Friday, June 4, 2010

This Just In, Lotro going Free To Play

 Mordor or Bust called it straight up, props to him:

Warner Bros. is to make its recently acquired flagship MMO free-to-play this fall, beta to start June 16.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing game Lord of the Rings Online is to go free-to-play, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Codemasters announced today. This will make LOTRO Warner Bros' second free-to-play MMO, after the successful switch away from a subscription model for Dungeons and Dragons Online last year.

No word on whether WBIE plans to charge extra for torches.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar was released to critical acclaim in 2007, with expansions following in 2008 and 2009. Subscriptions to play currently cost up to $15 a month. The game will be free to play, but a new online LOTRO Store will allow players to purchase "expansions, quest packs, items, and account services a la carte," according to Warner Brothers. As with DDO, players will also be able to buy a VIP package, which gives players access to all of the premium features for one price--though the price itself was not revealed.

The project will be among the first overseen by Jeff Junge, WBIE's newly appointed senior vice president of online games and digital games platforms. Junge was given responsibility for the firm's entire digital games business in May. Codemasters will continue to publish the title in Europe alongside DDO, which it also publishes in the region.

LOTRO is developed by Turbine, which WBIE acquired in April to consolidate its control of Lord of The Rings gaming licences. The acquisition followed the Warner's re-acqusition of non-MMO rights to the franchise in March 2009. LOTRO was originally published by the now-defunct Midway Games.

The move will see LOTRO and its expansions disappear from store shelves, as all the distribution will be done through the new LOTRO online store. WBIE has said that the free-to-play version of the MMO will be available to play at the Electronic Entertainment Expo later this month.


Anton said...

I just heard about this earlier today, too. ...Soo...what does it mean? We'll be seeing a lot more noobs running around?

Thallian said...

Well, once it launches, the game will have more life, and be laggier, and if I really wanted I could recruit a guild but I kinda like just having friends and family in my guild... I think it means Turbine will be making more money though and be able to develop faster and make more dungeons.. I still need to show you Garth Agarwen (2nd dungeon) You're already big enough.

Chappo said...

Its goign to be awesome. I have to play with you finally. :P

Thallian said...

Totally, we roll on Windfola, send me an email with your phone number and I'll call you when we are setting out, or if you want I'll email you mine. I've found phone calls to be the only effective ways to get group nights organized.

Anonymous said...

Windfola, check. Might have to say hi. LOTRO and I, we have history... but the change means I'm pretty sure I'll pop back in.

Anton said...

Are there perks for people already subscribing? What about lifetime subscriptions?