Lord of the Rings Online Going Free-to-Play

By Alice O'Connor, Jun 04, 2010 7:20am PDT Lord of the Rings Online publisher Warner Bros. has revealed that Turbine's Tolkien-inspired MMORPG will go free-to-play this fall, supported by microtransactions.

"Expansions, quest packs, items, and account services" are among the goodies players will be able to purchase with points either earned in-game or bought with cash money.

'VIP' subscriptions with access to all premium content will also be available at a yet-unspecified price, similar to the model Turbine's Dungeons & Dragons Online MMORPG adopted when it went free-to-play in September 2009 with 'VIP' status costing $15 per month. Turbine reported a 40% rise in subscriptions following the switch.

"The popularity of DDO validated the extraordinary demand by gamers for quality entertainment they can experience at their own pace and within their budget," said Turbine CEO Jim Crowley in the announcement. Extending free-to-play to LOTRO will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans."

If you're interested, you can sign up for a closed beta test due to begin on June 16.

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19 Threads | 61 Comments
  • FTP is really the only way to compete nowadays with the juggernaut that is WoW. If Mythic and Funcom adopted this I think their numbers would go up. The difference here is that Turbine is a really really smart company. They know how to adapt to their market and give the players what they want (minus being able to play the forces of Mordor in a full campaign). DDO is one of the best FTP games out to date for the sole reason is that it's balanced. You can buy certain things to enhance your characters or make leveling faster, but nothing that gives you a huge advantage. Lotro is an excellent game, but suffers from the economy that usually restricts people to one mmo. Its going to be interesting to see how much more this game which has maintained around 700k subs grows.

    Here's to progress Turbine, cheers.