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Lord of the Rings Online Revenues Have Now Tripled Since Going Free-to-Play

by Alice O'Connor, Jan 07, 2011 8:00am PST

Having stated in October 2010 that revenues had doubled for The Lord of the Rings Online after moving to a free-to-play model, developer Turbine has revealed that its Tolkien MMORPG now rakes in triple the amount it did under a subscription model.

"This year--it's still early, it's only been a couple of months--monthly revenue's tripled for us," director of communications Adam Mersky Mersky said on the Ten Ton Hammer podcast (via Gamasutra), "which is obviously making us very happy."

"We're getting a ton of new players in and the game feels alive and vibrant," said executive producer Kate Paiz. "This really echos a lot of what we see throughout the entertainment industry in general," she added. "It's really about letting players make their choices about how they want to play."

The Lord of the Rings Online launched in April 2007 with the typical MMORPG monthly subscription fee of $15. The game went free-to-play in September 2010, supported by microtransactions for items and contents plus optional premium subscriptions.

What's not revealed, though, is how much costs have increased since the switch, as players who choose not to pay anything still use up resources. Considering how pleased Turbine sound, though, one imagines that it's not enough to stop the game from being a tidy little earner.

A new LotRO expansion pack titled 'Rise of Isengard' is in the pipeline for 2011.

Turbine had previously made its Dungeons & Dragons Online free-to-play, where the company even saw a rise in the number of subscriptions under the new model.





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