, and the changes to allow people on the free-to-play option the chance to get more of the game for less, it seems Funcom is working hard to jump-start the aging title.
The game director for AO, Craig Morrison, was interviewed by MMORPG.com about the new engine and was able to tell us a bit more about the upgrades. Apparently they have been working on the engine for close to a year, and it will allow for much greater optimization from GPU's. Once the new engine is in place, it will not be possible to run under the old engine, but the team is going to make many of the graphical bells and whistles optional, to prevent those with older systems being blocked from a game they're already able to play right now. They are aiming to release this revamped engine later in the year.