Turbine's LOTRO Goes Free This Fall

Friday Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online will follow in the footsteps of its previous MMORPG, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, by going free-to-play. This new model will arrive sometime during the fall in conjunction with a major update to the game.

"Turbine’s Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited was the world’s first truly premium free-to-play online game that ushered in a new era of choice for online gamers seeking quality entertainment," said Jim Crowley, President and CEO of Turbine. "The popularity of DDO 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 LOTRO will offer another premium game to a broad spectrum of fans."

The new free-to-play model will take place both in North America and Europe, with Codemasters taking the reigns of the latter version. Players can download and play the MMORPG up to level 50 for free, however they will also have the option to purchase expansion packs, items, and services through the new LOTRO Store.

In addition to the free-to-play model, Turbine will also provide a VIP (subscription) service, offering everything available in LOTRO for one low price. "Players who elect to become a LOTRO VIP will have unlimited access to all premium content, receive priority server access, 5 character slots, a shared bank slot, and a monthly allotment of points to spend in the new LOTRO Store," the company said.

Turbine plans to launch a beta program for eager fans wanting a sneak peak at the revamped, Hobbit-ridden MMORPG. The program kicks off on June 16, 2010, and interested gamers can sign up by heading here. Expect more details to follow at E3 2010, including videos and screens of the upcoming content.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
13 comments
    Your comment
  • I'll stick with my bad company 2.
    2
  • This is great news for WoW burnouts this tides the cravings for an MMO over until the next Gen MMOs come out in 2011.

    At one point during beta for LotRO i thought if i wasn't so involved and had so much into WoW i would have played LotRO. i think i leveled to 35 using the free weekends they offered like every other month.
    5
  • First, let me say that I think it's fair to purchase a MMO game and then pay a monthly subscription fee. And if that company wants me to continue subscribing to that MMO, they had better keep me interested with no additional fees. I wouldn't subscribe to a magazine if I got the same issue every month. And for those that think the subscription fee is used to cover server costs and customer support, think again. I have it on good authority (i.e. a Blizzard employee) that only $2-3 is used to cover costs. The rest is pure profit.

    That being said, I love the model set forth by Mythic's Warhammer Online. The game is free to download and all you have to pay is a monthly subscription fee. Unfortunately for me, I don't like the game. Which came as a surprise to me because some of my favorite moments from WoW was PvP combat and Warhammer is PvP oriented.

    I don't care for the model used by LOTRO or DDO. When does it stop? On a personal note, I've tried both games and I don't like either. And this is coming from a LOTR fan and D&D player.
    -3