"Our LOTRO beta program has been a huge success and we want to thank all of our players who worked with us to get the game ready for launch," said executive producer Kate Paiz.
"Our unique pricing model has revolutionized the industry and starting in September, players will be able to choose how they pay for and play one of the world's best online games and we can't wait to welcome millions of new players to Middle-earth!"
Additional content, including bonuses, races, classes, and even expansions, can be purchased separately. Two levels of subscription-based membership are also available: premium and VIP, which all offer different amounts and types of content.
The move to free-to-play echoes Turbine's previous effort with Dungeons & Dragons Online, which saw some nice gains in subscriptions following its own move to free-to-play. Sony Online Entertainment also recently announced that it would be offering a free version of EverQuest II, supported by microtransactions and different subscription levels.
I am in the F2P beta and this is run exactly like the DDO F2P.
Personally I thought it was pretty good for about a month or so of casual gaming. But to really keep going, you will need to spend a bit of $$, not a lot though and it seems to be a pretty good value.