Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lord of the Rings Online made free

Turbine, the folks behind Lord of the Rings Online, has dumped its previous paid subscription model for one that initially costs nothing.

Much like World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online was previously incurred a monthly fee to keep an account open. Under the new plan, the game will cost nothing to set up an account.

Turbine will attempt to recover lost subscription fees through an online shop where players can buy 'premium content.'

Whilst a move like this might upset existing subscribers, Turbine has previously moved its Dungeons and Dragons Online IP from a subscription to 'free' model. One would assume that it was a successful transition for the publisher to decide on a similar path here.

In a release, president and CEO of Turbine, Jim Crowley, said: “the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons Online validated the extraordinary demand by gamers for quality entertainment they can experience at their own pace and within their budget. Extending free-to-play to Lord of the Rings Online will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans.”

You only need to look at the staggering success of Farmville to realise that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to pay for premium content on their favourite games.

Lord of the Rings Online will be transition to the free-to-play model in the fall (spring for the southern hemisphere) this year.

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