LotR Online Dev Turbine Bought By Warner Bros

Media giant Warner Bros. announced last night that it has acquired MMORPG developer Turbine, the studio responsible for The Lord of the Rings Online and Asheron's Call.

"Turbine's renowned online game development and publishing expertise will help us develop additional online product offerings, while also providing us with new and innovative ways to market and communicate with our consumers," said Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara in the announcement.

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"We have been looking to expand access to our online worlds to more players and more markets," chipped in Turbine CEO Jim Crowley. "This acquisition is very exciting because it allows us to expand globally while continuing to focus on creating spectacular online games that our loyal fans and players have come to expect."

Turbine's first title was the MMORPG Asheron's Call in 1999, a world revisited by several expansion packs and a sequel. These were followed by Dungeons & Dragon's Online, which later relaunched successfully under a free-to-play model supported by optional subscriptions and microtransactions. Turbine took on another licensed property in 2007 with The Lord of the Rings Online, which also received several expansions.

Warner Bros. recently acquired a majority stake in Batman: Arkham Asylum developer Rocksteady and opened a new studio for games based upon comic books. The company also a number of studios including LEGO Star Wars developer TT Games, F.E.A.R. masters Monolith and Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev Snowblind.