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Lord of the Rings Online Doubles Revenue After Move to Free-to-Play

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At GDC Online, Turbine revealed that revenue for Lord of the Rings Online has doubled following its switch to free-to-play with an in-game store for premium content.

Executive Producer Kate Paiz explains that "when you tell people you no longer have to pay for it, they come in droves," according to Joystiq.

Here are some of the statistics resulting from the switch:

  • 20% of former players have returned.
  • 300% increase in peak concurrency.
  • 400% increase in total active players.
  • 52% of players have purchased something via the in-game store.
Turbine found similar success is switching Dungeons & Dragons Online from subscription to free-to-play. Meanwhile, Blizzard is now claiming 12 million subscribers for World of Warcraft.
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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 8, 2010 3:30 PM

    I've never played DDO. Anyone care to summarize how the in-game store works?

    • reply
      October 8, 2010 3:43 PM

      Seamless within the game. Basically a small web browser type window opens up for you to browse the store. Things are purchased via points, think Xbox live. The purchase is then immediately sent to your bag or mail-box.

      • reply
        October 8, 2010 5:05 PM

        What kind of stuff can you buy or are you forced to buy? Like in League of Legends its free to play and you can unlock everything given enough time, but spending money gets it for you faster.

        • reply
          October 8, 2010 5:30 PM

          A whole lot of stuff, such as usable gear to cosmetic items, quest hubs, etc. Also although most are unlocked, unlike EQ2 F2P, with DDO I spent some money to unlock a race and class.

          However I cannot confirm with DDO or lotro but I think Turbine has been shying way from making end-game gear from being available.

          As I played DDO the immediate cost was high, probably dropped like $60 in the first two months, but as I settled in the longterm cost was lower than a traditional sub.

        • reply
          October 9, 2010 3:21 AM

          You're not forced to buy anything, but many areas are not available unless you purchase them. You can, however, get points from doing various things in game, and many people repeat the easiest of these things on each server to get enough points for the various expansions.

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